Final Holiday To-Do's: This is a Job for Starbucks

Christmas Eve is tomorrow and boy have I been swamped. I am sure you have, too. And I bet you still have one or two things to get done before all the festivities begin.

This marathon of sparkles, ribbon, stamps and errands can only be done with the help of coffee. I'm completely serious. The past two weeks I've been up until 1:30 a.m. wrapping teacher gifts, coworkers' gifts, labeling greeting cards...the list goes on.  And every morning I've had to get up and go to work. I can't do it without coffee, and to try and stay in the spirit of the holiday without losing my mind, I drink Starbucks. Heck. The holiday package sitting next to my coffee maker as I stare, bleary-eyed, waiting for my jolt of courage to brew cheers me up and gets me humming jingle bells.

I mean, look at it.
It's all shiny and happy.

And it has a rich, spicy yet smooth flavor, just what mamma needs to get my family to the finishing line of Christmas.

What does that entail?

Greeting cards:

So I have over-achiever issues. And every year, I custom design our greeting card, preferably with infographics about what we did as a family over the past year. I'm an art director by trade, so I get a sick fun doing these. I even do a bit of math to make sure the graphs and data are as accurate as possible. Sometimes this attention to detail makes these cards late. Well, I just got my babies in the mail this past weekend, thanks to my helper-hubby-elf, but this is later than usual.

Some of my greeting card tips:
  • If making custom printed cards, use one of the many online printers. They have templates you can download and the pricing is awesome! We use overnight prints and they have never let us down.

  • Use Avery labels for addressing, and keep a file on your computer with all the names in one of their templates that you can download from their website. Every year, save a new file and date it, with updates and address changes. This saves a ton of time.
  • Use a paper towel and a little bit of water to seal envelopes. It beats licking them (remember that Seinfeld episode where George's fiance died from licking all the wedding envelopes? That always stayed with me. *shudder)
  • For your assembly line helpers, make some hot cocoa (like Starbucks Salted Caramel) -or a cup of java-to get the cards done and in the mailbox with a spring in your step and a smile on your face!
Wrapping presents
  • First, get organized. I had wrapping supplies in three different places in the house, as well as scraps of various sizes of wrapping paper flying all over the place. It was very bad wrapping Feng Shui. I took all the bags and bins filled with wrapping flotsam, brought it all in front of the TV, grabbed the recycling bin and trash bin, and just went through everything. Labels I put in a plastic bag, ribbons in another, threw out anything that wasn't usable and consolidated everything in one big holiday bin to use every year and store with all the other holiday decorations. I wanted it out of the way the rest of the year, and not to be mixed up with my more generic wrapping stuff for birthdays and such.
  • Clear an area as your wrapping station, and have supplies nearby.
  • Brew your favorite holiday beverage-maybe even with a shot of peppermint schnapps because wrapping endless presents sucks. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays and I love giving, but after the third present, I want to wish a holiday genie into being to wrap the rest. Ugh. I'm getting tired even talking about it. Starbuck's Via, peppermint liquor and a splash of Bailey's. Mmmmm. Makes wrapping bearable.
Last-Minute Gifts and Hostess Gifts
There are always some people you still need to cover off on a couple days before Christmas. Here is a list of ideas for you so you don't need to stress on small gifts for hostesses, stylists, mailmen, Girl Scout leaders, interns and the like.

  • Gift cards. Every store, online and off, has gift cards. Etsy gift cards, Target gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, even Subway gift cards. I got a $10 Subway gift card from one of my scouting families and it came in very handy when I forgot my lunch one day and wanted a sandwich! They basically treated me to lunch! Small yet practical gestures are usually the best gifts. Wrap the gift card in a small box to make it feel more special.
  • Bag of goodies. Grab a gift bag and buy some miscellaneous things within your budget and stick with a theme. Fill it with golf balls and tees, or supplies for a manicure, or make it coffee themed by visiting Starbucks. They have great small edibles, bags of coffee and great mugs and cups to make a really nice hostess gift.

  • An ornament: If you know your recipient celebrates Christmas, give them a cool ornament. It seems they have a holiday ornament for just about any interest now. This is a gift they can enjoy yearly. They will think of you every time they decorate the tree. I have ornaments from many past coworker friends who I don't see much anymore. Every time I pull out one of their ornaments to decorate the tree, I think of them and smile.
  • Kitchen presents and handmade gifts: Put up some jam this summer? Or tomatoes? Bake some holiday cookies? Have a special hot cocoa mix you always make? The dollar store has great jars, tins, plates, and boxes and you can fill them all with your special kitchen prowess. Tag it cutely and there you go! Something special from your heart and hands is always well received. And if you're really crafty, you can make some hand made gifts quite quickly. My favorite is the upcycled handmade scarf I make for my female pals. You can make a scarf in about 2 hours. How about some wine charms? Or fingerless gloves?
I hope you found my tips on getting to the finish line of the holidays helpful! My daughter and I are off to shop for my hubby. She needs to get him a gift-hopefully it's fast! We have a lot more wrapping to do today (Sigh. Cue the schnapps).

Happy Holidays!

Please note: Starbucks Holiday blend and the fabulous Peppermint Mocha Via and hot cocoas were provided by Starbucks. All thoughts, opinions and obsessions about Starbucks coffee are completely my own. Thanks! #starbucks #starbucksholidayblend @starbucks #peppermintmocha #via



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