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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Last year, I bought an extension cord with a push button on/off switch for the Christmas tree lights. Then, at bed time all I had to do was walk over to the tree, step on the button with my foot, and the lights would all go off. No more back breaking, bending or nearly knocking the tree over! It?s hard to believe that such a simple and inexpensive item saved me so much aggravation!
Kristen Hightower, Cincinnati, Ohio
Who do you know doesn't enjoy dinner at a good restaurant? On any given payday you can stop in at any good major chain restaurant and purchase a $25 or $50 gift card and put it away in a drawer for safe keeping. Then, when Christmas rolls around and you are going over your purchases and think, "I really need one more thing for Aunt Kim and Uncle Joe," you can pull out one of those $50 gift cards and have no-stress shopping at your fingertips.
The same is true for the unexpected guest who stops by with a gift for you. ust excuse yourself to your bedroom and grab a gift card from your stash for an instant gift. The nice thing about gift cards is they come in any denomination you choose. So, you can use plain white envelopes and mark $10 on one and place the cards that you load with $10 in that envelope.
Lisa Dever, Goldsboro, N.C.
Take time to organize and label your decorations as you put them away. You will then know where to find that special decoration that you like to put up early. Buy Christmas colored containers to store the decorations in and you'll know exactly which boxes you need down from the attic without searching through various boxes. A good use for those big popcorn containers that you get at Christmas is to store decorations in them for the year as well. There?re easy to pick out when stored in the attic.
Donna Blackwelder, Madison, Ala.
Relieve some of the pressure of holiday baking by waiting to do it in January. I send my neighbors (or whoever I plan to bake for) a Christmas card letting them know they will receive their holiday goodies in January. I have found that this is always appreciated a lot more because December seems to overdose most of us with too many sweet treats.
Susan Lister, Anderson, S.C.