Monday, October 22, 2012

Ideas for Stress Reduced Holidays

Welcome to Planners' Pointers! 

"The Holidays Are Coming!  The Holidays are Coming!" is the thought among many of us starting in October.   From Halloween to New Years Eve, the time will fly by potentially causing a great deal of stress.  Here are  ideas to help you avoid the holiday stress.

  1. Holiday Cards.  Start working on the list Now!  If you are like me and like not only a great holiday message, but good art, boxed cards can get expensive. 
    1. One of my first stops is Tuesday Morning. I know that I will have to do some searching through the boxes, but I have been successful in finding exactly what I want . 
    2. Do you have a Hallmark Card Gold Rewards Card?  If you do, then head on over to your local Hallmark Store ( for their Buy One Get One boxed card sale.  Don't forget the wrapping paper!  It's on sale to!  
    3. Want to design a card yourself?  Add a picture?  Send cards  to your list without cramping your hand?   Send Out Cards  is  a wonderful website that allows you to both choose among their  thousands of cards or design your own by adding pictures, designs and your own words.  You can choose or design your own holiday card and send it to your card list in the same time as it takes to make a batch of cookies!  Becoming a card sender is easy and there are several levels of membership.  

  1. Decorations -- When the first flameless tea lights came out a few years ago I was not a fan, after all  they didn't even look like candles.  With  the introduction of wax flameless candles, I have changed my mind.  The flickering is more natural and they have timers that allow up to 5 or 6 hours of continuous flame.  I think they work well in center pieces or anywhere you want to set and forget.  Leave it to Energizer, the battery people,  to have a line of wax flameless candles that work really well.  Check it out at their website 

  1. Shopping.   For me shopping early helps me avoid the crowds.   According to the best time to get the lowest  prices on all your electronics is  from mid November till Black Friday.  Toy prices are better after December 1st, but you have to realize that what your children want may be out of stock by then.  The good news is that on-line prices for all goods will be the same as what is in the store.  A fact that wasn't true a couple of years ago.

  1. The Holiday Party.  The Holiday Party was hit by the recession recently, but is coming back.  It may not be as lavish as it once was but businesses have learned that parties have a positive effect on the company morale.
    1. Make it less about the booze.  Instead of an open bar use  drink tickets  and limit the number you give to everyone.  Purchasing your open bar by the drink instead of by the person is sometimes cheaper.  Having only beer and wine available is another way to control costs without eliminating alcohol all together.  Add a soft drink service for around $100.00.
    1. Add Activities   Give people something to do beside sit around.  Photo booths are hanging on but one of the hot trends is making  flipbooks.  How about having  indoor 9 hole mini golf and having an indoor golf tournament? 
    2. For the cost conscience out there have a holiday luncheon instead of a dinner.   Several restaurants are offering rewards if you book before October 31st. 

Happy Stress Free Holidays!

Planners Pointers is a blog and talk cast to help beginning event planners with their event planning share ideas on planning better events, books to read and websites to discover.

Planner's Pointers is written by  Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP,  of Kilgore Business Services.  You may reach me through my website or you may call me at 412-260-4178 You can find podcasts of Planner's Pointers at

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