Make your Holiday preparations a little easier by deciding what to Ditch, Delegate or Outsource.
Wrapping presents – Ditch the wrapping paper and use bags instead. Purchase the bags at a discount store and save a lot of money. I save my bags and reuse them from year to year. Make it personal and have your kids draw their own creations on a brown paper bag. The grandparents will love it. Often local charities will wrap for a small donation so consider this delegation option as well. Delegate to your kids or spouse even if the result looks like someone used crumpled paper, dropped the present on the floor and then stepped on it. You’ll be laughing about this gift wrap experiment for a long time.
Holiday Cards – Ditch the traditional cards and send a single email instead (remember to put everyone on the bcc line). You can write your Holiday update one time and attach pictures of your family so everyone can see how big the kids or pets have grown. Ask your spouse, partner or even the kids to type some of their thoughts in the email update. Your audience will love the authenticity.
Cooking and Baking – Ditch, Ditch, Ditch – Don’t feel the pressure to participate in cookie exchanges or to bake and take a treat when you visit others. Unless you have committed to bring a specific food item, don’t take any food. Most party hosts will have more than enough, and you might even find them sending some food home with you. If you want to give an inexpensive gift to your host, feel free to regift something nice that you have received and don’t want or, tell your host that your gift to them is to do the dishes. That will be the best gift ever! If you really want that big meal, outsource the prep work by ordering from a local restaurant or delegate by having each of your guests bring one of the dishes.
Clean-up – Delegate to the kids and promise them they can stay up extra late for their willingness to chip in. Dads can also be motivated with the promise of letting them watch all the bowl games uninterrupted. Remember not to clean up after their clean up!