Here are 10 tips to help you if you still need some idea or if you’re struggling with too much to do.
1. Plan ahead to eliminate stress. Do your present buying as far in advance as possible. If you’re feeling as though you’re falling behind, see if a friend or relative can help you.
2. Keep your expectations rational, take care of yourself, take control of your time, and limit your commitments so you can spend time with your family and friends.
3. Visit www.healthystuff.org to find out about healthy toys is you’re buying a toy for a child.
4. Use this list from Consumer Reports to buy seven highly rated electronic products such as a Blu-ray player, digital camera, netbook, pocket camcorder, and MP3 player.
5. Use this list from Mother Earth News to buy organic, fair trade chocolate.
6. Be aware of holiday scams such as online e-cards that are loaded with viruses, malware, and spyware; fake post office of FedEx invoices aimed at stealing your credit card ot personal information; fake e-mails from "banks" asking to validate your information in order to access your account; fake ringtone downloads, fake gift card; and refurbished items that are sold as new.
7. Green your holiday with tips such as shopping online, buying earth-friendly gifts, purchasing tickets to a concert or a movie, and giving a gift of rechargeable batteries and a charger.
8. Boost your mood by eating breakfast, exercising, snacking on fruits and vegetables, eating fish, taking supplements, drinking water, listening to music, cutting back your sugar intake, and limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake.
9. Ask people to bring food and drinks to holiday meals. Order food from a restaurant or deli to save time and reduce stress. The most important thing is being able to visit with your guests.
10. Remember food safety tips such as using a meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature of poultry and meat, keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold, and leaving food out of the refrigerator for two hours only.
Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist