I’m always looking for good tips to make the holidays easier. There are tons of lists online of iPhone apps that are supposed to simplify things. I do like the ones that help you keep track of what you bought, how much you spent and how much is left in your budget. (I don’t have an iPhone for this function, but I do have a piece of notebook paper.)
So I thought it would be nice to share our best tips for making the holidays easier that don’t involve apps. (A few years ago we shared some favorite holiday recipes and you guys did a great job with that. I am still making the Rolo, pecan, pretzel melted snack. It is soo good. Who shared that one?)
I have one tip to start us off. My kids always like pressing out Christmas sugar cookies with cookie cutters. I am very picky about my dough and frosting so I always want to make everything from scratch but it just makes the process so long and not fun. So last weekend I mixed up some dough and rolled it out into sheets. I wrapped it in parchment paper and put in the fridge. The next day after school the kids came home and I pulled out the firm sheets of dough and they just starting cutting out cookies. It made it so much more fun to just be cutting and decorating. To simplify this process even more I want to make my frosting ahead of time and freeze it. (Pillsbury use to sell sheets of dough but it was expensive for the amount you got and I haven’t seen them lately in the stores.)
My plan is this weekend to make up like six cookie-sheets of dough and put them in the freezer. Then I want to make my some containers of white icing and freeze those. So when the kids want to make cookies I can just pull out a sheet of dough and a container of icing and they can go to town. (I hate canned icing. It’s terrible.)
I also found a bunch of sites with holiday tips so you guys can read through those as well — I must warn you some have apps.
12 tricks for the holidays Some samples of the tips: Use clothespin and some string to let kids put up your Christmas card collection. Use a culinary school to cater parties– cheaper than a restaurant and good. Get gifts from grocery store such as a breakfast basket (coffee, muffin mix, OJ).
13 Best Gift Wrapping Tips Some samples of the tips: Inexpensive cotton fabric to wrap gifts. Tinsel tape to decorate a brown shipping box. (check out the guy in the photo. Is it a joke? I can’t tell.) Patterned tape (which I have never seen before), lots of thick ribbons and kids’ drawings duplicated on a printer.
Tell us your favorite ways to make the holidays simpler. I would love some cook-ahead stuff or Christmas card or gift mailing ideas. (I hate having to mail stuff!) Do you have a favorite meal that you make while you’re in church on Christmas Eve? (Always a dilemma!) What about Christmas morning so you don’t miss them opening presents but they have a special breakfast?