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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Do It All From Your Desk
I catalog or online shop and have the gifts shipped directly to my out of town family and friends. That keeps me from having to fight the crowds by shipping them myself.
Patty Akers, Casselberry, Fla.
I make a computerized Christmas list each year and check off items as I get them. I also start next year's list during the current Christmas season. It helps me remember who and what we gave last year including how much. The list for next year is especially helpful during the after Christmas sales. I also note where I stored the gifts so that I can find them. During the year, when I think of something that someone would really like, I put it on the list. Come Christmas time, I open up the list and half my shopping is already done and a lot of the rest I can do online.
Another helpful hint is to use the calendar you buy at the end of the year for next year. I put a PostIt on December of next year noting what I do or definitely do not need for next year. Something like: "Have plenty of bags, need bows." That way when I see darling Christmas bags before I've started wrapping my gifts, I don't buy them, but when I see beautiful bows, I will.
Teri Davena, Benicia, Calif.
We order online early and have packages mailed to where we are going to spend the holiday. We adults have a "Wrap Party" when the kids are in bed. This saves us the hassle of loading things in the car. We can also take advantage of online sales and free shipping and the kids have nothing to peek into.
Melissa Szeliga, Mt. Airy, Md.
Tips for preparing your lawn and garden for the cold weather ahead.