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10 Holiday Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity This Season

Sponsored by Refinery29.

There’s no shortage of shortcuts to make the holidays and New Year’s less stressful. Check out our favorites below, which range from top-notch Christmas cards, the cheapest NYE flights, and ultimate speed-wrapping secrets.

1.) Let Refinery 29's Gift Curator Make Shopping Easier


We mentioned Refinery29’s auto-yuletide algorithm a couple weeks back, but for those that missed it, it’s essentially a streamlined solution to checking off your list in record time. There’s only two steps- select your gift recipient (parent, work friend, significant other, etc.) and then three of his or her personality traits. Within seconds you’ll have several options that would’ve cost you hours of internet-scouring otherwise. It's the simplest, fastest way to score the perfect gifts for loved ones.

2.) Observe Online Ordering Deadlines

With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, pay extra attention to any online retailer’s shipping deadlines. From a survey of our favorites, you’d be playing relatively safe ordering by Monday, December 19th.

3.) Perfect the Season’s Greetings Card

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Holiday cards may feel like such a chore due to the dearth of genuinely well-designed options out there. But one glance at Artifact Uprising’s print magazine-worthy offerings will have you ready to break out the quill & inkwell… figuratively speaking.

4.) Air-Transport Gifts for Free

We’re talking about planes, not sleighs here. Check your credit card benefits to see if you get free checked bags for hauling gifts to and fro.

5.) Master this Japanese Speed-Wrapping Technique

This trick, explained in the two-minute video above, will allow you to prep presents like a pro. It’ll take a couple tries to learn but will save a ton of time when the chips are down on Christmas Eve.

6.) Measure Up

For every one foot of Christmas tree, you'll need 100 lights, 9 feet of garland, and 20 ornaments. Buy accordingly.

7.) Toothpaste is the Answer

After applying a bit of elbow grease securing the tree to its stand, apply toothpaste to hands. It’s a de-sapping Christmas miracle.

8.) Forget Mulled Wine and Spiked Eggnog

Instead, stick with something more sophisticated without sacrificing seasonality. Airows contributor Jared Paul Stern dug up a great Old Fashioned recipe just recently- we highly recommend.

9.) Find Holiday Films That Don't Suck

Airows contributor Tyler Bolinger ranked the ten best holiday movies of all time so you and your family aren't stuck watching something that's unbearably cheesy.

10.) Set the Mood with the Perfect Playlist

We put together a handful of holiday classics, obscurities, and a few songs that will suit both the pre-dinner kitchen chaos and the post-ham hearth just right. See above, press play, enjoy.