Whew. This time of year can be so expensive, can’t it? From shopping and entertaining to baking and decorating, the holidays give us plenty of reasons to feel overwhelmed and financially stretched. It’s also so easy to lose track of our spending. Without setting and keeping a holiday budget, you could find yourself in a sticky situation when those credit card bills start coming in. This year, how about planning ahead? I mean, really planning – not just that vague list in your head (wait, is that just me?). I’m excited to be partnering with Church & Dwight for this sponsored post to share some ideas to lessen the stress this holiday season. By incorporating a few of these simple tips, you can leave a lasting impression without breaking the bank. Grab a pen and paper and start making that plan!
Setting and Keeping a Holiday Budget
It can be helpful to start by calling a family meeting. Gather your family together and discuss the holidays. What are their favourite traditions? Favourite holiday activities? When we discussed this, it turned out that most of our beloved traditions were the free ones –wrapping up all of our Christmas books to use as a sort of Advent calendar, going to see the outdoor Bethlehem Live production, and driving around town to see all of the pretty lights. We talked about meals, gift giving, every little aspect of the holidays and came up with a mutually agreed upon plan that was reasonable. Sometimes I think we, and it seems like moms do this more often than anyone, put more pressure on ourselves than we really need to! Enlist your family as part of your plan and you may find you can relieve some of the financial pressure fairly easily
Revive Outdoor Décor
Love your holiday décor from last season? Don’t be afraid to reuse it again this year to help save time and money. It’s a temptation to buy new decorations each and every year, but the more you use some of the old standards, the more they become treasured heirlooms. To revive last year’s décor and keep it looking like new, try using OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover Powder. It’s the perfect solution to remove dirt, dust and grime from decorations that were sitting in storage or outside since you put them away. We created a budget to add to our outdoor decorations each year, building our collection slowly, one piece at a time.
Try Some DIY
Make some of your own decorations and gifts. Is there anything more charming than a display of paper snowflakes that your kids made hanging in your windows? When I was a kid, we made construction paper wreaths, cutting each holly leaf out one by one and then punching red dots out for the berries. That hung up in our house until the paper disintegrated. You could make a more permanent version with felt or fun foam. And what about good old-fashioned paper chains? Hang those all over the house for some festive touches of colour. Pinterest is filled with easy and inexpensive ideas for decorations and gifts – just don’t get overwhelmed by the siren call of the many things you could make. Keep it simple!
Woo Overnight Guests
Set up your guest room in such a way as to really make your guests feel welcome. Fresh blankets and sheets are an inexpensive and cheerful way to help your guest feel like they’re staying at a hotel. To help freshen stale sheets and towels from the back of the linen closet, use Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ Unit Dose Power Paks in Fresh Scent for a refreshing clean. I like to include such things as a water carafe or bottles of water, a few little snack items, and some new inexpensive slippers or cozy socks (you can pick these up at the dollar store). Remember to provide your guests with a nightlight or small reading lamp and some extra blankets in case they get cold.
Take it one step further and have a basket on hand filled with fresh towels and toiletry items they may have forgotten, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. The new Arm & Hammer™ Truly Radiant™ lineup of products are sure to impress. The Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Toothpaste and Spinbrush™ are the perfect combination that refreshing and clean mint flavour that provides long lasting freshness guests will love! Oh and don’t forget to provide them with your wifi password – I like to print it on some pretty paper and place it in a small frame so it’s readily available when needed.
Host a Potluck Christmas Dinner
Here comes that “we put too much pressure on ourselves” thing again. Why does one person need to take on all the expense and pressure of making an entire holiday meal on their own? Make this year’s turkey dinner a team effort! Get your guests involved in the party and arrange a potluck so that everyone pitches in. As the host, take charge by preparing the turkey and have guests bring the fixings, sides and desserts (and wine)!
When it comes to clean-up, cut back on the time you spend in the kitchen by using OxiClean™ Extreme Power Crystals™ and Triple Action Dishwasher Booster to remove the toughest stuck on foods and stains. There’s no pre-rinsing or pre-washing necessary.
Dress to Impress
From family gatherings to New Year’s Eve parties, holiday spills and accidents are bound to happen. This year, don’t let a fear of spills and stains keep you from wearing your favourite party clothes. Instead, use quality laundry detergent such as OxiClean™ HD Liquid Laundry Detergent to remove any dried-on stains the first time and keep clothes looking vivid and bright. My budget-wise suggestion is to pull out last year’s outfit and see if you can revive it for another holiday season. Head to a thrift store and look for a colourful scarf or a new pair of shoes. I swear by OxiClean™ products! My daughter was away in the UK for two years. When she returned, we discovered that some of the clothing she left behind had been badly stained at an event prior to her leaving. It sat there, setting in for 2 years and yet, all it took was some OxiClean™ to make them look good as new again.
To accessorize your favourite party outfit, pair it with your best bling! For a quick, easy and effective jewelry refresher, try mixing Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda with hot water and leave your jewelry to sit for a few minutes. In no time, your diamonds will be sparkling bright and looking like new.
Schedule Some “Me Time”
Look over your schedule carefully. Between school concerts, church events, and family traditions, it can become quite full. Repeat after me – I don’t have to do it all in order to build beautiful memories with my family. Even with cutting back though, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is sure to leave any host tired, even when entertaining is kept simple. Enjoy some well-deserved “me time” and opt for a hot bubble bath with candles and reach for some Rub A535 Anti Inflammatory Heating Cream to soothe your aching muscles.