Simplifying The Holidays

The holidays are stressful enough, but if you have a small child at home, they can seem even worse. Tricia O'Brien, Features Editor for American Baby Magazine, has some tips for keeping your holiday on track.

First, avoid event overload. There are many parties and other gatherings that you'll be invited to this time of year. That doesn't mean you have to attend every one. "Wait to RSVP until the last minute and just pick and choose those events that are most important to you," says O'Brien.

If you yourself are hosting a party, do your best to make it hassle free. "Don't feel like you have to decorate every party of your home," says O'Brien. "If there's one thing you really like, concentrate on that area."

Also, there's nothing wrong with hiring a caterer or heating up a frozen lasagna. Or, try a potluck dinner where every guest brings something. You'll save money and time.

Another way to save money is to cut back on gifts. Streamline your shopping list as much as possible. O'Brien suggests shopping all year round or encouraging family members to do a secret Santa exchange instead. "Really limit what you're buying," she adds.

If you do have several gifts to buy, turn to the internet. Not only can you shop while baby naps, you can probably find everything you want on one website. Try an online department store. "That way, you can, you know, save money on your shipping and just do shopping for grandmas, aunts, sisters, babies - everyone in the same place," says O'Brien. Simplify where you can.

Another easy way to cut back is to cut down your Christmas card list or eliminate it altogether. Or, try sending New Year's cards instead. By sending cards after the holiday rush, you'll have time to write a more personal note in each one.

For more information on conquering the holidays with baby in tow, visit

By Erin Petrun