So, tomorrow marks Winter Solstice. Aka the shortest day of the year. (Cue the groans.) Today we're less than a week away from the arrival of that holly jolly man in the red suit. It's a lot! And frankly, we're all feeling it. Precisely why we've put together this survival guide of Holiday life hacks to make the rest of your week, and this Christmas season, as stress free as possible and hopefully festive af:
- Fluff And Fold: Send out your laundry and get someone to come in to clean your house or apartment. Save your energy and that red mani you just sat for.
- Unless You Drive A Mini (Cooper) Or A Fiat: Uber it or guilt trip your BFF into chauffeuring you around, avoiding parking hassles, headaches, and tix. Wouldn't you rather spend that $25+ parking fine on a new lipgloss instead?
- This Week's Powerball Is 270+ Million: Get yourself a few quick picks 'like' right now. That could mean a way Merrier Christmas, right?
- You're Too Busy To Watch Your Favorite Shows: DVR or do the On Demand or Netflix thing. Making time to watch your shows (as in Riverdale, Real Housewives, The Voice or what have you) is a must do for staying sane this time of year.
- Bye Bye Paper Cuts: Find stores that offer complimentary (FREE) gift wrapping. Bought a few hardcovers the other day at Barrington in Garden City the other day and they asked if I needed them wrapped. Hooray!
- Extra Is Actually A Very Good Thing: Keep a few extra gifts on hand. Seriously. One of us used to work with this woman who had a gift closet at her house. It might sound unnecessary and kind of Real Housewives-ish at first, but wait until those friends and family members you thought weren't coming show up at the front door next week.
- Give Yourself Some Credit: Add the app for your credit card to your smart phone. Life changing because it shows you how much money you're really spending. A nice wakeup call if (like us) you enjoy shopping a little too much.
- Scams And Scoundrels: Don't get packages delivered to your house, unless you're home all day long. Reports of stolen ones skyrocket this time of year. Thieves tend to tail delivery trucks right about now, so they can swipe the packages from stoops. (The NY Times is has christened them porch pirates.) Have a happier Christmas by arranging to pick up at UPS or FedEx. Might be a slight inconvenience, but it's much easier than having to replace gifts that have been lifted.
Team Patty J
*Updated and revised from the original version of this post that appeared on PattyJ.com in December of 2016.