10 Ways to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Season

No matter how much prep you do, you always seem to be left with last-minute holiday errands. Follow these 10 tips to make this holiday season as stress-free as possible.

Photo By: Red Stamp

Photo By: Potluck

Photo By: Shelf Scouter

Cook Familiar Recipes

Resist trying that new vegan eggnog recipe on your party guests. Instead, stick with standbys that you've made before and that won't throw you a curveball. Make cooking even easier with a clever recipe app.

More: 8 Best Apps to Organize Your Recipes

Navigate Airports With Ease

If you're traveling for the holiday, you can cut the time it takes to search for your itinerary with GateGuru, an app that will wrangle your flight info and airport information in one place. A service like Yapta can track flight prices and help you get a refund when the ticket you already bought drops in price.

Send Online Cards

Digital cards are no longer a far cry from the real deal. Services like Paperless Post, Punchbowl and Red Stamp offer gorgeous cards with custom digital envelopes, liners and stamps. Note: Many of these services offer paper versions too, in case Aunt Elsa refuses to do email.

Don't Do All the Work

An app like Potluck or PitchIn makes it easy to ask others for help — just create an online list of the tasks you need accomplished (or in the case of Potluck, the dishes you need), and let your friends sign up to volunteer.

Get Help Addressing Holiday Cards

If you choose to go with paper holiday cards, Postable's online address book can invite your friends to fill in their addresses for you instead of chasing folks to get their contact information. 

Stick to a Budget

Apps such as Budgt and Level Money offer a clear look at your spendable cash, what you've already used and exactly what's left, so you can avoid big bills in the new year.

Pick Up Last-Minute Gifts

E-gifting apps like GiftRocket let you send a cash gift with a message of how you think the recipient should use it. So, you can include messages like, "Share a night out with your honey!" or "Now you can get that guitar you've always wanted!" You can direct deposit the gift into the recipient's bank account or as a credit on their credit card.

Stock Your Kitchen

Use Shelf Scouter's barcode scanner to help you track what you already have and create shopping lists. Then, let the app tell you whether it's cheaper to buy online or at your local store.

Stay Calm

If the sugar plums dancing in your head are more like whirling dervishes, try an app like Headspace or Stop, Breathe & Think. In just a few minutes at a time, they'll train your brain to stay calm and carry on — no matter what relative is trying to rattle you.

Take Notes

Whether it's a successful recipe, a special item you tucked into your guest room or gift ideas that blew people away, you'll want to remember them for next year. Use an app like Evernote or a paper diary to jot things down, so you'll have a go-to "nice" list ready for next year.