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20 Christmas Shortcuts

With all the festive flitting and fussing that's about to take place over the next few weeks, even the mellowest of sugar-plum fairies can feel a little fretful. If you're experiencing the crunch, slow down and find ways to make this season the tranquil time it was meant to be. Our inspiring ideas will help you balance the pace and the peace of the season.

By Paula Jhung

Make Spirits Bright
family on Christmas
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Seek Serenity

Wrap It Light

Deck the Halls Simply
Christmas tree
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Miki Duisterhof

Staying in the Holiday Mood
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How do you keep a positive mood when the holidays get stressful?

More Shortcuts Forget Figgy Pudding

Keep Company

8 Fun and Festive Ways to Display Christmas Cards

They're colorful, they're pretty, and they're plentiful. Make the most of these treasured tidings by displaying them imaginatively.

  1. Punch holes in their upper corners, string a narrow strand of red, green, or metallic ribbon through each, and hang them as ornaments from the branches of the tree.
  2. Make Christmas place mats by mounting cards on cut pieces of 12-x-15-inch poster or mat board. Sandwich them between sheets of clear, self-sticking plastic or have them laminated at a print shop.
  3. Create place cards for Christmas dinner by writing each guest's name on the prettiest cards received. Set them above each dinner plate.
  4. Fresh out of gift tags? Cut the backs off cards, and write the recipient's and giver's names on the front. Then tape, tuck, or tie to the package.
  5. Create a "greetings wreath" by clipping cards with tiny wooden clothespins to the biggest wooden embroidery hoop you can find in the crafts store. Leave space to slip ribbon or yarn through the top and suspend it from an inside door or above the fireplace mantel.
  6. Encircle a window, door, or archway with cards by attaching loops of blue painter's tape to their backs. Painter's tape not only sticks well, it leaves no gummy residue on windows or walls.
  7. Swag a garland of greens over a mantel or through the top of a banister and clip cards to it with red and green clamp-style paper clips.
  8. Make a holiday screen by taping together three pieces of foam-core board and covering them with a collage of cards. Display the screen in a prominent corner of the living room and prop it in front of a mess when company arrives.

Staying in the Holiday Mood
Tell Us!

How do you keep a positive mood when the holidays get stressful?