Focus holiday traditions around reading, and make memories for a lifetime with the picture book advent calendar tradition!
To establish this cherished holiday tradition, scour the house (and neighborhood yard sales!) to find children's Christmas storybooks; you'll need 24 books to set up your picture book advent calendar. A sustainable, frugal alternative? Reserve 24 books from the local library!
Wrap the books in gift wrap, then stack in a large basket or decorated box.
Beginning on December 1, have children unwrap and read one book each night through Christmas Eve.
The quiet time calms frazzled children, and parents and grandparents enjoy listening to uplifting holiday tales during the season.
"Secret Santa" gift exchanges can be a great way to cut holiday stress. Sometimes known as White Elephant Gift Exchanges or a Yankee Swap, a Secret Santa gift exchange allows families, social groups or co-workers draw names from a hat, and give an anonymous gift, rather than purchasing and giving multiple items to the whole group.
Start thinking now about organizing Secret Santa exchanges--and to jumpstart the process, try these online Secret Santa resources. They're free, and make it easy to set up and organize a Secret Santa exchange:
Holiday stamps will be available soon from the United States Postal Service. Buy stamps early, and you'll have your choice of seasonal designs.
Better still, buy stamps online from USPS.com. Holiday stamps are now available for pre-order! For a $1.00 service fee, stamps will be delivered to your mailbox. Standing in line at the Post Office is one holiday tradition that deserves to fall by the wayside.
While you're at the USPS.com site, consider ordering free mailing supplies. Flat rate envelopes and boxes can be delivered to your door, and they're ideal for shipping Christmas baked goods and small gifts. Oh, and did we mention that they're free?