I’m still alive! It’s been a combination of writers’ block and a lot of traveling that has kept me away and fortunately and unfortunately the traveling isn’t over yet. But in the midst of the holidays I thought I’d share my list of Holiday Hacks.
- Costco Christmas Cards – This year I actually did a Christmas card for the first time in my married life, and after shopping around I found Vistaprint was inexpensive and had really cute options, but Costco was MUCH cheaper and they had next day pickup. So I went with Costco. A couple of weeks ago they had a $5 off coupon which allowed us to get 75 cards and lined envelopes for $15. The normal price is $14.99 per 50 cards, still a steal. The trick is to go with the photo greeting cards, they’re printed on photo paper and only one sided, but for us that was just fine! Order them here. I also love Costco’s fresh cut Christmas trees but you have to buy one right when the truck gets there so you can saw off the end and get it right into water, otherwise they’re sitting on the truck drying out for a long time and won’t be as fresh.
- Ginger Snap Christmas Cookies – My best friend introduced me to this recipe one year when it was posted in the Chicago Tribune and now we both make these every year, and every year have many requests for the recipe. I also always get people asking if these are homemade or store bought, which no one asks about anything else I make so I take as a compliment! These are my favorite cookies of the whole year and they freeze perfectly so I bake a bunch, put them in ziplocks and bring them to parties and Christmas celebrations as I go. Find the recipe here.
- Low Cal Dark and Stormy Cocktail – I have my sister and her husband to thank for introducing me to these, and while it definitely tastes better made with real Ginger Beer, that has A LOT of sugar, and I usually try to consume my entire sugar allowance from the aforementioned cookies. SO I swap the Ginger Beer for Vernon’s Diet Ginger Ale and voila! My go-to holiday cocktail and because I make it with Diet Ginger Ale instead of Ginger Beer it’s low sugar, low calorie and you can make it at most holiday parties with the standard bar fixin’s. Recipe here.
- Secret Santa – We do secret santa on both sides with our siblings and their spouses, which actually simplifies things a ton, you only have one person to buy for and you have a higher limit, so you can get them something they actually want. This site was clutch in helping each person get someone to buy for secretively.
- Santa Threats – No child’s (or parent’s) Christmas would be complete without a healthy dose of Santa related threats; “Oh no! I hear Santa! Hurry get into your car seat!” or “Santa does not like whiners!” or my personal favorite – “If you _______ (insert thing you are trying to get child to do)we’ll FaceTime Santa and tell him what a great job you did!” Well now you can follow through on at least that last one…introducing the Video Call Santa App. You’re welcome.