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14 Days Until Christmas Eve

Today marks 14 days until Christmas Eve and I have to say this year I have been slacking with the shopping.  For some reason my heart is not as into it as it been in other years.  So while I try to work out of my "funk" I wanted to share my tidbits for how to handle the last minute shopping, the gift exchange at work, and of course my favorite... baking.

Last Minute Shopping
Having worked retail for most of my teens and young adult life I can say shopping has never and will never be my favorite thing.  The crowds of people tend to make me feel overwhelmed and frustrated when I have a plan of attack and it gets sidetracked or interrupted.  I am the Internet shopper because of this, but have seen some stories of stores charging more to shop online than to walk in the store and pick up your items and I want to get the best bargain for what I buy.  So what do I do?

1. Make a list of who you are shopping for
2. Shop when others are working: Lunch breaks
3. Utilize shopping apps: Retailmenot, Living Social, and Groupon

Gift Exchange at Work
I am the giving type of person and feel that gift exchanges at work are a good way to boost motivation and morale at work.  I work for a large company and we do secret santa with a maximum dollar amount to spend and it is a huge hit.  By setting a limit no one feels overwhelmed with another gift to buy and no one is obligated to participate.  So what do you buy your co-worker?  You spend 40+ hours a week with these people and to be fair they are like a second family.  You pick up on tidbits of things you may never have realized you have noticed.  Let's look at gift ideas under $20.00

1. Gift card to their favorite lunch spot
2. A gift basket of their favorite treats
3. A paperweight or some item for them to keep on their desk

One of my favorite holiday pastimes is baking.  There is nothing better than the smell of treats from the oven during winter months in New England.  There are the cookies that Grandma used to make or even the new traditions I made when my son was small.  With the holidays looming and busy day to day events it may be hard to dedicate time to keeping those traditions but they are important so to make it easier on you and to keep those traditions going here are some tricks I use.

1. Find recipes that don't require a lot of ingredients
2. Get the kids to pitch in
3. Spread it out over time- don't do all the baking in one day.

Let's keep making memories!

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