Well, Thanksgiving is over, but Christmas/ Yule/ Kwanzaa/ Hanukkah/Santa Lucia/New Year is still to come. If you’re like most people, December is way more stressful than November ever was; especially if you celebrate multiple holidays due to blended families like many people I know. Not to worry, though, because I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
Double or Triple batch it – Make a ginormous batch of cookies and freeze them in packages of a dozen. Whenever you need to take a snack or treat somewhere, just pull out one of the packages of cookies and you’re good to go! If you want to be stealthy about it, you can frost or decorate each dozen differently before freezing. No one need be the wiser.
Start early – Start buying the non-perishables you’ll need for your holiday meal several weeks in advance. This will keep you from having an overwhelmingly HUGE shopping trip that breaks the bank. You’ll likely still spend the same amount, but each shopping trip will be less stressful as you spread out the amount of time spent shopping and cost of your purchases.
Keep a stash – Buy a box of holiday cards to keep in your car &/or desk. Sign each one and put it in an envelope. Now, if you get an unexpected card from someone (like the over-eager new girl at the office), no worries. You can reach into your desk (or glove box) and give them one in return. By the way, don’t wait for next year to buy your 2013 cards; they’ll all be 50-75%off at the after holiday sales.
Be appetizing – Find a tasty appetizer recipe (or main dish if you’re adventurous) that’s both easy and inexpensive (mine is cucumber logs filled with hummus). Now, when you need to sign up for a dish to bring to a potluck, sign up for the appetizer and you’re good to go. If it’s a winner, people will NOT get tired of it; they’ll ask if you’re going to be bringing your winning dish again this year. Remember, potlucks are a bit of a hit-or-miss affair and people love knowing that there will be at least one dish there that they’ll like.
Have a childlike frame of mind – Don’t over-think your gift or food purchases; over-thinking is the bane of happiness for most adults. Don’t worry about grumpy Aunt Gertrude, she won’t be happy anyway. Buy gifts that you’ll be excited to give and food that you’ll be delighted to serve. As a bonus, your enthusiasm and excitement will spread like wildfire. Remember these wise words that I saw posted on a cash register at a local business: “Attitudes are contagious – Is yours worth catching?”
So now you know my secrets! Do me a favor and share ’em, won’t you?? These kinda secrets are much better when they’re not so secret.
Do you have a holiday secret that saves you a lot of stress? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your best tip in the comments below.