D). All of the above
While Christmas-time can be frantic and stressful, it doesn’t have to be. With a little help from our friends, we can reduce our stress and not only survive the holidays, but thrive! Here are my top ten holiday survival tips:
There’s something special about the taste of made-from-scratch cookies, but making them doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. Gingerbread and sugar cookie dough can be prepared a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Or if you prefer, uncooked dough can also be frozen for up to 9 months. Just thaw your frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then enjoy a magical afternoon of cookie baking with the kids.
If the kitchen’s not your thing, you can still have an afternoon of holiday fun with ready-to-paint Christmas tree decorations. One Christmas my daughter and I painted these mini wooden birdhouses. We still enjoy hanging them on the tree and the memories of making them together. You can also find paintable ceramic ornaments.
3. use your imagination
I have a red felt poodle skirt that I made for myself one Halloween. It doesn’t fit me very well, but the poodle skirt makes a fun Christmas tree skirt. What unusual things do you have around the house that would make unique holiday decorations?
4. personalize photo cards the easy way
If you’ve got a digital camera, chances are you already have all your family photos right there in your computer. I like to order my Christmas photo cards online because you get a wider variety of sizes and styles to choose from and you get to preview onscreen what your pictures will look like in the cards before you buy. Tiny Prints Christmas Cards even has fun die-cut designs.
Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable.
Crayola fabric markers are a fun way for children to create holiday mementos. How about a Christmas art quilt? Prewash 100% cotton solid white or muslin fabric, cut into the desired size squares and iron fabric squares to freezer paper (find it in the plastic wrap/tinfoil aisle), shiny side facing the fabric. This stabilizes the fabric so it’s easy to draw on. Let the kids draw Christmas pictures on the freezer paper-backed fabric, then remove freezer paper and heat set according to marker directions. Make a few new squares each year and save them up for a Christmas-art-through-the-years quilt.
In the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle, don’t forget to take a moment or two to treat yourself. My fave is a coffee treat, but others might prefer a chocolate truffle, a soak in a bubble bath or watching a favorite movie. Afterward you’ll be refreshed and ready to jump back into the middle of all the holiday fun.
7. kid friendly decorating
Have small children in the house? Decorate a mini tree or wreath just for them. Find party favors in their favorite theme: princess, pirate or whatever they’re into most this year. Tie them to the tree or wreath with pretty ribbons. You won’t have to worry about the decorations breaking, and after Christmas is over, pass the party favors out to your children and their friends or save them for birthday parties or small rewards in the coming year. Next year choose a new theme to decorate the mini tree or wreath with.
There are probably at least a few people on your gift list who would love a handmade present. Try a mini purse or piece of jewelry from my book, Fast, Fun & Easy Fabric Cover-Button Jewelry: Make Gifts & Glamour in an Afternoon (C&T Publishing). They really are fast, fun and easy, and with all that wonderful fabric out there to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect print for that special someone.
9. customize a gift
Tiny Prints’ Customized Day Planners make a perfect holiday gift. There’s nothing more quick and simple to do if you already have a photo ready in your computer, and it’s a stylish and thoughtful gift the recipient will enjoy using all year long.
When you’re hitting the after-Christmas sales, don’t forget about holiday fabric. Pick up a few yards and stash them away. You can sew up Christmas trinkets in April, August or whenever the crafting bug bites. Then next year you’ll be ready for Christmas gift-giving, decorating or stocking a booth at your holiday craft bazaar.
What about you? Please share a holiday survival tip or two of your own.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.