11 Life Hacks for the Holiday Season

11 Life Hacks for the Holiday Season

Use these 11 simple hacks to take the stress out of parts of the holiday season.

By: Amanda Palmer

From decorating to housekeeping, the demanding holiday season will present many challenges. But don’t panic, because you already have everything you need to make it through to the new year.

Strings of holiday lights can be tricky. Get a grip on unraveling last year’s mess to set yourself up for success next year.

  1. Knotted mess? Gently unwind the wire, wrapping the untangled section around a paper towel roll. Make sure the ends are unplugged from each other.
  2. Wrap the lights around a sturdy piece of cardboard, cutting notches at either end to hold the wires. Try a clothes hanger instead if you’d like to hang them up in storage. Always plug the ends into each other.

Last-minute Gifts
It happens to everyone. Instead of rushing to the store to grab the first thing you see, take about 10 minutes at home to put together something unique.

  1. Make one of our cookies in a jar.
  2. If you have a bill to spare, pull up an online tutorial for cash origami. This is a great gift for kids, especially when using a rare $2 bill.
  3. Take a bath tissue roll and flatten it in half. Pop it back open, folding the edges in on one end, and then fill it from the other end with those chocolates you weren’t going to eat anyway. Close the edges on the other side. Use a sticker, ribbon, scrap of old paper or permanent marker to decorate.

Packaging Predicaments
The best gifts are often paired with the most creative packaging, and it doesn’t have to cost you much, if anything.


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  1. Cereal boxes work well, especially if shipping a present. They can also be opened, cut, and refolded into other shapes and sizes.
  2. Paper towel rolls can be used to house the smaller or more flexible gifts. Paint it a bright color and wrap with plastic wrap to make it appear like a big piece of candy.
  3. Use craft paint on holiday ads, newspapers or magazines for custom wrapping paper.

Outdoor Décor
Spruce up the outside of your home with items you already have on the inside. Simple yet sophisticated.

  1. Summer is over, so take the pool noodle and duct-tape the ends together to form a ring. Cut strips out of an old T-shirt and wrap them around the ring. Add lights or pierce the noodle with ornament hooks to showcase a few shiny things.
  2. Any cardboard boxes you have (from the pantry to a shoebox), spray paint, fill with dirt for added weight, and set up as a stack of presents. Add any bows and ribbons you collect from holiday parties.
  3. Make a door hanger from pinecones you can gather from your neighborhood or local park. Tie shoestrings or ribbons around the base and hang upside down in a cluster. Try spray-painting them for an added touch.

Not only will you make it through the season with these life hacks, but you’ll also make some really good memories and, perhaps, some new traditions.

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