Photo by: iStock

Holiday Hacks for Moms

Photo by: iStock

I could literally feel my blood pressure raise the first moment I saw Christmas trees on display (and for the record, Lowe’s, September is WAY TOO SOON). It’s not that I don’t enjoy the holidays (the lights, the food, the movies, the togetherness…I love it ALL), but it’s just that I don’t like the stress that comes along with it. As everyone knows, it’s the mom who does most of the work for the holidays and with that comes along a TON of pressure. So after escaping my family to catch Bad Moms Christmas with my mom squad, I was inspired to find some holiday shortcuts to make this holiday season more joyful and less stressful. My gift to you, dear reader, are my holiday hacks to help you relax and truly enjoy the month ahead:

Give yourself a break this year and simply post a holiday photo of your family with a jolly greeting on social media in lieu of a holiday card. You will save money, time, and effort. I mean…aren’t there a thousand things you’d rather be doing instead of tracking down addresses?

Create a babysitting co-op with friends and families that you trust. That way, you can save money on babysitters but still have time to get around town, running errands, escaping the constant sibling arguments, and taking some much needed “me time.” And when it is your turn to watch the gaggle of kids, simply order a pizza, pop in a movie, and let the kids entertain each other. Just keep an ear open for clunks and thuds.

Consider Cyber Monday a holiday and take a half day from work if you can. That way, you can get almost all of your holiday shopping done from the comfort of your couch, and with all of the great deals that are out there, you will save time AND money. I’ll be sharing my favorite Cyber Monday steals soon…stay tuned!

Make meal prep easier by relying on the grocery store. Stock up on rotisserie chickens for simple yet delicious meals, and utilize the butcher for prepped meats.

Skip doing laundry during the holidays. Well, not ALL the laundry. But if you sign up for Le Tote, the stylish clothing rental service for moms, you won’t have to do YOUR laundry and will look effortlessly stylish at all of your holiday events. Plus, you won’t get caught wearing the same thing twice.

Shop at small businesses instead of big box stores. Not only are you supporting your community, but there are also SO many perks to take advantage of, such as shopping by phone and complimentary gift wrapping.

Speaking of gift giving, simplify it as best you can. Instead of giving individual gifts to nieces and nephews, consider giving a family gift. A board game, snacks, and a comfy blanket make the PERFECT Family Game Night gift. You can also save yourself a few steps and give gift box subscriptions. All you have to do is order online, and everything else is done for you. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Lastly, give up the need to have a Pinterest Perfect holiday table. Seriously, just let it go. Because let’s face it, your kids probably won’t even eat the fancy meals that you slave over in the kitchen. Better yet, order a delicious pie from one of your favorite bakeries and pass it off as your own. Even grandma will be fooled.

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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