14 Days to Christmas! Update The Address Book

Christmas cards and holiday letters are spilling from the mailbox these days, so take note! Their arrival means it's time to update the address book.

Check cards and envelopes for address changes; update address books or contacts apps for those who have moved or changed telephone numbers.

Too busy? No problem! Toss envelopes into a file folder; when life slows down in January, it'll be easy to check return addresses against address book entries and update as needed.

15 Days to Christmas! Eat From The Freezer!

It's time! If you've stockpiled a few freezer meals to use during the holiday season, pencil them into the menu plan during the next two weeks.

What? You say you missed out on this step? Check the supermarket's freezer section. A stash of family-sized entrees like lasagne or Florentine chicken can chill dinner-hour stress during the holidays. No more "dine and dash" at the pizza place or fast-food joint!

Free Printable Freezer Inventory

16 Days to Christmas! Print Holiday Labels

Printable address labels are wonderful things, and never more so than during the holiday season.

Sure, they'll see to it that your Christmas cards get to the right address, but try these other uses for self-adhesive address labels during the holiday season:

  • Label baked goods for a professional touch. Seasonal clip art makes it pretty!
  • Home-printed gift tags for Christmas gifts will stay put in transit.
  • Party name tags or dinner party place cards are easy to create with labels.
  • Identify all those cords behind the Christmas tree: wrap a label around the cord, stick the ends together and mark which lights are which for easy reference.

    17 Days to Christmas: Plan Low-Cost Celebrations With Kids

    Celebrating with kids? It doesn't need to cost money.

    Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

    Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits.

    Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:

    Low Cost, No Cost Ways to Celebrate With Kids

    Invite A Magic Elf To Visit Your Home

    18 Days to Christmas! Wrap As You Go

    It's the holiday chore nobody wants: wrapping gifts at midnight, Christmas Eve. To head off last-minute wrapping, wrap gifts as you go.

    Wrapping in small doses, you'll do a better job and enjoy it, too. To track whose gift is which, use small stickey notes to identify gifts. (Deter snoops with a numbering system tied to the master gift list!)

    Another way to ease gift-wrap chores is holding a gift-wrap party with friends. Pour hot cider, put out a plate of holiday cookies and stack Christmas music in the CD player as you chat and wrap together.

    A clutter-busting bonus? Swap leftover gift wrap at the end of the event; a friend's tired roll end becomes your family's fresh new pattern.

    19 Days to Christmas! Schedule Family Nights

    Everyone loves a bustling, busy holiday season, until there’s too much of a good thing. Result: meltdown!

    Consider scheduling regular “Family Nights”--no parties, shopping, performances or activities—to give family members time together during the height of the season.

    Focus on quiet activities, like board games or watching holiday videos together, to build family togetherness and make holiday memories!

    20 Days to Christmas! Plan Christmas Dinner

    What's for dinner ... on Christmas Day? Christmas Eve? New Year's Day?

    The only one who should wing it when it comes to holiday meals? The turkey. Smart cooks know that a written menu plan calms chaos in the kitchen, and never more so than before a big holiday feast. A written menu plan makes it easy to spot bottlenecks at oven and cookstove, sorts serving dishes, and organizes potluck contributions.

    Today, make out a simple menu plan for each holiday meal remaining in the season. It'll be your road map in the holiday kitchen:

    Printable Holiday Menu Planner