‘Tis The Season – Tips for making it jolly!

Well folks, it’s coming up on the winter holiday season!  Next week will be Thanksgiving, and right after that the shopping frenzy begins!

Through trial and error, I’ve found some ways to reduce the stress and frenzy of all the holiday goings-on, so that the season can be enjoyable, not only for my twin girls, but also for my husband, myself, and our nearest & dearest.  After all, it’s hard to spread holiday cheer around if you’re not feeling so cheerful yourself!

Here are a few tips for staying cheerful this holiday season:

*One of thing to do is to get the gift shopping done as early as you can.  That way you’re not one of those poor parents who’s trying to find the latest ‘hot’ toy via EBay in the 11th hour! Or picking over the already-picked over shelves for something not on your list because they’ve sold out.

As for what’s the latest in this season’s hot toys on store shelves:  as a mom blogger, I receive some great opportunities to get a look at great new products, sometimes even before they hit the stores!

One of the new toys that will be out this holiday season that I got a heads-up about is the KRE-O Transformers Sets!

I’m pretty sure this is going to be one of the hot hits of the 2011 holiday season!

1) First of all, it’s Transformers!  I remember envying my brother for his Transformer toys when they first came out.  What’s not to like about a toy that can either be a car, or if you rearrange the pierces, a cool robot?  And some of these KRE-O Transformer Sets can transform, not only into a vehicle or a robot, but also a command center with little action figures!

And even though my twins are girls, they love playing with cars, and they think robots are cool! So KRE-O Transformer Sets would be a great toy for both boys and girls to play with!  (After all, not everything a girl plays with needs to look like the Pink Fairy spit up on it!)

2) Secondly, another great thing about toys like the KRE-O Transformer Sets, is that it’s like a cool 3-D puzzle that a kid (and moms & dads, too, if the kids are willing to share!) can play with interactively!  My girls love putting puzzles together and this would be a puzzle they could have fun with, even after all the pieces are in place!  And speaking of pieces – they’re compatible with the leading brick sets, so they complement each other and can add to the fun!  And as I’ve mentioned above, this is something that all ages 6 and up (even us adults!) can have fun with!

3) Thirdly, the sets are available in different sizes and price ranges – from $7.99 to $59.99 – so they fit into pretty much every budget!

OK, enough of my drooling over one of the cool things that I wish I had gotten when I was a kid!  Let me mop up the puddle here and get back to some more tips for de-stressing the holidays:

The Holiday Feast!  Piles of mashed potatoes (with little bits of panfried onions mixed in! Yum!), casseroles of greenbeans (the twins have expressed an interest in possibly eating this! Huzzah!!), the roast beast of your choice – Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef or Tofurkey, or….Turduchen!! (that’s when they stuff a turkey with a duck and there’s a chicken stuffed into the duck)  How about a holiday tip to make sure the food is melt-in-your-mouth and not mom’s-having a-meltdown!

*What I’m doing is buying a few of the Feast ingredients at a time with my current shopping trips – that way I don’t have to deal with the massive hordes of holiday feast shoppers at the last minute! (and it’s not such a massive hit on the budget all at once 🙂 )

*And whatever I can cook ahead of time and store in the freezer is something else that I won’t be stressed to do with what little time I’ll have available since the kids will be home from school for the holidays soon.

*And yes, I’m going to take a stab at getting our Holiday cards done early this year – before December, if possible! 

Hopefully that will mean that I won’t add to my shameful pile of unsent cards that have been accumulating for the past couple of years!

*And as for the Special Event portion of the season – you know, Nutcracker performances, Tree Lightings, Chanukah Menorah Lightings, Holiday Parties and all the other things that taken in small doses are a great time – but overload is just not fun!  We’re just going to pick a few things and then forget about the rest.

Remember, Holidays are supposed to be about enjoying some quality time with your loved ones – not a marathon of cramming in as much activity until you’re all twitching heaps of tension!

So take deep breaths, relax and repeat to yourself: “This is supposed to be fun!”

Have a fun and SAFE holiday season everyone!!

**I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hasbro blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points and a KRE-O gift. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SocialMoms or Hasbro. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

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