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Your Stress-Free Holiday Starts Here

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The smartest advice we could rustle up so you can actually enjoy yourself.

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This month, 99 percent of women with a to-do list a mile long start panicking about how to get it all done. To help, we got the inside scoop from top-notch experts on how to banish holiday freak-outs. Give even one of these tips a try, and we guarantee you'll stress less -- and start having more fun.

Keep it simple outdoors... Put a wreath on your front door and a small potted evergreen (available from your local garden center) on either side of the doorway. Place a floodlight pointing upward behind each tree, and that's it -- your outdoor decorating is done, says Dan Ho, author of Rescue from Domestic Perfection and host of the Discovery Health Channel's Dan Ho Show, which debuts in January.

...then place a gorgeous tree inside. Haven't got hours to unpack and hang all of your ornaments? Try this quick trick from design expert Nate Berkus, author of Home Rules: Buy grosgrain or satin ribbon in ivory or chocolate brown ("Brown looks so crisp next to the green of the tree," explains Berkus) that's at least 2 inches wide, and wrap it loosely like a garland around your tree from top to bottom. With the remaining ribbon, tie bows to some of the branches. Add strands of little white lights, and you've got an easy, elegant focal point for your holiday celebration.

Think outside the box. There's no need to make an extra trip to the store to stock up on holiday wrapping paper. Instead, give your gifts a creative twist by using "brown craft paper tied with twine," suggests Berkus. "Simple is always best, and it allows the gift inside to shine." Other clever wrapping-paper substitutions: recycled holiday shopping bags stuffed with tissue -- even the newspaper.

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maasshelga wrote:

On Christmas Eve our family looks forward to get together at our house. Our three granddaughters come earlier and visit with each other while they finish decorating the indoor Christmas tree, are having fun carrying all our gifts from where they were stored to the tree. Then they help sett the tables with the holiday china, which gives me time to finish the last minute touches to the cooking before the rest of the family arrives. This way we work together and are having fun, too.

12/6/2009 07:18:57 PM Report Abuse
veggiedogs wrote:

Gifts turn into a simple craft for occupying kids too. Have them decorate butcher paper with markers or stickers. They love to give gifts featuring 'their' giftwrap designs.

12/6/2009 12:50:24 PM Report Abuse
bigrugger wrote:

my family always enjoyed wrapping gifts in the comic section from the newspaper (especially Sunday's which came in color)

12/6/2009 10:50:09 AM Report Abuse
beth7cam wrote:

Good ideas

10/24/2009 09:07:36 AM Report Abuse

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