The holiday season can be a very stressful time all around the world. People are scrambling to make their Christmas memorable and special for the entire family, but the truth is they are overworking themselves unnecessarily. Consider a few of these holiday hacks that can help you get the job done with less stress, more savings, and more of that coveted quality time to spend with your family.
Many people consider wrapping gifts in general to be monotonous. However, when you couple that with the numerous rolls of wrapping paper needed for just one Christmas, your wallet is starting to be a little upset by it as well. Consider a few new approaches to wrapping your gifts this coming year such as newspapers, magazines and potato chips back turned inside out. Surprisingly, the potato chip idea makes for a bright and shiny wrapped gift.
Pancakes Any Way You Like
Making fun and festive shapes with pancakes is nothing new. Of course, getting these shapes to turn out can sometimes not be simple and easy. Consider preheating a griddle or pan for your pancakes. Gently dip a cookie cutter in cooking oil and place it onto the heated surface. Pour your pancake mix into the cutter until it completely fills out the bottom of the shape, no thicker than traditional pancakes. Once it has set in place for a moment, use pliers or a like shaped object to remove the cookie cutter and finish cooking the pancake as you normally would.
Creative Thank You Cards
There are all kinds of ways to say thank you to the relatives that are giving you gifts this year. With that in mind, you might consider preserving some of the wrapping paper used to cover the gift they gave you. This, combined with a small square of cardboard provides a festive stock to use. On the non-wrap side, you can write a short and concise thank you for their gift.
Keeping Lights Untangled
The dreaded time of year for most is getting their Christmas lights out from their storage place. This is mostly due to the fact that many will have to spend a good deal of time untangling the cords and getting the string of lights usable again. To avoid such hassles in the future, you might consider the small purchase of an extension cord wrapper from a hardware store. These are generally under 2 dollars, and can allow you to wrap hundreds of feet of lights with no threats of tangling. When the lights are wrapped, plug the two ends together to secure it for the entire year.
Give Your Home A Fresh Tree Smell
Most people have taken to choosing artificial trees to put up in their homes throughout the holiday season. It is less mess and upkeep for sure, but it lacks the pine scent that a fresh tree provides. To remedy this problem, consider putting drops of pine extract (available from craft stores) on your air filter for your home’s furnace. This will fill the whole house with a fresh tree scent, and keep you from having to stress about keeping your real tree watered throughout the season.
Better Storage For Your Wrapping Paper
Once the season has come to a close and the presents have all been wrapped, you don’t want to have to throw out the wrapping paper you didn’t use on the roll. Instead, take empty toilet paper rolls and cut them up the side long ways. Use that C-shaped tube to encase your loose roll of wrapping paper and ensure that it doesn’t come unrolled in storage.
Packing Tape Assistance
Use a penny on a roll of packing tape to always be able to find the end without the hassle of using your fingernails to dig it off the roll it is stuck back to. The penny will also provide a nice handle for pulling off what you need quickly, but it won’t make the tape itself unable to be used where the penny was located.
Chocolate Garnishes Made Easy
Garnishes made from chocolate are surprisingly easy to make. All you need is a chocolate bar and a potato peeler. Simply lightly peel from one side of a chocolate bar and the potato peeler will pull off curled small pieces of chocolate. This makes an ideal topping to all manner of desserts and hot cocoas.
Mess Free Cookie Decorating
When you go to ice cookies for the holiday season, put the prepared icing into squeezable bottles. This makes it less of something that needs to be pulled from a bowl and spread on, and allows for more intricate icing work. This simple trick can take ordinary sugar cookies into something extraordinary.
Tis The Season For Saving
Saving money during the holidays is huge. With all of the expenses of gifts, foods and all that comes with celebrating, there is never a better time of year to buckle down and spend less. The most effective means of doing this is to use coupons and promo codes for any and all places that you plan to shop. You would be surprised at how many shops and stores offer big discounts around the holidays. Things Remembered, for example, offers unique holiday gifts for any member of the family. They also offer promo codes year round to help you save on a thoughtful present.
These are a few hacks that can help your holidays stay a little less stressful. Hopefully you are able to employ some of these ideas that can help you this year (and next year too) to make things go a little more smoothly.