You know that person who has all their Christmas cards sent, gifts bought and presents wrapped to perfection under the tree by the first week of December? Um, yeah…that is NOT me. I wish it were. I so want to be that person who doesn’t procrastinate and gets the holiday prep done way ahead of schedule, but every year the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas feel shorter and shorter. I’m always scrambling to get it all done, despite my best intentions.
One thing I am good at: Improvisation. Life with three kids under six is anything but predictable and I try to approach the holidays with a flexible mindset. Accepting that my best-laid plans might fall apart from the outset puts less strain on everyone. And it makes it easier to roll with the chaos and come up with a plan b (or c) when things don’t go as expected. I also keep my Mastercard saved in all of my favorite apps that help me “mom-hack” life. Sounds like a small thing, but being able to check items off my to-do list and solve unexpected problems with the click of a button can be huge—especially in a week where all my kids were sick with the flu.
If you’re looking for some holiday hacks that will keep the kids happy (and keep you from pulling your hair out), here are a few ways my card on file has helped me simplify the season.
One-Click Dinner Delivery
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it can feel like everything is going wrong. Last Tuesday was a prime example. All three of my kids had the stomach flu. It was as awful as it sounds. As soon as the baby stopped throwing up, my middle would start. Then the oldest would wake up and start crying for me from upstairs. To make matters worse, we had company arriving that afternoon and I was supposed to make dinner. The good news? I made an awesome roast chicken. It was really yummy. So yummy that the dog couldn’t keep his paws off of it. As I stared at what was left of our dinner all over the kitchen floor, I honestly wanted to cry. Then, I remembered my card is on file with Postmates. Not only did I salvage dinner, but I also managed to replenish our dwindling supply of Pedialyte—all in under an hour.
Slowing down to spend time as a family with no distractions can be hard to pull off. Each year, I try and book family bonding time off the grid so we can connect and be present with one another. This holiday we’re headed back to my happy place: Sun Valley, Idaho. I made a list of everything we needed for the trip: Flights, ski lessons for the boys, lift tickets, lodging, etc. I thought I had it all covered, but on my way to school pickup I realized I forgot to book a rental car (and a carseat for Odette). Luckily, I was able to use my card on file with Expedia to quickly book a family-friendly vehicle in the time it took to wait for the boys in the carpool line. A crisis averted with minimal time spent on my phone? Yes, please!
One-Click Movie Dates with Dad
And then there are some days when you just need to divide and conquer. Because even when I do finally manage to get my shopping done, I can’t get everyone out of the house long enough to wrap the gifts. This year, I’m determined not to stay up all night on Christmas Eve wrapping. So I scheme a diversion strategy…a movie date with Dad! Thanks to my card on file in the Fandango app, the movie tickets are confirmed in under a minute and I get empty house to cross off all my Christmas to-dos—and some much needed “me time.” Everybody wins.
How do you hack your ways through the holiday season? Drop some of your time saving tips below in the comments!
This post has been sponsored by Mastercard, but all opinions are my own.