Tips for Keeping the Joy in the Season!

16 Nov

Even the most festive mom’s holiday cheer can run low among endless to-do lists, coordinating family schedules and culinary duties.  So take a deep breath and consider the following tips from AOL Consumer Advisor Regina Lewis and me.  Here’s hoping they help you stay on track this ultra-hectic season!

1.  Holiday kid swap:  You’ve heard of the holiday cookie swap … but what about the holiday kid swap?  Gain kid-free time to make your way through your holiday must-do list by coordinating an exchange with family, friends or neighbors.

2.  Wrap it up:  Socialize and wrap up your holiday duties by inviting your friends over to chat, nosh and yes, wrap gifts.  Everyone brings a roll of wrapping paper, ribbons and other decorative elements to share with the group.

3.  Go green as you give:  Go green and get back some green with your gift-wrapping by reusing paper products you may already have around the house, like newspaper and even left-over wallpaper.  According to the Clean Air Council, in the U.S. alone, four million tons of waste is generated during the holidays from wrapping paper and shopping bags.  While you’re at it, pat yourself on the back, too!

4.  “Check in” before you checkout:  Consider splitting your bulk purchases with a friend by “checking in” before you checkout, using location-based cell phone apps like FourSquare and Facebook Places.  With the real-time location check-in, you will know when a friend is nearby to take advantage of those warehouse savings and special offers with you.

5.  Ninja shop:  I attack the mall with the stealth of a leopard stalking its prey!  First, I online shop to get a good idea of what I want.  Next, I map out a plan.  Fortunately (or not, as the case may be), I am familiar enough with the Parks, NorthEast Mall and NorthPark to know where the shops are and where I should park my car.  (Check their websites to see the exact store locations that interest you.)  Then at the dinner hour, I swoop down in sneakers and my black track suit (all by my lonesome, too; that’s key) to make quick work of the actual purchases.

Here’s my final tip for keeping a joyful spirit—and not just during the holidays.  Every morning, I spend my first few minutes awake (or mostly—depending on how the kids slept!) going through my gratitude list.  I’m thankful for my family, my home, my dear friends, work that I love, etc.  I am grateful for the class Redenta’s hosted last Saturday on container gardening.  I feel grateful the most recent issue of Real Simple magazine arrived.

I literally count my blessings.

In doing so, I promise I feel more energized for the cram-packed day ahead.

2 Responses to “Tips for Keeping the Joy in the Season!”

  1. Jen November 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Lisa, these are fantastic tips! I am definitely going to incorporate the kid swap, the wrapping party, and the morning moments of gratitude this holiday season!

  2. Lisa Martin November 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I had one more thought–a relatively trivial tip but one that has saved me hassle over the years. I wrap each person’s presents in the same kind of paper. So Paige gets, say, a snowflake paper while Chip’s is reindeers and Chuck gets shiny red foil. This way if the tag pops off, I still know who’s whos. That has saved me from having to open the edge of a package and peek many a time!!

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