Today we're talking about The Top Ten Last Minute Holiday Hacks.
- Last minute gifts for those who are hard to shop for: They will need haircuts, car washing or dry cleaning in 2017, they appreciate free pizza or a ticket to an event, concert, sports game, you name it. If you can't get vouchers from those places, do something creative with the cash you give, see picture below. PS: Comfy fuzzy socks are a nice and inexpensive gift for most ladies whose feet are cold all the time!
- Don't spend too much time on wrapping those last minute gifts. Use holiday napkins and curly ribbon for small gifts so they look like party crackers. Hide bulky items and just give the person a note with a hint on where to look for their gift.
- Have goodie-bags ready for surprise visitors / invitations. Something simple like cookie mixtures in a jar or a candy sleigh. Invest some time in Pinterest. I said "some time" not the whole entire day, though! It's a time trap!
- Cleaning up is a bitch, and if you've been procrastinating, you're in trouble now. As you probably won't be able to sort through all of your clutter, be pragmatic about it: throw everything in boxes and put them out of sight. Garage, basement, I don't really care. PS: if during the weeks and months you don't miss this stuff, it's ready to be disposed of!
- Prior to Christmas / New Year's Eve dinner which are the most important events at our house, I try and start early. Putting wine glasses in the dishwasher a day or two ahead, setting ingredients out for marinading the meat the night before,... "Mise en Place!"
- Your fridge is (too) small to chill the wine or beer? Put the bottles and cans in a large bowl and cover them with water, ice cubes and salt. A magic (chemical) reaction causes the beverages' temperature to go down from room temp to about 35°F within five minutes. Why? The salt lowers the water's freezing point significantly.
- How many table cloths do you own? I have one. Once it's stained I probably won't get around to washing, drying and ironing it during the holidays. That's where gift wrapping paper comes in. Wrap your living room table. It looks very festive! I do it all the time for St. Patrick's Day!
- Have a couple activities ready for the kids, either for the time before guests arrive or for while they're here. Or both!!! I always like a good treasure hunt, be it in the house or during a walk through the neighbourhood. Crafts that include stickers and glitter are fun, too (If you don't mind to clean up afterwards, that is.) Long car rides ahead? Who counts more cars: team colors or team black and white? Play "Santa put on his sleigh" (holiday version of "I packed my suitcase" - you're welcome!)
- Delegate. My Dad is always the designated wine person. He opens the bottles skilfully, he refills the glasses dutifully, I don't have to worry about a thing. I'm thinking of putting Colin in charge of the music. There may be the occasional Taylor Swift smuggled among the Christmas songs, but that's OK.
- Breathe and enjoy. It's your Christmas party, too!
Do you have things to add that make the Holidays a breeze? Please leave your comment below or use the link-tool to add your own post. I'd love to hear from you!
Let's use the last Top Ten Thursday (Dec 29) of this year to talk about our blog in 2016: what were the highlights, be it specific posts, goals reached, achievements made,..? Sign up here!
Happy New Year! The first Top Ten Thursday of 2017 will be on January 5, and you knew this was coming, right? Top Ten New Year's Resolutions! If you don't make those, Top Ten Wishes or Plans for 2017. Anything to reflect this brand new year!