Wow, I can't believe there are only 48 hours left until Christmas! Are you ready? As usual, I'm not, really, despite all my best intentions, planning, thinking and list making (and losing). No matter what state of preparedness you are at right now, here are 5 easy steps to making sure you get it all done before time's out so you can relax and enjoy the holidays with you family this year anyway.
1) Not done gift shopping? Too tired or sick or busy to make it all happen this year? Here's a quick, simple solution. Get some cards, or "borrow" some pretty craft paper from your kids (use wrapping paper if you want), and make "coupons" or "bonuses" for people as gifts. It takes just minutes but can be the best gift they ever got. Here are a few ideas: A bonus for a shopping trip to someone's favorite store (make it look like a Home Depot or Gap Kids gift card, for $25 or $50 or whatever you want to give them). A coupon for 5 back rubs or foot rubs (from you, or one from a fancy spa). Tickets to a movie or show. Airline miles for a future trip. A coupon for a new item, like a bag or a belt, that the person can pick out with you at a later date, at a store of their choice. Tie it up with a pretty bow and TA DA!
2) Haven't decorated? No time or have no ornaments? Just buy a few strings of lights at any pharmacy, and when the kids are asleep, pick one area of your home like a mantel or dining table and take 20-30 minutes to make it great. String the lights all around, and set out a whole bunch of candles and a pretty tablecloth (you can also use wrapping paper in a pinch to cover a coffee table!). Fill some vases with tall branches and decorate with ribbons. If you want, you can make quick and pretty garlands by just stringing cranberries and popcorn with a needle and thread too. I like to always hang a couple of decorations near the front door as well, for extra cheer when people come and go. This year my kid made a paper Ho Ho Ho sign and a snow man with a big red heart and long accordion arms and legs. Super cute and easy!
3) Is your home messy and you have family or guests visiting soon and no time to clean or hire a cleaning lady? Get your kids to help out for just an hour, have each person tackle one room, and promise them an extra special treat for the extra help. To make your life easier and more stress free, don't worry about putting everything in it's place, just focus on clearing the clutter, dusting with a cloth and vacuuming really well. Put all your clutter in a bin or two, and store them in a closet or garage. You can clean it up in the New Year. For now, you deserve a break!
4) Feeling worn out and run down, and no energy for holidays? Give yourself 2 hours of time, as a gift to YOU, and enjoy them thoroughly. Treat yourself to a pedicure or massage, have a really nice, romantic meal with your spouse, go out partying with you best friends, or soak in the tub and have your hair done to look really nice. Whatever you use those 2 (or 3 or 4!) hours for, enjoy them to the max and you'll feel more rested, happy and ready for the holidays.
5) Chill out. Remember that the holidays are really just about enjoying your loved ones and being thankful for what you have. Forget all the things you DON'T have, and leave all your stress at the back door for a while. In the end, they are far less important all that is WONDERFUL and great in your life.
Are you ready, or do you have any tips for last minute help, for moms who are overwhelmed or unprepared?