Friday, December 18, 2015

Something's Gotta Give - Holiday Edition

Have you seen the Big Lots commercial airing with the women singing "Christmas doesn't happen without ME!"? Can you relate? The gift shopping, the outfits the family wears, the decorations, the wrapping...we do it all and more.

On top of our regular stuff going on. Kid duties, laundry, dishes, cooking, social events, etc.

There is no way to do it all. Well there is, but something else has to give. Usually, it's a good night's sleep that gets crossed off the list. But, due to a nasty pre-holiday cold I've been fighting, I can't make it past 10pm any night, so I've had to cut back in other areas.

So here's what's taking a back seat around our house:

  • Clean floors - wearing shoes helps me stay oblivious to the amount of dirt and dog hair on the floor.
  • House decorations - just the bigger ones that make more of a visual impact went up this year. I don't think anyone in my family even paid attention to all those little holiday trinkets skillfully arranged on the shelves anyway.
  • Cooking - yeah, we've been eating out a lot. I'll hit the gym hard in January. 
  • Working out - well, technically, it's because I've been feeling under the weather, but...
  • Helping with homework - sorry, kids, ask your dad!
  • Screen time rules - deliberate ignorance...the kids are totally eating this up.

There you go, all out in the open.

I'd rather let the small things go than try to do it all and wind up a mental basket case by Christmas morning. Not that that's ever happened before. So don't feel bad about what's falling by the wayside at your house.

And I'd prefer it no one drops by unexpectedly, mkay?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Where to Hide Presents

As the kids get older, I have to get sneakier. I remember when I was little, I didn't dare snoop. Okay, maybe I poked around a little. But honestly, I was expecting to find wrapped gifts in a closet somewhere. It never occurred to look for shopping bags.

Something tells me that if my kids decided to go on a gift-finding mission, they'd be looking for bags. And I'm thinking the bottom of the closet's not going to cut it.

The past couple of years I've kept them in our garage cabinets. My plan this year is to stash them in my "empty" box pile in the garage. But, now that I think of it, I may need to up my game.
Way too obvious
When they were little I could keep them in the trunk of the car. Now that we're carting around band equipment and baseball gear, I need to hastily bring in any purchases as soon as I get home. One year, on Christmas Eve, the kids helped themselves to the key to the locked truck bed and found their big gift. And we thought we had a good hiding place!

So, if you're like me and you don't have an extra closet with an empty void available and are looking for a place to stash, here are some ideas.

Clever Hiding Places for Christmas Presents
Nuthin' but empty bins here, kids!
  • Empty holiday decoration bins - once you unpack the decorations, leave the bins in the garage and fill them with gifts
  • Up high - kids usually don't think to look up. The higher the better. Think attic or garage rafters. Closets can be pretty obvious.
  • In boxes or bins, but label the outside "Easter" or "Goodwill"
  • Wrapped under the tree with gift tags for someone else. They won't be too interested in what Aunt Jennifer is getting.
  • An outdoor shed (ideally, locked up). How often to kids ever go there?
    The threat of yard work duty...
  • Empty suitcases - genius!
  • Off-site - think grandma's, a friend's, or a neighbor's house, or at work if you have your own office storage.
The most obvious place? In your room, in a closet, or under the bed.

So good luck, parents!

And be sure to keep your receipts well hidden too.

What other clever hiding places have you found? Have your kids ever found your stash? Post a comment below and let me hear about it.