We’re quickly getting into the Christmas season. The decorations are coming up from storage and slowly being placed around the house, Santa has arrived at the mall and the holiday events are in full swing. The toy deals are out, the shopping has begun (and almost finished) and the ingredients for Christmas cookies have filled the pantry.
Here are some hacks that we use make the holidays just a little bit easier –
Skip the hiding: Shop Online
There’s a pile of Amazon boxes sitting in the laundry room right now. They’re unopened, and full of what the kids are under the impression that the boxes are filled with “Dad’s boring stuff”. I don’t have to hide anything – I’ve just got a laundry room full of ‘Dad’s stuff’ that’s ready to wrap for Christmas morning.
Stock the Batteries
Batteries are least expensive in large quantities when they’re on sale at Costco. Before you stash your toys away for the holidays, or when you’re wrapping, make note of the batteries required. Using reviews, you can determine if there are
Open, Assemble and Close
Open the box, assemble and close. Open the box, detach those plastic ties, snip them away, assemble the toy and put the toy back in the box. This way, when the kids are excited on Christmas morning you’ll be able to open the boxes without having to assemble everything at once. So, get yourself familiar with the box cutter and make your life (and the christmas morning recycling) that much easier.
Download the Apps
For toys like Starlily the Unicorn, there’s an app to increase the interaction and play with her even more. Add ‘download the app while the kids are in bed’ to your to do list and have it ready to play when you’ve opened it on Christmas morning. This saves time on Christmas morning – and you’ll find the app information in the instructions or on the box.
Skip the tags
Instead of running out of tags, that we somehow do every year, use a specific colored wrapping paper for each kid. Perfect for little kids that aren’t yet able to recognize their name, it’s also a great way to make wrapping gifts easier.
Let Santa Take the Old Gifts
Have the kids round up any toys that aren’t being used and ready to donate, and get them ready for Christmas by putting them in a ‘Santa bag’ that can be donated. You get rid of some clutter, the kids get a sense of giving back and sharing and now there’s space for the new toys on the shelves.
Load Your Calendar
Get all of your holiday shopping done before December 1st, so you’re not running around throughout the holiday season to shop. Use December to load up your calendar with family friendly events around Edmonton (Check out Raising Edmonton’s event calendar or this list of 15 free Christmas activities) and set reminders to inform you of the events taking place.
Gingerbread Houses Made Easy
Rather than using gingerbread, try using graham crackers and assembling the houses for a tiny playdate. Attached together with icing, the gingerbread houses are easier for little hands to decorate. I like to prepare these ahead of time and let them harden for a couple of days, in the pantry or on the counter to make sure that those less-than-gentle little hands won’t break them while they’re being decorated.
What are some of the ways that you make holiday preparation easier?