Well this is it! The home stretch. The last lap. The final week of the Christmas rush. Some of you are sitting there, patting yourself on the back for getting it all done in time, others are frantically running around overwhelmed with all there is still left to do. Whatever stage you’re at, there are always a few extra touches you can be doing at the last minute to make the holidays special.
Dilemma: You still have a few extra gifts to get with little time or money left to do it with. And of course, there are always a few people that unexpectedly gave you a gift that you didn’t expect to receive from.
Solution: Don’t tear yourself up over it. Think simple. Think fast. Think cheap.
1) Buy a box of cheap, plastic wine glasses and fill the wine glass with your favorite holiday candy. For a special touch, add a wine glass charm.
2) Order a subsrciption to their favorite magazine. It’s quick and easy if you go online. Buy the first magazine at the store so you can have something to give them, along with a card explaining there’s more to come!
3) Homemade Food. There is nothing easier to do, but still well received. It can be as simple as holiday Chex mix or as difficult as your grandmother’s famous cookie recipe. The key is presentation, which is what makes it a present. Wrap it up in pretty paper and bows or put it in a Christmas tin or box.
Dilemma: You already got a present for the most important people on your list, but you feel like you need to get them something extra because you don’t feel like your gift is “good enough.”
Solution: Do something personal. It always makes all the difference when that person felt that you put a lot of thought into them.
1) Make them a burned CD with their favorite songs.
2) Give them a “day with you.” Write out an itinerary spelling out where you will go and what you will do.
3) Create a customized collage print filled with pictures of the two of you together. Both Walgreens photo center (http://photo.walgreens.com/) and Google’s Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=19539) are great tools for this.
Dilemma: You want your home to look perfect for when the family comes over, but you feel that the decorations need a little more punch.
Solution: Three fast fixes to give your home some holiday magic.
1) Ornaments are your best friend – Fill a few bowls with shiny ornaments and beads and place strategically around the house or place them in the house plants.
2) Wrap your wall art in Christmas wrapping paper and pretty bows till each wall has its own present work of art.
3) Ribbons are also your best friend: Tie red ribbons or gold and silver string on the arms of your chandelier, on the backs of chairs, around doorknobs or on candlesticks.
My final and last dilemma is one that everybody seems to experience during this time of the year, prepared or not. Holiday stress. The solution? Breath, smile and appreciate the good moments. It only comes one time a year and there’s nothing more magical when it all comes together in the end.