1. Less stress and more joy!

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    Simple tips can make the holiday season less stressful and more joyful!

    They may sound basic and mundane but try a few and see.

    If you haven’t already make a gift list and budget. Stick to it! Shop – or at least pre-shop – online.

    Shopping from your phone or the Internet lets you shop on your own schedule.

    You can also locate and compare the best prices. Then if you need to look, feel, and touch, plan one trip.

    Using free-delivery services like ShopRunner can save you a small fortune and many hours!

    Sign up for ShopRunner — for free with American Express.

    I love this service. It gives free two-day delivery from many stores and simple one-step check-out.

    I save a fortune using this service and it free to all AmEx card holder with no strings attached.


    Many stores also offer free-gift wrap and gift-receipts, be sure to check.


    Book all your services now through the New Year:

    Give cash instead of  gift cards. Cash is always a welcome gift  for your “helpers”,

    Beauty:  hair nails, etc.

    Restaurant reservations

    Catered and take-out food

    Pies and cakes from the bakery

    Classes at your gym that gets crowded

    Babysitters (do you need one for parties?)

    Car service

    Catering waiter or waitress


    It is already late to be booking anything for the holidays – so get it done now! If you get stuck and your favourite helpers are not available try:




    Also don’t forget you can 911 Facebook friends for helpers. Many may have connections to people who have experience and need a little extra income!


    This is also the time to organize your tipping list.

    Get or make nice cards.


    Remember, service people appreciate and need cash! Cash is not tacky. Try to give your gift the week before the holiday; everyone needs a little extra cushion then.


    Never feel pressured to give what you don’t have or can’t  afford. Everyone, except for the infamous “one percent,” has limits and we all know it. In my opinion, and I know I am a very good tipper, the recommended tipping amounts in many articles this time of year are crazy. I don’t know why any editor approves them. A lovely card with a thoughtful message of thanks is always appreciated.


    Adding nice cookies or a little treat is always nice too. This may sound harsh, but if you don’t bake well then don’t bake your gifts.  And if you bake for others, take the time to package things beautifully.


    Updating your calendar of holiday events and tasks nightly is also helpful. I like to play music and enjoy my tasks.


    Giving, baking, and decorating should be fun – otherwise why bother?


    This year darlings, do it with joy or forget it!