5 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas Morning

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Follow these tips for a relaxed holiday from start to finish

Don’t sweat the holidays! Just follow these simple tips for an easy holiday.

Don’t the holidays always end up being more chaotic than expected? Between the traveling and parties, it’s difficult to find time to really kick up your feet. To achieve a peaceful Christmas morning, it’s essential to do some prep work beforehand.

Below are five tips on creating a stress-free Christmas morning. These ideas are simple and will allow you to relax on the big day.

1. Make-Ahead Breakfast

Photo: Betty Crocker

I like French toast and waffles as much as the next person, but making a huge breakfast on Christmas morning is the last thing I want to do. My family and I started making a simple breakfast bake the night before Christmas and it is both filling and delicious. The prep work is simple, and all you have to do in the morning is pop the dish in the oven. If you’re looking for something on the healthier side, try doing an oatmeal bar. You can prepare the add-ons (fruit, seeds, etc.) the night before and pull together a quick batch of oatmeal in the morning.

2. Simple Tablescape

Photo: Gotham Florist

Save yourself the time it takes to decorate an elaborate tablescape on Christmas morning and have a handcrafted flower arrangement delivered a day or two before. Your seasonal centerpiece will be complete and all that’s left will be adding basic dinnerware and linens.

3. Prepare the Entertainment Beforehand

I can’t think of Christmas morning without holiday music playing in the background. There are certain songs and artists my family and I like more than others, so I make sure to create a playlist with the family favorites. This helps in not having to decide what to play that morning and also from having to get up to skip to the next song. Another tip is to pre-select movies to watch and/or games to play. No one wants to fight over the remote on Christmas.

4. Notepad Stocking Stuffers

Photo: Rifle Paper Co.

Something that is both cute and helpful is to give notepads and pens as stocking stuffers. This helps your family keep track of what gifts they receive without having to write it on their phone’s Note app every few minutes. Christmas morning should be about spending quality time with family and friends, so it’s important to limit tech use.

5. Easy Cleanup

Keep a trash bag in your living room so everyone can throw away wrapping paper as they go. This also prevents one person from having to do all the cleanup work. Add a separate bag for saving pretty ribbons you can reuse later.

Katie Brown is a blogger at 5th & Hollyhock by BloomNation.

You&aposll have everything covered with these ideas for getting your kitchen and dining room breakfast-ready before Christmas morning.

  • Set up a beverage station. Set up your coffee maker for quick deployment in the morning better yet, set the automatic timer on your coffee maker to go off as you&aposre getting up. For larger groups, it helps to have an extra stainless-steel coffee carafe. Rinse the carafe with hot water, then transfer the first pot of coffee to the carafe so you can prep the coffee maker for the next pot (which will inevitably be needed). Remember to put out creamer and sugar — one pair at the "coffee bar" and another one or two on the breakfast table. Don&apost forget to set up a hot cocoa bar for the kids, too.
  • Make bacon for a crowd. Bacon is always a popular breakfast side. Skip the laborious stovetop cooking method, and try this easy, no-mess way to bake your bacon in the oven instead.
  • Prep the buffet. Pull out enough serving utensils and hot pads to protect surfaces from just-out-of-the-oven dishes. Napkins, breakfast plates, and eating utensils can be set out the night before, too. Morning-you will be very thankful for nighttime-you!

5 tips for a stress free Christmas

Evoking the simple joys of an old-fashioned Christmas doesn&rsquot have to be a complicated affair.

Preparing and planning now means you won&rsquot be stressed with last minute hassles and can simply enjoy the Christmas season.

1. Use a Christmas Planner

I always begin by creating a Christmas Planner. Easy to make and easy to use, a Christmas Planner cuts through holiday clutter and keeps planning on track.

Home to lists and recipes, calendars and gift ideas, this simple tool is your reference for all things Christmas, and it will become your best friend as we get ready for the season.

Yesterday I shared my free printable annual Christmas Planner&hellip one that you can download and make yourself&hellip

But I know from last year that many of my readers also purchased the printed Christmas Planner to use or give as a gift, so I&rsquove prepared one for this year.

2015 Christmas Planner

48 pages, published 11/1/2015

The printed book is produced by MagCloud and can be purchased from their website for US$9.99. Click HERE or on the graphic above to preview.

Well, it&rsquos no surprise that I&rsquom a bit of a list girl. . . some people write lists in their heads, others make it up as they go along. . . me, I like to write it down as I think of it. So lists are a part of my everyday life.

I begin with the Master List. . . oh yeah, sounds impressive doesn&rsquot it!!

In reality, it&rsquos just a big list page. I start by writing in the main events that I already know of like family outings, dinner dates etc.

Next I add the tasks that I want to complete by or on a certain date. By doing this you now have a visual timeline of when things need to be done.

Then all that is left to do is break down all those tasks into smaller components, so you get them completed on time. One quick glance and I know when I need to have shopping, household cleaning and prep work done.

3. Preparing your home for the holidays

A little forward planning can make decorating a breeze in the holidays.

Beautiful decorations and twinkling lights will show to best advantage if everything is scrubbed and sparkling. Once the house is decorated for the holidays it is too hard to access some areas to clean (well that&rsquos my excuse &ndash you can use it too if you like). So this is just like a Spring clean except it&rsquos the pre-Christmas clean up.

Once your home is clean, take a walk around your home and decide what rooms should be decorated. Some people like to add holiday touches to each room. Others prefer to keep things simple and confine the decorating to just a few rooms.

Bring your decorations out of storage a few days before they are needed and take the time to check the lights all work and there are no broken decorations. You can also give the decorations a light clean to make them sparkle on the tree.

I don&rsquot know about you, but personally, I loathe doing Christmas gift shopping at the last minute. . . having to shop under pressure. . . with tons of other people all jostling to get served and standing around waiting in huge queues. That never makes me feel &lsquomerry&rsquo!

I refer to my lists and do a little forward planning by creating a budget.

My favourite way to shop for gifts is to do it all in one hit or over a couple of days in November. Then I can wrap, post or store it and the shopping is done before the shops get too busy.

These days I also do a lot of my shopping online, but even that needs to be completed early to prevent postal delays.

I like to get the great majority of tasks completed in November, so I can cruise through the Christmas month of December calm and relaxed and free to enjoy any last minute invitations.

We have family traditions we enjoy during December and many of those are centered around baking for others, for us and for special gatherings.

Often, Christmas is the only time we use certain items, such as large cooking utensils, tableware and such. Be sure you have enough for everyone you anticipate. Give everything a quick wash, dry, and stack away ready to use.

Clean out the refrigerator. At Christmas time the fridge gets a real work out and you need all the space you can get.

Give your oven a thorough clean in preparation for serving up a Christmas feast and defrost the freezer to make space for the Christmas food.

Stock up on baking ingredients and don&rsquot forget to check your spice rack. Get out recipes you intend to use, and make a list of needed ingredients.

By planning your menus you can be sure you have all the ingredients on hand and won&rsquot be doing those last minute dashes to the supermarket!!

I hope my &lsquo5 tips for a Stress Free Christmas&rsquo will help you simplify this busy season and help you to put a homemade touch on everything you do.

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5 Tips to Have a Stress-Free Christmas in the Kitchen

Christmas is the most awaited time of the year. Weeks before the big day, almost every one of us is already busy decorating, shopping, giving gifts and partying. With all these activities, preparing our kitchen for the holiday is sometimes last on our list. But this shouldn’t be the case because Noche Buena (the Spanish word for Christmas Eve) won’t be perfect without food and happy family at the table. So for a smooth and stress-free Christmas Eve dinner preparation and memorable Christmas celebration, here are my five tips:

Even if you’re not a good planner, it is important to plan everything in advance when it comes to Christmas. Start listing your number of guests (if you’re the one hosting the Christmas feast), the fun activities to do while waiting for midnight and most especially start thinking about your menu. Go for uncomplicated and simpler recipes but make sure they’re your family’s favorites. Don’t choose recipes that you haven’t tried or mastered yet to avoid unnecessary worries, save them for another time or occasion.

Days before Christmas, start decluttering your kitchen. Clean your table or bench tops so your kitchen will look bigger and easier for you to prepare the food. Organize your kitchen cabinets and drawers, check your canned products and condiments as well, and throw away all the expired items.

Cleaning these three appliances in advance will not only save you time preparing the food but also save you from embarrassment if one of your guests will offer help in your kitchen. Having dirty oven and microwave is definitely a ‘No-No’, as well as having a messy fridge. Clear out space in your refrigerator for leftovers or for those foods that need to be kept chilled. Remove all items that are past their use-by dates.

Preparing for Christmas celebration doesn’t mean you as a mom will do all the work. Delegate the preparation of some food to other members of the family. If you need to roast or grill something, assign that to the men of the house. If you have other relatives joining the feast, ask them to bring along food that can be added to the table.

Avoid shopping rush, buy or order your needed ingredients in advance. If you need fresh items, reserve them days before at your ‘suki’ or trusted seller so when December 24 comes, all you have to do is pick up the items, no need to worry for stocks shortage, etc.

As for kitchen items, don’t consider the price alone and settle for the cheapest ones. Consider as well the design and quality. When buying kitchen appliances, it is important to first do a quick research online and check whether the design fits the space allotted in the kitchen. When it comes to tablecloths, napkins and kitchen towels, since they’re among the things that guests will first notice, it is ideal to choose those which are not only of high quality but also those that complement the occasion. For kitchen towels and napkins for example, I opt for Sanicare products because when it comes to quality, they’re very absorbent, luxuriously strong but soft to touch. And with the delightful Christmas prints of their kitchen towels, there’s no reason why I’ll go for other brands.

Sanicare produces Christmas-themed boxes every holiday season. For this year, they released special Liwanag Christmas Boxes which were designed by artist Alex Eduque, the founder of MovEd. According to her, the boxes are inspired by world-class Filipino talent, and the ability of global citizens to find the silver lining amidst the darkest days. She included parols (lanterns) in her design because it’s a symbolic representation that transcends social classes, and lights up all Filipino homes. She chose to integrate the stars because it is a constant reminder that despite the differences and circumstances in all corners of the world, each one of us has a star shining brightly within.

Look at how festive the designs are, seeing the parols and stars, I am totally feeling the Filipino Christmas spirit!

How do you find the Liwanag Boxes? Perfect for your kitchen this Christmas, agree? This year, you have more reasons to get one for your home or buy as gifts to your loved ones because Sanicare is conducting an online contest called the Starry Bright Christmas Promo. Joining is very easy, just do the following:

  • Post a creative photo on your Facebook account featuring the Sanicare Facial Tissue Liwanag Series Box.
  • Your post must include a caption that starts with the phrase, “My Christmas is extra bright this year because ____!” and tag 3 of your friends. Don’t forget to include the mandatory hashtags #SanicareLiwanagSeries #Sanicare #SCPA .
  • Once posted, go to Sanicare PH Facebook promo post and click the link provided in order to submit the entry. All other details about the contest are provided in the post.

The grand prize winner will get four (4) all day passes to Dream Play and Lunch buffet for four (4) at The Café at the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila. Ten (10) consolation prize winners will also be chosen to each receive a 2,000 peso Sodexo Gift Certificate from Sanicare. Exciting right?

The contest will run from November 22 to January 01, 2018. Winners will be announced on January 15, 2018 on the Sanicare PH Facebook Page so be sure to like their page. You can also follow Sanicare on Instagram @sanicare_ph.

So what are you waiting for mommies? Start preparing your kitchen early with Sanicare Christmas Liwanag boxes, join the promo and have a chance to win these prizes!

5 Easy Tips For A Stress Free Christmas

The holidays are a special time of year when we get to spend time with loved ones and share with those who are special to us. I know the idea of having a stress-free holiday this is year is a bit difficult to imagine. However, there are ways that we can reduce stress while getting things together for the holidays.

Funny enough, I have friends who live for Black Friday to start getting ready for Christmas and gift-giving. Something about this time of year seems to change and lift people’s spirits. There is a sense of compassion and excitement. It’s truly unique. One of my neighbors had their lights up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving…nothing like the holiday spirit.

Now, the other side of the holiday season is the stress of making sure everything is in order and perfect. I will be the first to admit that the holidays used to stress me out. The first problem was the fact that I’m a world-class procrastinator…Libra issues. Honestly, I think my procrastination (during the holidays only) was a result of feeling overwhelmed by all that comes with what has to be done to prepare, the cooking, the gifts for my daughters…you see where I’m headed here. I finally had to talk with myself and I want to share my five easy tips for a stress-free Christmas.

1. Plan Ahead – Figure out your theme for the year and determine what decorations, gifts, food, or whatever you need to make your Christmas successful. I’ve determined that making a list is a must. I have to write out my plans and from there I build my shopping list and separate them by store. I also think about what items I own that I can use for the season and the location.

For example, I started planning my Christmas tree preparation two weeks ago. I figured out what colors I wanted to use for this year and I noted where my decorations were in that particular color were located. I also noted that I needed to buy a new tree because my previous pre-lit tree developed a short in the lights. By the time I figured it all out, I created a shopping list and when I went to Walmart this weekend, I wasn’t running around the store trying to figure out what I needed. If you need to stop by the store, make a list of what you are missing.

2. Set The Mood – Light candles with holiday scents. Throw on your favorite pair of Christmas pajamas. Then turn on your favorite Christmas music. Now if the Christmas music doesn’t get you in the spirit, we just need to call you Scrooge. LOL! I’m just kidding.

I love to light candles all around my home. I have one burning right now. For my music, I love old school Christmas tunes, a cross between Sinatra and Donnie Hathaway. I’ll explain that one later. We won’t even discuss my love of Ertha Kitt’s “Santa Baby”. I blame it on my mother and grandparents. I used to have a tape that I would listen to every year while decorating the tree. My daughters knew exactly what I was doing when that tape came on. LOL!

Don’t mind me…just doing a little dancing while decorating the tree. LOL!

When it comes to my Christmas music, I’m either on my phone listening or my tv. I have subscriptions to Pandora and Amazon music. Don’t judge me! Music is therapeutic for me.

3. Break up Task – A major part of why I used to wait until the last minute was feeling overwhelmed. I figured out that breaking up my to-do list over a series of days or weeks helped cure my feeling of being overwhelmed and kept my focus. Now, I break everything (including weight loss) up, so nothing ever feels like a never-ending task.

4. Enlist A Helper – If you are not a control freak (like me), ask your kids to help or make decorating a girl’s night. I know I can always bribe my friends with a few glasses of grapes. Granted, I normally end up redecorating the tree when they are done. My daughters gave up on decorating the tree years ago after catching me up in the middle of the night tinkering with the tree.

This leads me to number five…

5. Relax – It’s just a tree, a pie, a cake, or whatever. I’m not complaining about the tree I just bought resembling a Charlie Brown tree. I’m going to work on it and enjoy my holiday. LOL! Take time to remember the reason for the holidays and focus on spending time with friends and loved ones. I’m sure they are not counting how many candy canes you have on one side of the tree versus the other. Now if you can’t cook, the pie or cake might be a problem. You might want to buy a few from Walmart or somewhere.

The key is to know that being alive and making it through the years is a blessing, so prepping for the holidays should not be a source of stress.

5 Tips for A Stress-Free Christmas

Christmas can be stressful for a lot of us. Whether it’s stressing over holiday meal plans or the never-ending shopping list, I have a few tips on how to ease the stress and allow you to actually enjoy this holiday season.

1. Budget for the Month

This is an organizing tip that you can be extremely helpful throughout the year, but works especially well during Christmas and the holidays. Set aside funds for last minute gifts and get your bills in order. It’s well known that people go into debt racking up credit card bills and more just to buy those gifts on everyone’s list, but sitting down and assessing what you have to spend for the month is a great way to make sure you don’t overspend.

2. Deep Clean Your Home

I don’t know about a lot of people, but I tend to go crazy decorating my house for Christmas. It is actually the only holiday I really decorate for in general. One thing I have found to be extremely helpful is to really deep clean the house before it all goes up. Of course, I clean my house throughout the time the decorations are up, but really getting the house clean first, helps it stay a lot cleaner until it all comes down and then I do another deep clean after.

3. Plan Your Meals

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a holiday party or dinner at your home, you’ll feel one thousand times more organized if you meal plan. This goes hand-in-hand with setting your budget for the month because you’ll know exactly what you have to spend and it will prevent you from over spending during shopping.

4. Go Through All Those Toys

Every year, I go through my daughter’s toys and clothes with her so that we can make room for what Santa brings. She’s thirteen now so the toys aren’t really an issue, but organizing her stuff at the beginning of the month will make it so much easier to find a place for all her new gifts once Christmas comes.

5. Take Some Time for You

Don’t forget about yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in the holiday season thinking about everyone else that we often forget about ourselves. This can cause you to feel burnt out by the time it’s all over. Take some time to watch a holiday movie whether it’s with family or alone. Enjoy a bubble bath with some holiday scented bath bombs or even just take a few extra minutes in your day to jam out to your favorite holiday song. Doing so will help you enjoy the holiday spirit while still keeping your sanity!

3. Monitor your drinking

During the holiday season there are often ample opportunities to drink alcohol. Before participating in social events remind yourself that you do not need to consume alcohol at every event, and don’t let yourself succumb to peer pressure just because everyone else is drinking. And if you do decide to drink, eat a small protein-based meal beforehand, choose one drink to stick to the whole night and drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. Synd-X is a very low-carb, high-protein powder which is great in a smoothie and a perfect option to line the stomach before going out.

You shouldn’t be doing everything by yourself. Why not make a fun activity out of Christmas dinner table decorations!

If you have older kids, why not tell them your Christmas dinner table ideas and let them come up with a few of their own? They can get to work on Christmas eve while you prep food for the next day. Remember to check on them every so often to avoid disaster!

B&M Top Tip: You can get hold of some cute chair covers, cutlery holders, Christmas dinnerware sets and plates to make it easy.

5 Tips to a Stress Free Christmas

Christmas is a very special time of year for many of us. I love spending time with my family, cooking (and eating) Christmas cookies, and the many family traditions that are shared during this special holiday. Unfortunately, for many of us, Christmas can quickly turn into a stressful time of year if we are not careful. Stresses, such as hosting Christmas dinner, finding the perfect gift for all your family members, trying to get all your family together on the same day, and not overspending during the holidays, can quickly take away the joy of the Christmas season. However, this year I want to share with you 5 tips on how you can have a stress free Christmas.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please click here to read my full disclosure page)

Begin Planning Early

Planning Christmas festivities the week before Christmas is extremely stressful. So don’t wait until Christmas is right around the corner. Start planning in early November if possible.

Who will be hosting Christmas dinner? What is your Christmas budget? What will be served at Christmas dinner? Who will be coming to Christmas dinner? Will you be traveling during Christmas? These are just a few items that need to be addressed during your planning. Planning early will help you be more organized and prepared for the Christmas holiday.

Don’t Over Commit

During the holiday season, many of your friends, family, or coworkers may invite you to holiday parties. Your children, nieces, or nephews may also have holiday programs or parties at their school that you are asked to attend.

Spreading yourself too thin and over committing to all these scheduled holiday events can put a lot of pressure and stress on you. This year, don’t over commit. Attend only the events that are truly necessary, like your own children’s holiday programs. Don’t feel obligated to attend them all. You don’t need all that pressure during the holidays.

Host a Christmas Dinner Potluck

If you have ever hosted Christmas dinner, then you know that it is a lot of work. You have to plan the menu, purchase the groceries, cook all the food, and make your house presentable for guests. Just talking about it, makes me exhausted.

Have you ever considered making Christmas dinner a potluck? My family does this during Christmas and Thanksgiving, and it is fantastic! As a family, we decide on the menu. Then, each family chooses a dish to bring to Christmas dinner. This truly relieves the stress of hosting Christmas dinner. Plus, everyone feels that they have contributed to the holiday celebration. It’s a win, win.

Simplify Gift Giving

Buying gifts for family members during Christmas can be very stressful. You want to stay on budget, but you also want to get them the perfect gift or at least a gift that they will like.

One tip to reduce the stress of gift giving is to have your family draw names. Buying gifts for all your family members can be pricey and overwhelming. However, if you have your family draw names, then everyone is responsible for only one gift. This greatly reduces the stress of gift giving. Remember that the best gift anyone can receive during Christmas is spending quality time with those that they love.

Celebrate Christmas on Another Day

You might be wondering what I mean by celebrating Christmas on another day. I am not suggesting that you don’t celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day. However, it is often stressful trying to get all of your immediate family and extended family together on the same day. Something that my family has had great success with is having our Christmas celebration with extended family on a different day in December. We pick a day in December that works for everyone and celebrate Christmas on that day. This allows for Christmas Day to be spent only with our immediate family. This alternative can reduce the stress of getting everyone together on the same day.

During this holiday season, don’t let the stresses of everything that must be done take away the true joy of Christmas. Here are the tips to remember: begin planning early, don’t over commit, host a Christmas dinner potluck, simplify gift giving, and celebrate Christmas on another day with your extended family.

I challenge you to use these tips this year to have a stress free Christmas and enjoy the holiday with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!!

Want to remember this post? Pin this post, 5 Tips to a Stress Free Christmas, to your favorite Pinterest board!

Even after using all of these Christmas morning hacks and being totally prepared, it can be quite easy to forget why you&rsquore celebrating Christmas in the first place.

Remember: it isn&rsquot about having a perfect morning. It isn&rsquot about the decorations. It isn&rsquot about the presents.

It&rsquos about love.

A holy baby was born on earth because He loves us. God gave us the ultimate gift on Christmas morning, and we should take a minute to remember and reflect on that.

It&rsquos also about the love of family and friends. Would you do all that you do on Christmas morning if you didn&rsquot love your family?

So even if everything doesn&rsquot go as planned, no worries. Sit back, marvel in everything you accomplished, and enjoy the love of your family.

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