Our Favorite Holiday Hacks From Years Past

As we descend upon the holidays (or do the holidays descend upon us?) it feels like the right time to get into the holiday-hacking mindset by revisiting all the top-notch advice we’ve dispensed in the past.

These five time-tested hacks are sure to help you achieve a more peaceful injury-free holiday season.

1. How to survive your kid’s holiday concert

You may not think this is advice you even need but that’s only because you haven’t read the post yet:

Shortly you will receive an email begging your presence at a secular solstice celebration an amalgamated holiday bonanza or a good old-fashioned instrumental cacophony. You will go not because you want to but because this is part of the deal. The kids have worked so hard!!!! They’re so excited to perform for you!!!!! 

That may be true but unless your kid goes to the Fame school this is gonna suck. Here’s how to transform brief misery into a lasting memory.

2. You need to kid-proof your holiday decor

You probably know you need to do this but did you also know that mistletoe and holly are poisonous? No?? Then go read this:

The most wonderful time of the year is also an awfully hazardous time of the year based on the 15000 holiday decorating injuries reported annually by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents need to be extra cautious when bringing out their inner Buddy the Elf on Santa’s Eve—for little kids everything looks bounceable and edible and made to be played with.

3. Put some white space on your family’s holiday calendar right now

We are here to help you resist the urge to do Every Single Holiday Thing You Could Possibly Do.

The holiday invites are pouring in. There’s the Nutcracker. That white-elephant party with the neighbors. The ugly sweater thing. The potluck for your kid’s basketball team. Breakfast with Santa. Shoot did you forget Aunt Mildred’s gingerbread-house-making workshop?

Hey: before you go any further get out your calendar right now and add some white space. Days where you’re scheduled to go absolutely nowhere do absolutely nothing and see absolutely no one.

4. How to deal with racist relatives at your holiday dinner

Look we really hope you don’t have racist relatives but statistically speaking some of you do. Maybe this will help.

The nice thing about getting together with family for the holidays is catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen since last year. It’s lovely to hear about your sister’s new job watch the kids play with their cousins and grit your teeth through your racist relatives’ awful comments. Okay wait—that’s actually not very fun. In fact it can be rather distressing and depressing.

How to deal you ask? Depending on your goals you’ve got four options.

5. Give your kid a pet gift certificate for Christmas not the actual pet

I know I know. It sounds way less fun but logistically it’s the better move.

While not as exciting (and definitely not as good for the Facebook video) those certain they want to gift their kid a pet can give them a gift certificate that covers the adoption fee of an animal at a local shelter or rescue group. (You can place it in a pet carrier or crate to make it feel more real.) The San Diego Humane Society recommends doing this in order to “actively involve the pet parent-to-be in the selection process.”

With more time you and your child can research the behavior habits energy compatibility with other animals and enrichment needs of different pets and breeds to figure out which one best suits your family.