Slacker Mom’s Guide to the Holidays By Slummy Mummy
The Slacker Mom’s Guide to the Holidays
You’ve nearly made it through another entire year as a parent! Go you! You deserve a well-earned break. Oh, wait… it’s the holidays. Somehow you are obligated to work harder than ever.
Step away from Pinterest. Put down the gin. (For now.) I’ve got your back.
Here are a few simple tips to skate through with as little labor as possible:
- Mason Jars-They’ve left the realm of Granny-canning and gone totally hipster. You can fill them with pretty much anything–coffee, candy, layered baking ingredients. Pass them off as homemade hip by tying a frayed piece of twine around them. I’ve very indie Brooklyn flea market.
- Gift cards-Your local CVS stocks an entire rack for them for a variety of stores. Pair one with a card in the same theme (a Bass Pro Gift Shops gift card and a fish greeting card for your father-in-law) and it will actually appear as if you put some thought into this.
- Amazon.com: I had always taken great care to find the perfect gift for each family member, sometimes shopping for months before the holidays. But the first Christmas after my son was born, I was dazed in Newborn Land. I could barely keep my eyes open and certainly couldn’t spend hours traipsing through the snow-filled streets of Manhattan to find the most personalized gifts. Amazon saved my life. They sell pretty much everything.. You can enter your credit card information once, making it easy to buy an item with about 2 clicks. They always run shipping deals around Christmas–making it faster and cheaper than most websites. I bought gifts for all 23 family members from my laptop while breastfeeding a newborn. Win!
- Impressive Appetizers– Nothing signals fancy like a platter of cheese piled high with fixin’s like olives, red peppers, artichoke hearts, etc. (all things you can dump out of a can or jar). And cheese is simple–just unwrap it. I’ve observed ( in my double-blind scientific studies) that the smellier the cheese, the more gourmet guest perceive it to be.
- Home Made Salsa (NOT)-Pour store-bought salsa into a festive bowl. Then add chopped cilantro to it. The cilantro gives it that extra kick that makes it seem like you made it yourself.
- Pasta-The easiest main course to pass off as your own is pasta. So get one of those humongous family-sized lasagnas at your local warehouse store, make sure to plop it out of its aluminum pan, and put it into one of your own baking dishes. (Don’t worry if it slides around and gets messy–it looks more authentic that way) After you reheat it, add some fresh basil leaves on top.
- Presentation-It’s all about the fancy plates, people. Somehow everything looks more homemade served on a fancy plate. Or…wait for it… a cupcake tower!
The number one slacker mom’s trick to housekeeping for the holidays is to pay someone else to do it. But if that is not an option, here are some hacks to make your home appear clean quickly:
- De-Clutter-We underestimate the effect clutter has on the perception of a clean home. Grab a laundry basket or empty box and run around picking up all non-essential items and eyesores. Stow it in a closet or the garage.
- Smell-A common trick used by real estate agents for years to make homes smell more appealing is to pour some imitation vanilla into a baking pan and heat it in a 300-degree oven for an hour. Heavenly! And I’m a big fan of Febreeze–spray your curtains! The bathroom rug! Your husband’s gym shoes!
- Child Labor-If you were smart, you tricked your kids into thinking of cleaning as fun from an early age. My four-year-old loves to vacuum. Get them in on it! If that fails, bribe them. Pin a dustrag onto the front of your crawler’s onesie. If he’s going to crawl around on the dirty floor, he might as well help.
Oh, the hours and effort I’ve saved you! You can thank me by inviting my in-laws to YOUR house next year. I’ll bring the vanilla extract…
–Need some Slacker Tips for Baking? Check out my piece about Fake Baking in Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, a new ebook. Proceeds go to feed needy families this Thanksgiving.
–And Slacker Mom has some awesome, easy, cheap Halloween costumes for moms and kids in this video and post.
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