Saturday

Working Mom Tips: 5 Time Saving Tips for the Holidays


As you know, I am committed to living my dream life every day. Although having a full time assistant would be cool, I cannot afford one. Besides, I have learned that having one is not essential for a stress free holiday season. My solution to getting everything done is to outsource where I can. I have learned that with a little time and the internet, you can feel like you have a personal assistant, for free.

Everybody needs help to get everything done during the holidays. Santa has elves and you have me!

Here are five tips for feeling like you have a free personal assistant.

1.      Buy Your Presents Online: Stores try to woo you with deals at this time of year, but resist the urge to go to the mall to buy your presents. Unless you’re meeting a girlfriend for a fun outing and some coffee, the mall is a major hassle this time of year. And after you buy your presents you have to lug them to your car and wrap them at home.  That’s both tiring and exhausting. Shop at night on the internet after your kids go to bed and have your presents delivered. It’s hassle free and super easy.  You can even get them delivered wrapped too.  Visit this link to find a list of online stores that ship for free: http://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/2011/09/21/stores-with-free-shipping/ 

2.      Schedule Your Santa Photo: Unless you’re a scrooge, if you celebrate Christmas you have to take your kid to see Santa and have a photo taken. I have not figured out how to do this online. I tried taking the photo at home with the Santa I found on Google, but it doesn’t work out so well… It would be great if you could schedule an appointment with Santa, but you can’t.  However, who has time to stand in a line for an hour waiting for your turn.  By the time you get your turn you kid is likely hot, ornery, and frowning, which isn’t so good for photos.  Here’s a tip, one Wednesday, sneak out of work early to go to a “critical meeting about that “confidential/critical/time sensitive matter you’ve been working on.” 3:30 in the afternoon on a week day is a great time to see Santa.

3.      Mall Shopping: If you can’t resist the urge to shop at the mall while after getting the Santa photo taken, go to Nordstrom. They will ship the presents to your house to free, avoiding the challenge of trying to lug bags and concomitantly stopping your toddler from running away. Other stores may do this too, but I’ve had great luck with Nordstrom. 

4.      Get Someone Else to Send Your Christmas Cards:  If you’re tempted to skip sending Christmas cards this year, don’t.  You may think that they’re cheesy and a waste of time, but your relatives and friends are looking forward to receiving this year’s card. A dear friend of mine has a book where she tracks the children in her life via their holiday cards.  So, how do you satisfy them without staying up until the wee hours of the morning addressing cards and licking envelopes???  Have Hallmark do it for you.  I have used http://www.Hallmark.com for years for Christmas cards and party invitations. You can save your mailing list once.  After that, all you have to do is decide on the card you want to send and Hallmark will address and mail them for you.  How cool is that?!  Hallmark is running a deal right now—free shipping and 40% saving (To get free shipping use the coupon code CYBER40).  It expires on December 2—tomorrow!!! I am sorry for sharing it so late, but I just found it.  If you can’t get everything together by tomorrow, I still recommend Hallmark. It takes the stress out of Christmas cards!

5.      Collaborate with a Friend: Who says that you have to be the one doing everything for your family? I never said it. And Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Giada all have help. So, don’t allow them to make you feel intimidated. If your friend has a knack for doing something like baking cookies, see if she’d be willing to bake some for your family in exchange for you doing something for her.  Even with the internet, there’s a lot of running around for the holidays. They haven’t figured out how to ship eggs so well yet… Divide your shopping list with a friend to minimize your trips. I’d volunteer for the liquor run. Sometimes they give out samples at the liquor store and that can be exactly what you need on a long shopping day…

If the above is still too much to accommodate with your busy schedule, consider hiring a virtual assistant who can help you manage your life for a fairly reasonable fee (check out www.elance.com) . Remember, tis the season to be jolly not stressed out.

Here’s to a relaxed holiday season!!!

Toddler posing with Google Image Santa Claus!


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