Simplify Your Holidays

13 Days to Christmas! Hold A Gift-Wrap Party

Whether you're a devoted wrap-a-holic or giftwrap-averse, here's a holiday event for you: a wrap party!

The premise is simple. Gather your friends, a few cookies, some eggnog and a few holiday CDs. Get together to wrap, wrap, wrap your gifts in good company. Sharing a few laughs with friends makes the chore fly.

Bonus benefit: encourage guests to swap left-over gift wrap supplies at party's end. Everyone will leave with fresh new wrapping designs for the last few gifts to land under the tree--and a good time, too.

21 Days to Christmas! Cut Holiday Stress

Sure, you love the holiday season--but just not so much of it! Isn't there some way to have a simpler--but more meaningful--Christmas celebration?

If you're aiming to simplify your holidays, take time now to ponder ways to cut stress, save money and tame over-the-top traditions. Setting simplicity strategies in place now will keep you from being swept up in next month's holiday madness.

Get armed! Try these ten simple strategies to calm holiday chaos this year.

Christmas Calm: Ten Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

65 Days to Christmas! Christmas Magazine Reality Check

Visiting the supermarket, you can't miss them: Christmas magazines.

Sitting in their racks at the checkstand, they are the ultimate holiday flirt! Will this be the year you decorate like Martha, cook like Paula Deen .... and do it all while losing 10 pounds?

Of course not! Christmas magazines are wonderful sources for holiday inspiration, but without a reality check, they can lead you astray.

Stay grounded! Don't let Christmas magazines inflate your holiday expectations to the bursting point:

The Secret Life of Christmas Magazines

78 Days to Christmas! Focus on the Decor Big Three

When it comes to holiday decorating, less can be more! To save time and cut holiday stress, simplify holiday decorating by following the decorating Rule of Three!

To bring a festive feeling to any home--and do it simply--put your decorating focus on the Big Three elements of holiday decor:

  • Front Door
  • Living Area Focal Point
  • Christmas Tree

So long as you have a wreath on the front door, decorations on the mantel (or a holiday tablescape on a living area tabletop), and a Christmas tree, you've covered holiday decorating basics ... for a simpler, stress-free holiday season.

80 Days to Christmas! Simplify Autumn Decorating

It's Autumn ... and seasonal celebrations abound! Will you decorate your home to celebrate the coming of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving?

Think "simplicity" when it's time to decorate for fall holidays. When selecting decorations, choose solid colors (green, gold, red) and general themes ("pumpkins", not "Jack-o-Lanterns") that can multitask throughout the Autumn months.

By keeping the background items simple and basic, it's easy to swap out smaller, more holiday-specific items for a fresh look! For example, a gold tablecloth graces October's stacked apples, then serves as a base for Halloween's candy-corn table runner. After October 31, roll up the runner and substitute small pilgrim candles. Come December, replace the centerpiece with a colorful mound of shiny glass ornaments in a clear bowl. Easy!