The 10 best sanity-saving Holiday hacks

Welcome crisp weather, party invitations, Thanksgiving recitals, delicious cookies, and everything else the Holiday Season brings!

Yes, the most wonderful time of the year is here.

But it can also be a tad stressful, right? All of the travel, hosting events, going to events, buying gifts for everyone, and putting up/taking down decorations means, on top of your regularly scheduled programming, you have LOTS more to do.

That’s why I am always on the lookout for good shortcuts.

Here are 10 truly useful hacks for the Holidays

holiday-gift-2
Give Uniformly. Find one great gift, like a personalized journal & notepad, and get it for everyone on your list. It saves time and gives you a "signature" gift.
holiday-cookies
Host a cookie exchange. You get the efficiencies of baking one type of cookie in bulk - and so do your friends. Plus you all get the added benefit of a little quality time together while you do your swapping. That's a great 2-for-1 benefit.
before-you-assume-ask
Just because it is a tradition does not mean it is inviolable. Find out which parts of the holiday truly mean the most to your loved ones. Rather than seethe in silence, ask what others truly find meantingful. Keep one or two of those traditions -- period -- and do them up.
trust-your-gut
Before you accept a party invitation or sign up to bring something somewhere, check in with your gut. Does the thought send your stomach in knots? Or are you excited about it. If you're not thrilled about the prospect, do not proceed. No need to worry about what anyone else thinks.
black-friday-skip-it
The Wall Street Journal crunched Black Friday numbers going back SIX years - and you know what they found out? Black Friday is not the best time to get a deal. You'll find great deals online pretty much any day of the week, especially if you are a VIP.
whole-wheat-pie-crust
Make some pie crusts ahead of time - you can freeze the dough for up to 6 months. That way you won't be up to your elbows in dough at the last minute.
spin
Lock yourself in to at least 3 exercise classes a week. It's better than Prozac and turbo-charges your energy levels, which you'll need.
rolloutdoughoncookiesheet-step1
If you are baking shaped cookies, try rolling out the dough right on the cookie sheet, saving a few steps.
vegenchilada2
Each time you make a casserole dish, like spinach enchiladas (my favorite), over the next two weeks - double the recipe and freeze the extra casserole. That way you will have some get out of jail free nights when you really need them without having to resort to take out or unhealthy options.
5-ways-to-wear-a-little-black-dress-for-the-holidays-main-image
Pick a uniform dress for Holiday gatherings. Just map out four or five ways to accessorize the outfit so that it looks different each time.
NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail

Links
Find out how to organize a cookie exchange
Get ideas for accessorizing one little black dress multiple ways
Grab the recipe for yummy spinach enchiladas

Do you have any Holiday shortcuts that keep you sane? Please share them with us!