3 Simple & Smart Ways to Make the Holidays Easier

Who doesn't want to make the season special for themselves and their families? With all the emphasis on DIY in recent years, it's easy to get caught up in creating unique, one-of-a-kind holidays that delight and impress our loved ones. Pretty soon you're knitting garland from reclaimed dryer lint, churning your own butter for cookies, and listening to a Christmas carol you composed last night on a vintage theremin. If that energizes you, all power to you.

But it's also possible to approach the season less like a slash and burn mission, and actually spend more time with friends and family. (Or watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the 80th time if that's your thing.)

Here are some ideas for making the holidays a little less hectic:

1. Do a Cookie Swap - Instead of making five different types of cookies, make a lot of the same kind and trade with some friends. This is also a great informal way to check in with friends during this very, very busy season. Your only stress will be avoiding that person — you know the one — whose baked goods taste like paper.

2. Go Digital - Christmas wish lists need not be in calligraphy, and holiday cards need not be screen printed. With things like Amazon and Paperless Post, you save time and paper. It's OKAY.

3. Make Gift Pacts - Make a pact with family (or even just a few like-minded siblings) not to give each other gifts. It will eliminate some running around, and lessen the amount of unwanted stuff floating around post-holidays.

What do you think? Does it feel like cheating?

(Image: Shutterstock)