It has always been my fave month of the year for many reasons. My birthday falls in the first week. It's a time of beautiful decorations and traditions and socializing with family and friends. And everyone seems so happy.
Well, they're happy after they get over all the stress that comes with the planning-shopping-entertaining that comes along with the season.
May we present: 10 survival tips that'll get you through the stressful part so you can sit and enjoy that eggnog already.
1. Divide your house into zones when you decorate, and take a few days to do it. Sure, this means the mess of ornaments and wreaths and tablescapes may hang around longer than you wish. But it's a great way to curate specific spaces. Focus on one spot and you'll really figure out what you like and don't need.
2. Give kids specific decorating tasks they can't mess up. "Put on all the glass ornaments around the tree.." "Hang the stockings on the hooks." For type-A, control freak moms such as myself, it is easy to get frustrated with the kids' assistance. That's why you have to...
3. Remember the holidays are all about being joyous and spending time together as a family. Mark a day off on the calendar for each member of the family and do something THEY want to do on that day.
4. When you entertain, get a list of 5, easy-to-make, no-fail, menu items and serve them over and over. Chances are you'll have different people at each event, so why bother mixing it up? Plus, if your artichoke dip is to-die-for, noone's gonna care if makes a repeat performace.
|This was from our 2007 holiday photo shoot (taking advantage of living near scenic Fort Lauderdale beach.) We shot more than 75 frames.|
5. Don't have a perfect picture of the kids for your holiday card? Don't sweat it. Take them outside to a park or somewhere picturesque and take atleast 24 shots. (ONE will be good.) Check out Tiny Prints Christmas cards for some great card options. Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable.
6. More on holiday cards: if you don't get them done by Dec. 25, take one during the holiday festivities and send as a New Year's card. People just wanna see your kiddos. They don't care if it's at the end of the year or the beginning.
|And this was a year later in 2008, with our new home of Seattle in the background!|
7. Get some great-smelling candles in balsam and evergreen scents. Don't just light them when guests come over; enjoy them whenever you can. It is an instant mood-lifter.
8. Wrap Santa gifts in plain brown craft paper.. (you can add color with bows.) Keep several rolls on hand -- you can always use for birthday presents. Plus, you won't run out at 2 a.m. on Christmas eve. And your kid won't say what mine did one year. "Hey, Mom.. Santa uses the same wrapping paper you bought from Target!"
9. A great gift idea for the person in your life who lives under a rock: Buy them the DVD of the first season of Glee.
10. Don't forget to enjoy. Have a glass of wine while gazing at your beautiful tree. Let the kids eat some of the dough when you are making cookies. But a stocking stuffer for yourself. Kiss your sweetie under the mistletoe....
Full disclosure: If number 5 sounded, well, PR-ey, that's because of this: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Full disclosure, part II: That said, I liked Tiny Prints cards before I decided to do this.