The holidays. It's that wonderful time of year except for the fact it's also the time of year for parents to get frazzled trying to get everything done. The to-do lists seem to grow quickly this time of year and the resulting stress can take its toll if you don't have a plan. But it doesn't have to be this way. In fact, according to the folks over at Today's Parent, there a few things we can do to make the holidays more enjoyable. After all, isn't that really the point, to enjoy time with family?
1. Make unlosable lists
You’re far more likely to get it all done if you write down important holiday tasks and set to-do-by dates. To keep your checklist close at hand, use a smartphone app such as Todoist, Wunderlist, Google Keep or Remember the Milk.
Right, have a backup, a digital copy or some other way to capture your list if the primary one disappears.
2. Ditch the paper
Wrapping presents takes forever. Gift bags, on the other hand, are fast to fill, not to mention cheap, easy and reusable. Stock up on gift bags and sticky bows in solid colours at a dollar store.
Some people love wrapping and it's generally more fun for people to open wrapped gifts. But if you want to cut down on time, this is a great option.
4. Take shopping leave
Book one day off work to zip around town and do your gift shopping without having to stand in line or battle weekend crowds. You could also use that day to shop online from your sofa—and then binge-watch your fave Netflix show with the hours saved—for an even more relaxing retail experience.
If you can pull this one off, it's a great way to get ahead a little bit. Shopping on weekends can be an absolute nightmare. Give shopping the proper time it needs by trying to get a head start when things aren't so crowded.
6. Fudge your dates
Late December and early January are peak air travel times, so they’re exceptionally hectic and expensive. If your kids are not in school yet, why not hold off long-distance visits to relatives for a month or two and keep the actual holidays low-key at home? Bonus: You can save cash on gifts,, too, by waiting for the best deals at the Boxing Day sales.
This won't always work but is worth considering. Saving money, traveling when there is less stress and enjoying time at home are compelling reasons to reconsider travel plans.
9. Reinvent gifting traditions
Buying gifts for every single family member can stop making sense when people start having kids. Suggest a Secret Santa or set a cut-off age for prezzies. Most of the other grown-ups will likely breathe sighs of relief.
Yeah, let's keep it simple and reduce the need for everyone to get a present from everyone else. Time together with family should be the best gift of all.
10. Invest in spares
Pick up extra crowd-pleasing gifts—think chocolates, gift cards, wine and cozy mitts or socks—to eliminate last-minute shopping.
Inevitable, you will forget someone, a teacher or neighbor that just slipped your mind. having a few gifts that are ready to go will help you avoid any last minutes dashes to the store.
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Photo By Jocey K
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