10 Time Saving Holiday Tips For the Whole Family

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Hewlett Packard for their new product Sprout by HP. I received compensation for participating in this campaign.10 Time Saving Holiday Tips For the Whole Family

1. Delegate Responsibilities. 
Don’t try to do it all alone, this only leads to stress and running around. Give everyone a task (or two!) to do to keep them busy and cross things off your list. A great job for little ones is to have them wipe off tables or countertops. They love helping and being a part of something. Cooking is only one part of preparing for a holiday celebration so delegate that too: assign guests a specific food to bring, especially favorite dishes you know they excel at.

2. Use technology in new and unexpected ways to make tedious tasks more creative. 
Innovative new technology like Sprout by HP allows everyone to add the homemade touch by scanning in your favorite ornaments and holiday decorations to create a unique design on the dual-surface device. Sprout is so simple and intuitive your kids will have something amazing created in 30 minutes (no joke).

3. Give that personal touch and prepare many presents at one time by making large batches of soup, jams or cookies. 
These are personal gifts that are great for family, teachers, and neighbors that your kids will love helping you with in the kitchen. Or, if you don’t have time to cook, have your kids help you layer all the dry ingredients to your family’s favorite cookie recipe in a mason jar. To really give that homemade feel, tie a ribbon around the jar with the present tags your kids made – one side is a holiday greeting from your family while the cookie recipe is on the other side. With thoughtful presents like these, you don’t just save money but also keep the kids entertained when it’s too cold to go outside.

4. When you need to be efficient, have some fun learning activities for your kids to do while you get the holiday prep done. 
You don’t have to just plop them in front of the TV, there are some great computer programs out there like Crayola Color Draw and Sing, Dreamworks Story Producer and Spruzzle that are fun and help them be creative at the same time. “Holiday Lap Books” are another fun alternative – search Pinterest for free templates that you can print out and watch your kids create their own! They learn and you get your holiday list done!

5. Wrap presents as soon as you can after you buy them. 
Avoid the last minute gift wrapping marathon. Hint: don’t put the bows on until you’re ready to put them under the tree so you can store and stack the gifts easily. Wrapping the presents right away also helps prevent nosy kids (and significant others) from peeking at their presents early!

6. If you need some last minute holiday craft ideas don’t reinvent the wheel. 
Sites like Pinterest have a ton of great ideas that aren’t complicated and don’t involve leaving the house to buy materials. You can find great ideas for kids and adults.

7. Plan travel ahead of time in order to save money, time, and stress. 
And be sure to allot extra time into your schedule for any weather conditions, traffic and long lines.

8. Create new gift giving traditions. 
Let’s face it; it’s hard to buy presents for everyone in your extended family and your friends. This year, instead of spending a ton of time and money shopping for everyone, crate a new tradition: have people draw one name out of a hat for a present and one name to make a stocking for but keep these names secret. Each person then shops for only those two names using an agreed upon budget that everybody sticks to. This helps you focus your energy to find really special gifts for two people instead of everyone! We do this with my extended family and it alleviates so much stress.

9. Make Lists, and Check Them Twice. 
Write on post it notes, dry erase marker on your mirror or on your smartphone – whatever is most convenient for you. Then, as you go through the list, cross things off so you don’t forget anything, like the gift for the babysitter or your great Aunt who can’t make it to the holiday dinner. Find what works for you to keep you organized during this stressful time of year. Also, plot out your course for running errands ahead of time. This will save time, gas and headaches.

10. Last, but most important: Remember to say, “No.” 
You can’t do everything so why stress out trying? Keep the most important things as your priority so you have more time to focus on those.

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