I love the holidays, but I’m always looking for ways to keep it simple without sacrificing the tradition and fun. Here are four tips I’ve discovered over the years, that make for an easy Christmas.
Tree Skirt Alternatives
Tree skirts are expensive. And they usually end up covered up with gifts anyway.
Several years ago — after using a new silver and gold theme on the tree — I discovered that I didn’t have a tree skirt to match. But I did have a gold tablecloth, which I bunched around the base of the tree.
It worked great. In fact, I liked the look better than a tailored tree skirt.
I used the same technique in my family room, where I have three small trees.
No tablecloths this time. Instead I bought a couple of yards of colored burlap for each tree. The fabric was much cheaper than tree skirts and no sewing required, which is good since I can’t sew a lick.
Tulle Instead of Bows
Do you have the problem of bows popping off the packages? Especially after you stack them under the tree or pile them in the car to go to Grandma’s?
Try wrapping your packages in tulle instead. It’s pretty, rolls can be bought inexpensively at craft stores, and it comes in a variety of colors to match your wrapping paper.
It’s also easy to get off at unwrapping time – no scissors needed – and there are no smashed, stray bows to make you cranky during the festivities. Or is that just me?
Chocolate Stars, Not Kisses
If you make peanut butter kiss cookies at Christmas, consider using chocolate stars instead of kisses. They’re cheaper, prettier, and don’t come individually wrapped, which saves a bunch of time.
You’ll find these in the candy aisle of the grocery store. Brach’s makes chocolate stars and my grocery store carries a generic brand too.
You can substitute these for kisses in the recipe you already have on hand, or here’s Brach’s recipe if you need one.
Ornaments as Napkin Rings
Speaking of the grocery store, I spotted a set of ornaments in mine while shopping for Christmas dinner and realized that — since they came with a loop for hanging — they’d be perfect to use as napkin rings.
This bell ornament has matching snowflake cousins that I alternated at each place setting. And they’re easy to toss in with the Christmas decorations when the season is over.
(See here for an easy napkin folding technique with no napkin ring required.)
Do you look for ways to simplify the holidays? What’s your favorite Christmas tip or shortcut?