Image from Found and Favour
For whatever reason, the holidays have snuck up on me (again) and I seriously need another three weeks to get my house, gift buying & wrapping, holiday dinner menu and life handled. I see all these posts with amazing seasonal decor, beautifully decorated trees, perfectly planned holiday parties, insanely wrapped gifts ….like many full-time working mamas out there, I just wish I had more hours in the day to accomplish these things. I am all about lists and finding ways to maximize time so I can be that awesome homemaker too. Here are a few cheats to help tackle your holiday to-do list and to gain a few extra minutes so you can enjoy some egg nog with your loved ones.
ONLINE SHOPPING – JUST DO IT all ready!!! Do not, I repeat, do not find yourself in a mall, waiting for help after spending 20 mins trying to find parking…and let’s be honest, the store won’t have the size or color you need anyway! The other night I went to Nordstrom.com and Amazon.com (while laying in bed with hot cocoa – mental mommy break) and got 2 of my 3 kids’ christmas lists completed. I would also like to note that my Amazon goods were delivered in 2 days and the Nordstrom items in 5 days!! I was able to find the best prices by buying online. ALL FREE SHIPPING!! THANK YOU INTERNET!
GIFT WRAPPING – My kids are older now but when they were younger and I had sitters for them, I would have my sitter wrap gifts once the kids were in bed. This is a great way to get every penny out of your sitter and get one more “to-do” off your list. Just set up an area with the gifts, paper, etc ahead of time and make sure you let them know what/who they are wrapping for.
Williams Sonoma (online catering)
DINNER MENU – I know we all love cooking for our family and friends but it takes up the whole day and the kitchen clean up takes another. Luckily for us, there are a ton of options when it comes to delicious pre-made food. Just recently I received a catalog from Williams Sonoma with incredible options for gourmet, pre-made dishes. You can also order amazing quality meals from Honeybaked Ham (more than just ham, I love the turkey breast), Neiman Marcus (yes, they have food), your local market/grocery store or Costco. You can order anything from groceries, to platters, to just a few dishes or an entire meal.
TREE DECORATING- I’ve had an artificial tree for years but this year some of the lights were acting up and I decided to change things up. I picked up a real tree a few days ago. After squeezing it into the backseat of my SUV and driving home with it hanging out the window, I threw on the lights and ornaments with my kids. While I love a fresh tree, I am starting to love the idea of a faux tree for three reasons – 1) no needles to vacuum up and 2) it comes pre-lit and is ready to go right out of the box and 3) I don’t have to stuff it into my car. Comment if you want to see pics of the fiasco! These types of trees usually come in 3-5 pieces that you snap together. From there, you just plug in and you got a glowing tree. If you are running out of time, make this investment and have your tree delivered. There are so many options for great, fake trees. Both, Frontgate and Balsam Hill have beautiful, “real looking” faux trees. AND…if you worry you will miss the smell of having a tree in your home, there are incense for that – link below:
Photo by Anita Heldal
INSIDE DECOR – Running out of time to decorate??? Keep it simple by swapping out your usual candles with holiday themed ones, add a wreath or cut some branches from your tree for greenery. Lastly, buy some florals at your local supermarket to complete your room.
Photo from District Design
OUTSIDE DECOR – Decorating your whole home with lights would be amazing, but costly and time consuming. Below are some simple ways to get your home in the holiday spirit and quickly.
Image by Hakesgard
WREATHS – Buy a few, as these work great on front doors, windows and garages. I found some great boxwood wreaths today at Trader Joes for $9.99. They are easy to hang with over-the-door wreath hooks, ribbon or wire. I personally love using the Command hooks with adhesive backs – link below:
Image from Young House Love
WINDOW CANDLES (battery operated )- This is a pretty way to add light and literally not have to hang, measure, find an outlet, or deal with messy cords. Home depot and Amazon have these – here’s the link:
VELVET BOWS – The best part about these inexpensive bows is that they usually have plastic, wire tie backs that make it super easy to place on fence posts, stair railings and windows. Red bows are a great way to dress up wreaths too. You can buy these at Amazon and Home Depot as well – link below:
DIY LANTERNS – Simply fill paper bags with sand and tealights or LED candles to give your driveway or front yard a holiday glow. Here are a few helpful guides below:
DESIGN TIP: Trim off the bottom branches of your tree to add greenery on your fire place mantle, kitchen table or even hang from your front door in place of a wreath. A little greenery, red ribbon and a few pinecones can make any space look and feel festive.