Aaah, the holidays. Family gatherings, procuring the perfect gift for everyone on your list (including your in-laws), cooking for the masses, Christmas concerts and office parties… it’s enough to make even the most organized among us shrink under pressure.
Never fear! Look Local Mississauga has curated a list of tips and tricks to save you some precious time so you can focus on what’s most important at this time of year—making memories with the people you love most.
• To avoid leaving a needle trail when you discard your live Christmas tree, wrap it in garbage bags (or a tree removal bag) before carrying it out. Remember to remove the trash bags once you get it to the curb, or else your tree will end up at the garbage dump instead of being mulched!
• Parties take up a lot of room in your refrigerator, so organize a cooler with condiments and extra ingredients, or use it to stow random items you won’t need so you can use that valuable refrigerator real estate for drinks or party food essentials.
• Instead of cramming your cooking into a single day, prep your dishes in advance. Mashed sweet potatoes, beet soups and veggie salads can be made up to a few days before serving. The same goes for several pies, dough-based deserts, and cookies.
• Use two different sizes of lights to make your tree more magical.
• Stock up on butter. Seriously. Almost every recipe uses it. You’re going to run out (and have to run to the crowded grocery store at the worst possible time).
• Store wrapping paper by using a wire wastepaper bin, a wine crate or keep them in a hanging garment bag. Also, ribbon rolls stay obedient when you keep them on a paper towel holder.
• Run out of wrapping paper? Use brown bags, map pages from an old atlas, newspaper pages, scrap fabric pieces, or your ugly Christmas sweater to creatively wrap a gift.
• Use a big cardboard box wrapped in gift paper as your garbage receptacle on Christmas morning.
• The best (and easiest) way to make hot chocolate is to put a scoop of Nutella in warm milk and stir.
• Don’t know what to get people for Christmas? Have them make three guesses of what you bought them. You now have three ideas for what to get them!
• Can’t find someone to help you in an electronics store? Stand by the biggest, most expensive TV and look at the price tag. Someone will be right over.
• Take your kids’ gifts out of those impossible to open plastic packages before you wrap them. It’ll make for less aggravation for you on Christmas day.
• Not in the spirit? Smiling for sixty seconds, even when you’re in a bad mood, will immediately improve your mood. Using these muscles is enough to trigger the happy chemicals in your brain.
• When sending guests directions, don’t just give the address; also send a picture of the house. This will make it way easier for them to find it instead of searching up and down the street for house numbers.
• If your television doesn’t match your winter decor, hang a piece of artwork or wrap a blank canvas in wrapping paper, then hang it over your TV to cover it up.
• Pick up broken glass with sandwich bread. Grab a piece, press it on the ground to grab big and tiny bits of glass, then toss it in the trash.
• Holding your drink at belly button level at holiday parties will make you look more confident.
Enjoy every minute of your holidays!