The Smart Parent's Holiday Survival Guide

Avoid Christmas-Card Anxiety

Skip the personalized cards. Yes, cards with handwritten notes of cheer and goodwill are lovely, but no one faults a busy mom for sending a family photo with a generic message. And this is the age of online everything, so why not take advantage of it? "Subscribe to a service like Shutterfly that allows you to put your address book online, then upload the photo you want to use, and they'll send the cards for you," Fitzgerald says. Initially, it takes time getting all the info in there, but next year will be a breeze.

Morph your Christmas cards into Happy New Year greetings. One year, Cartwright Holecko got so crazed that she didn't get her greetings out on time. "Rather than stress about it, I decided to wait until the madness passed and send them out with New Year's wishes. My friends and family loved it! There's something nice and unexpected about receiving a card after the holiday rush."

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