As you can probably guess having a family of 8 makes me a bit busy. Throw in the Holidays and my day to day life can be nothing short of chaos, but it doesn’t have to be. I plan on using some of the tips in the following Guest Post By Megan Brown.
As overwhelming as Thanksgiving and the holiday season can be, the reward for all the hard work and stress is the joy of having your entire family seated around the same table. In our family, Thanksgiving is the first kickoff in a trifecta of holiday events that includes Christmas and then New Years.
If you’re looking for Holiday Stress Relief Tips – we have help for you!
The key to making it through the season is to get organized in advance and to leverage some of the free online tools that are available. Putting a plan in place that helps you break down all of the things you have to do will reduce stress and help save you money.
Below are some ideas and resources to help you meet your holiday time and money budget goals.
1. Lists are the best way to start out planning your holiday event. Hatchedit.com TO DO Lists are a great way to begin to keep track of everything that needs to be done.
Make lists for: Guests to invite, Menu Ideas, Decorating Ideas, Gift Ideas, and Packing (if you are travelling to a holiday event).
2. When you have your guest list together and have sent out invitations, ask people what they would like to bring. You can use emails to communicate with your guests, or you can create a HATCHEDit.com group and let everyone chat in one place. Be sure to mention how many appetizers, side dishes or desserts you need so you don’t wind up with 10 cheese platters!
**Trying to juggle too many holiday events? Try using the www.Hatchedit.com site to organize your whole family. With our site and our free apps you can keep everyone’s schedule in order, and you can send cute invitations and coordinate with other members, sharing your calendar and to do lists with grandparents, aunts/uncles, close friends, etc.
3. Plan out your menu and determine what you can make, when. Side dishes and salads can be prepared a day in advance, as can most breads and desserts. If you are having a lot of people over, and some are staying at the house, a “night before” cooking event can not only be fun, but encourages everyone to help out. Assign everyone who is available a dish and get a good bottle of wine, some holiday tunes –
and you’ll be surprised at how much more pleasant preparation can be!
**Need some inspiration for this year’s menu? These are two of our favorite FREE! Resources for Recipes: www.Food52.com and Kraft’s iFood Assistant App (available for both iPhone and Android).
4. With your lists organized, you can do your shopping a little at a time. Wine and beverages can be purchased weeks in advance. Likewise with gifts, if you know what you need to purchase you can take advantage of special deals gift shopping, whether it’s for hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for the family.
**Is saving money on your mind this year? These are a few of our favorite FREE! Money saving apps: SnipSnap (lets you save and search for coupons), CouponSherpa
5. Consider what the kids can do to pitch in. Holidays at home are only as special as you make them. Memories of helping set the table or making the decorations are things that your children will remember forever. There are some great, simple places to find projects for kids while they sit at the kitchen table watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or Holiday Television Specials. Those are the little moments that make the holidays special.
**Looking for some great Holiday Craft Ideas? There are bloggers out there that have some GREAT, easy, and kid friendly craft suggestions for the holidays. The best way to find them? Do a Pinterest search fors, , or your holiday celebration.
Don’t have time to make your own decorations? Buy them from some of the best crafters on the planet on ETSY (like thisor this Calendar).
Megan Brown is co-founder of