5 Tips for a Worry Free Holiday Season

5 Tips for a Worry Free Holiday Season

I love sharing little tips that have made a big impact in my life as far as enjoying the most joyous (and hectic) time of the year…Christmas!  The Holidays do not stress me out at all – as a matter a fact, I love every aspect of Christmas as long as I am not rushed.  I love sitting down and addressing my holiday cards by hand, baking cookies, wrapping gifts…  I enjoy everything unless I feel like I am forced to do it in a rush.  So here is what I do to keep my Christmas merry:

1- Order my holiday cards ahead of time

I usually order my Christmas cards before November ends.  This way I can sit down in peace with some Christmas music (yes, I am that cheesy) and handwrite my envelopes.  I can no longer hand write the actual cards because we send out so many, so I appreciate these pre-printed cards with beautiful messages.  This year I ordered these beautiful foil cards from Tiny Prints.  I love them!

Minted Christmas Cards

They are wonderful!

Minted Christmas Card

I usually set up a little holiday card station and get to work.

Card Station Christmas

I do the same for my Holiday Business Cards, that I also picked up from Tiny Prints.

Christmas Business Cards

2 – Simplify shopping

Shopping can be one the most stressful part of the holidays.  If I can buy it online, I do.  There is no need to make those long lines unless you are absolutely convinced that you are getting a superior deal.  I love the convenience of online shopping!

3 – Stock up on baking supplies

Isn’t it annoying when you are ready to start baking and you think you have all your ingredients ready to go, only to find out there are little bugs in your flour?!  Always buy fresh flour and essentials right before the holidays.  I also like to start baking and freezing scones and cookie rolls.  I will individually wrap my scones in parchment paper and then place them inside a Ziplock bag. I also wrote on the outside the temperature that I am supposed to cook them and for how long.  I do the same with logs of cookies that I can later slice and bake.

Chirstmas scones

4 – Wrap gifts as you go

I wrap all the gifts that are inside boxes as soon as I purchase them.  I skip placing the bow on them so that they can easily stack on top of the other.  I do write the name in a little corner of the gift so that I can later add a bow and a tag.  I really enjoy wrapping gifts when it’s not a marathon.  Although, when it comes to wrapping the boys gifts it’s always a mini-marathon!

Stress Free Christmas

5- Focus on the awesomeness of Christmas

It is so easy to get distracted or stressed out with all of the holiday hustle.  Stop and remind yourself that Christmas only comes around once a year and it’s a really special time with a special meaning – and stress shouldn’t be part of such a beautiful time!

It’s almost Christmas – stay committed to being “present” and aware of all your blessings!

xo, Maria

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidaysConFamilia #CollectiveBias

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

I probably go almost the entire year without having overnight guests.  My family and my husband’s family are both Cuban, and many of us live within 20 miles of each other.  Don’t worry – we like everyone so that’s not a bad thing.

During the holidays, that changes.  Not the liking family part – just the overnight guest thing.  There is one person that spends every Christmas Eve overnight at our home year-after-year and that is my mom.  Like most Cubans, we host a large Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) party and all the family is invited.  Sure, we have little parties and get-togethers during the year that we invite just a few family members, but this special night – everyone is invited!

My mom spends the night because my kids wake up super early (Christmas or not) and are eager to open up their gifts.  She fears that if she goes home with my dad, she will oversleep and miss out on the boys’ reaction.  She is awesome like that.

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

I know that I am not the only one that has overnight guests over the holidays, so I wanted to share with you some ideas to make your guests feel really special during their stay.  I love the feeling when I check into a hotel and all the towels and toiletries are laid out for me.  It’s a message that says “we’ve been expecting you” (the bill under the door sends a less welcoming message..ha!)  We can convey the same sweet message to our family that stays overnight with this welcome basket.  Many of the items, you probably already have around the house.

Place a stack of towels either inside your basket or in the bathroom, but make sure that your guest knows it’s for them.  White Towels are my favorite.  I love how fresh they look and they match any decor.  If you want to make it even more special, tie a silk ribbon around your towels like I did here.

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

If you like the sweet little square printable that is next to my towels, you can click below and print one.  You can re-use this little sign every time you have an overnight guest.  Even if all you do is place a sign or a note, a chocolate and a bottle of water by their bed, it sends your guests the same message – “We’re so glad you are here!”

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

At the very bottom of the basket, I placed a super comfy throw for my guest to snuggle up wherever they choose.  It also added height so that the contents could pop out of my basket.

Here is what I included inside the basket – A box of Kleenex, some Cottonelle wipes, little soaps, a candle

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

I found this little orchid at BJ’s Wholesale Club and I tucked it in there.  Usually, I will place flowers by the bed.

Place necessities like toothbrushes, bottled waters and chocolate inside the basket.  Chocolate is a necessity, ya know.

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

Tucked away in the back is a magazine and lotion.

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

During the holidays, I stock up in the bathrooms with a lot of Kleenex and toilet paper.  Remember to make it visible so that your guests know that they can help themselves.

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

That’s the entire welcome basket.  Of course, you can add even more goodies and customize it for your guest.

Oh, I almost forgot!  You can also write your wifi password on the back of the little printable (above).  Your guests will surely ask for that.

Truth is my mom always feels welcome in our home, but this year I intend to make my mom feel extra special with her basket.  This year I will handle the little things so that we can all focus on the big things.  Things like this…

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

The Kimberly Clark products at BJs make it easier for you to be there for your family with the cooking/prep/etc, so that you are able to be there for them emotionally and spend more time with family and less time shopping for what you need to prep for the Holidays.  If you don’t already have a BJ’s membership, here is a FREE 60-Day BJ’s membership offer (Valid through 12/31).  For more great ideas on how to stock up and make family feel special during the holidays, you can check out the #HolidaysConFamilia Social Hub here.

Overnight Guest Welcome Basket

I purchased many of the items above at the place that you go to when you want high quality and quantity – BJs Wholesale Club.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

KCC BJs Holiday Giveaway

 

Stress Free Holiday Tips

Stress Free Holiday Tips

Are we talking about Christmas in October?  Yes, indeed we are.  We know it’s around the corner.  The holidays, a time for joy, family, food, togetherness and a sprinkle of stress.  Is that ok to admit?  The holidays can be a little hectic.  We really want to savor the moments but it’s hard to enjoy gift wrapping, baking, and parties when everything is last minute.  I want to share with you some stress free holiday tips that will help you be in the moment, when the moment comes.

  • My first suggestion, is to order Christmas cards early!  Pictured below are my cards for this year, they are from Tiny Prints.  I normally order my cards in October, which leaves me plenty of time to address and send them out.  Maybe even with a glass of chardonnay and a little music…now were talkin’!

Photo christmas cards are my favorite to send and to receive.  I can never bring myself to throw them out after the season is over, so I just file them away with a post-it marking the year.  I also prefer the message to be printed onto the card, this way the only thing I have to do is write the address on the envelope.  This year, I even had our return address pre-printed on the envelope.  I only wrote the recipient address and it was actually fun to write these out, in peace, no rush.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Another tip is to order gift tag stickers.  What a time saver!  I have so many gift tag stickers, with different themes to use year round.  It already has our name on the sticker and I only have to write the recipient’s name.  This year I will be using the ones with the antlers (how cute are they?) which are also from Tiny Prints.   Erin Condren also makes beautiful ones that I use for holidays or birthday gifts (the ones with the “Enjoy” message).  You never have to worry about the tag falling off because they are stickers.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Wrap presents ahead of time and create a stash.  I only place the gift tag sticker on the gift and I skip the bow.  This allows me to stack the boxes without the bow getting in the way. When I am ready to bring the gift out, I place a pretty bow on it.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Have a Christmas Gift List.  Do this in order to avoid last minute shopping because someone just slipped your mind.  Also, keep track of what you are spending.

Here is a FREE CHRISTMAS GIFT LIST PRINTABLE (the one pictured) that can help you track your gifts and spending.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Stock up on baking items that you will need.  Holiday baking and cooking can be so much fun, so be sure to have the essentials at hand.  Butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and then more butter. :-)

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • If you have kids, this is a good time to sort through their toys and donate items that they no longer need.  My little one plays with most of his toys so I just have to ask myself if he really needs 5 firetrucks.  I make space for the new toys that he will receive.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Choose recipes that are tried and true for any holiday party that you will be having.  It’s already a hectic season and you don’t need to add unnecessary stress over whether a soufflé will rise and hold.  Read here about how I plan for Christmas morning.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

The biggest and most important tip is to go easy on yourself.  Do what you can, order items ahead of time, cook ahead of time but if the soufflé deflates, don’t deflate along with it.  Enjoy your families and friends, enjoy this beautiful time!

Maria