2010-12-16 / Local & State

Don’t Overlook These Holiday Tasks

The holidays can be a stressful time for even the most organized among us. It’s easy to overlook that gift for the boss’s wife, nutmeg for the eggnog, or batteries for your kids’ new toys.

Forgotten errands can dampen your family’s holiday sprit and last-minute purchases can add up, often blowing that carefully planned budget.

So, in addition to compiling your list of who’s naughty or nice, here’s a list of holiday tasks to help keep your season stress-free:

Shop Online

With so many retailers offering discounts, shopping online can save you time, money and gas. Just make sure you buy as early as possible. Those two-day shipping fees can sometimes cancel out any savings. If you’re in a bind, consider electronic gift cards that get delivered straight to your loved ones’ email inboxes.

Scour Deals

We all know that discounts, coupons and sales abound during the holidays. Unfortunately, not every deal is a wise purchase. There’s often a reason unsold merchandise is on sale.

Also, in order to avoid the bad gift trap, keep a list in your wallet of people for whom you need gifts. Then when you spot a sale item, check if anyone on your list would like it. You may also want to keep a list of gifts you can give to party hosts, such as scented candles, gourmet coffee or picture frames.

Power Up

Don’t forget to stock-up on the right batteries for all those electronic gifts. High performance alkaline batteries typically deliver longlasting performance. Choose a trustworthy brand that provides more power for your dollar, such as Panasonic, which offers a wide variety at value prices and has cranked out 150 billion batteries since 1931.

To get the most out of batteries, store them in a cool dry place. Don’t mix alkaline and heavy duty, or old and new ones, as this can result in leakages, according to the experts at Panasonic, one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers. Maximizing battery usage is key, so you don’t miss that priceless holiday snapshot or have that new videogame handset die before setting a new high score. It’s all about playing more without paying more.

Buy Trimmings in Bulk

Essential trimmings, like wrapping paper, tape, ribbons and bows, can be expensive when bought separately and at the local pharmacy. Instead, make a list and buy in bulk. Store leftovers in a box for next season. Consider buying more right after the season ends, to take advantage of special post-season sales for next year.

Stock the Cupboards

Stock-up early on cooking essentials like flour, butter, onions, chicken stock, sugar and cinnamon. Nobody wants to make a run for vanilla halfway through a recipe!

By not forgetting these often-overlooked holiday tasks, you will make your season a lot less stressful and full of good cheer.

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