The most wonderful time of the year should be just that–wonderful. It shouldn’t be so much work that you lose sight of the fun and the magic of it all. Instead of focusing on a never-ending to-do list, use our ideas to put the attention back on festive get-togethers with friends and family and all the good holiday feels.
- Utilize grocery pick-up or delivery services. A huge time-saver, many grocery stores in RVA now offer either pick-up, delivery services, or both. Do your shopping online and skip the store this year.
- Keep appetizer essentials on hand. In case of last-minute visitors, have these items available for impromptu hosting.
- Pre-made dips and spreads
- Frozen appetizers
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Good quality crackers and cheese
- Start the season with a well packed pantry and refrigerator for baking needs. Stock up on things like baking powder, flour, baking soda, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, milk, heavy cream, chocolate, nuts and spices.
- Have a stash of wine and craft beer. You never know when a neighbor will stop by with an unexpected gift or you’ll host a spontaneous happy hour during the holidays. Keeping a stock of wine and local craft beer means you’ll be ready for whatever the season throws at you.
- Utilize your friend group for a little alone time. Everyone can benefit from some time without the kids to get things done during the holidays. Team up with your friends for play dates and not only will the kids enjoy some extra time together, but your entire friend group will love the extra time for shopping, cleaning, and prepping for the season.
- Set a cleaning time limit. This really helps to prioritize the most important tasks and cuts out the obsession over details that no one notices but you.
- Speaking of cleaning–keep a caddy of supplies on each floor of your home for those places that need frequent tidying, especially this time of year.
- Use a gift exchange or Christmas list app. Apps like Elfster can easily generate Secret Santa exchanges, track wish lists, and help you shop. You can also try Christmaslistapp.com via your browser or their app to help keep your list organized, add items from any store, share your family’s lists with others, track spending, and look for coupons and deals around town.
- When it comes to gifts, try wrapping as you go. We’ve all been there–wrapping presents into the wee hours. It’s exhausting. Try having gift wrap, tape, bags, ribbons, and tissue paper early in the season so that you can wrap your gifts after each shopping trip. It can save you the overwhelming feeling of wrapping all at once and a sleepless night.
- Take a social media break. Our final tip is all about being present. We all need a break from screens occasionally and it allows us extra time for more important holiday to-dos and keeps us more engaged in the special moments in front of us.
We hope these tips allow you more quality time for yourself and your loved ones this season!