Getting Ready for Seasonal Celebrations: Real-Life Tips From Our Inbox
These holiday tips sent in from our readers will help you stress less during the holiday season. Get advice on staying organized, decorating the simple way and preparing a stress-free holiday feast.
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After a year when I rushed around at the last minute trying to find gifts that people would like, I began shopping for the following year at the after Christmas sales. Now I shop year round and I am excited and eager to share my treasures with their recipients. For those that "have everything," we give gift certificates to their favorite restaurants or tickets to an event we know they will enjoy.
Marilyn Cinami, Canterbury, Conn.
By the time Thanksgiving is here, everything that I could get ahead of time is already bought, and I have only last minute shopping to do. We can spend the rest of the time shopping for simple fun items like stocking stuffers, a Christmas tree and the ingredients for the special desserts we make. We get to wrap gifts, decorate, send cards, bake and visit friends and family — joyfully! And isn't that how it's supposed to be? We try to never get stressed out or we would lose the true meaning of Christmas, which is love!
Dottie Wolfe, Richmond, Va.
I start shopping the week before Thanksgiving. The sales are on and everything?s in the stores, but definitely not as many people. I hate crowds. Best day to shop without a crowd is the day before Thanksgiving. Know what you?re looking for and the stores are all stocked with goods. This way if you see it on sale after Thanksgiving, some stores will give you the discounted price.
Kathleen Christy, Shelton, Conn.
Because of chronic health problems and not knowing when I'll be up and around, I start my Christmas shopping right after Christmas and continue through the year. I keep a file card in my wallet of all gifts bought for whom, and usually I'm done by the end of summer. I wrap and deliver my presents in the fall to the extended family. I'm even able to find interesting (not run of the mill) stocking gifts for my husband and children when I'm shopping during vacation trips throughout the year.This keeps my gift search leisurely and fun.
M K Colclasure, Orlando, Fla.
I start my Christmas shopping for the next year during the Christmas clearance sales right after Christmas. You can get great discounts, sometimes up to 80 percent off.
Christine Peterson, Waukesha, Wis.