We asked local parents to share their tips and tricks for making the holiday season “brighter” (easier, more fun, meaningful, festive, organized, etc.). A big thank you to moms in Poway, San Marcos and Rancho Peñasquitos for all the responses we received on Facebook! Here are holiday hacks to make the season brighter.
HOLIDAY HACKS to Make the Season Brighter Gift Giving
Request gifts that won’t clutter the house, such as zoo memberships, meal prep services or magazine subscriptions. Ask family members to submit their favorite recipes and make a cookbook. Consider adding family photos and stories. It will be a treasured gift for years to come. Keep a spreadsheet of gifts: where purchased, how it’s wrapped (in case a label falls off), and which gathering it goes to (when there are multiple celebrations to attend). The spreadsheet can also be used to remember what you’ve given people in previous years. To avoid going overboard with gifts for the kids, buy them something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. Use www.pirateship.com to print labels from home for free and save on shipping costs through USPS. Make mason jar cookie kits as gifts for neighbors and friends. Layer all dry ingredients in the jars; recipients only need to add eggs and butter, and bake. Don’t forget to include the recipe! Anne Barrera made large themed felt envelopes with Santa’s mailing address on them; her kids write what they want for Christmas, put it inside, and an elf picks them up to deliver to Santa. On Christmas Day some gifts are specially labeled, “certified” from The North Pole.
Wrapping and Decorating
Buy wrapping paper, gift bags, ornaments, etc. after Christmas (for the following year), so you don’t have to pay full price. Use fishing wire to string up Christmas cards on the mantle—it looks so festive! Use cup hooks to hang outdoor Christmas lights—little white ones that blend in if you have white wooden eaves on the front of your house. Leave the hooks up all year so lights are a cinch to hang each year. Use cloth bags and flannel pillowcases tied with ribbons to wrap presents for kids. The cloth bags are reusable and make wrapping so fast (and quiet). I take the Monday after Thanksgiving off work every year and decorate EVERYTHING. My kids come home to Christmas awesomeness and we enjoy hot cocoa in special cups. I really get into Christmas! — Emma Romberger
14 • SanDiegofamily.com • December 2020