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December 11, 2012

Three Holiday Time Savers

If you’re feeling short on time and long on to-dos, here are three holiday time savers just for you.

Holiday-gift-box1. Save time by simplifying gift wrapping.
Gift bags and sturdy, pre-printed gift boxes save time and, since they can be reused, they’re better for the environment and your budget, too. Tie a simple bow on top and add a plain gift tag, and you can call it a wrap! Bonus tip: Store your printed gift boxes with the rest of your holiday décor. To save space and protect fragile items, fill boxes with glass ornaments or snow globes before placing in storage. You’ll keep these seasonal gift items out of your way year round, and they’ll be at your fingertips when you need them next year.


2. Save time with simple food dishes. The temptation can be great this time of year to try elaborate new recipes. But if you’re already feeling stressed and short of time, this just adds to the equation. Subtract some stress and save time by preparing simple holiday dishes. Use tried and true recipes that you know by heart, or stop by the deli of your local grocery store for dishes prepared by someone else.


3. Come up with a gift-of-the-year and give it to everyone. When you buy the same gift for multiple people, you can buy in bulk, which saves time and money. Consider items like olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, gourmet coffee, wine and bulk mixed nuts. Or consider a cheese ball mix with a small serving plate and spreader, jar mixes, bubble bath, bath oil or candles. Or put together three of your favorite items to give to friends and family. Attach a tag to the gift that says, “3 of my favorite things for 1 of my favorite people.” You’ll give a meaningful gift and save time.


What are your favorite holiday time savers? Please share your ideas below.

Happy holidays!


P.S. Don't forget to enter for a chance to win an awseome wall calendar from  


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Ellen Delap

Love these ideas to simplify! I have a "signature" treat that I make - holly cookies! Just one type of cookie to share with everyone!
Happy holidays!


Thanks, Ellen! That is a great idea to simplify holiday baking! :) ~ Aby


I give my nieces and nephews an ornament from the same company each year, and a toy that's tailored to their age. It is such a relief to get half of my shopping for them done in one order with the ornament company! Unfortunately, I am beginning to forget, year to year, who got what ornament -- so this year they all got the same one (with their own names on it). That way, I am less likely to forget and get them a duplicate next year.

Petra from NL

We don't buy presents for everyone. Based on a Dutch tradition we use for St. Nicholas (December 5th) each person just draws one other name out of a big hat and buys a present for that person. Less stress and also fewer presents to receive, so less stuff to 'find a place for'. Obviously in the modern day and age this can all be done electronically through a website so you get all info via email, even the wishlist.

Petra from NL

Also a BIG simplifying trick: We don't have a Christmas tree, nor do we have any christmas lights.... Our decor is very simple.
I understand this might not be an option for many of you, especially those with children, but I am very happy about it. All our decorations are up within half an hour and cleared away that quickly too. I do splurge on candles though as I like to use those througout the winter anyway.

Terri Cannell

I love you tips!
I have one that many people may use already, but I find essential for the holidays:
Our family keeps all Christmas related items, such as decorations, tableware, lights, etc. in boxes which are see-through and labeled with the contents. When the holidays near, we bring out the items, but keep the boxes in one location, still keeping the labels on so we can fit everything back just right.
We do this for Easter, Thanksgiving and Halloween too. Through trial and error, we've found this saves us lots of time.


Thanks for sharing your tips RG, Petra and Terri! Love them! ~ Aby


Our tree doesn't go up until Christmas Eve. It's our tradition. Also, part of my simplifying process for the holidays, is just to not fight it! It only happens once a year, so when it comes to Christmas... I just sit back and enjoy the hustle and the bustle and what not. Just plan for the extra time spent getting through traffic and waiting in lines doesn't stress you out.

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