No one tackles time management quite like the queen of DIY projects, Joanna Gaines. The HGTV host of Fixer Upper has shared tons of tips for getting ahead over the course of her television career — both on the screen and on her blog, Magnolia. And because it's holiday crunch time, we've decided to key in on some of those tips.
If you're anything like Gaines, you'll want to get a head start of the holidays — perhaps before your neighbors even put away their pumpkins. We don't blame you; the holidays can be an exhausting, time-consuming few weeks of decorating, gift shopping, hosting and celebrating.
Gaines shared her early holiday celebrations via her Instagram story in October, when she and her sister were cozied up by the fire listening to classic Christmas songs the night before Halloween. Maybe you didn't jump on the bandwagon that early, but if you get a grip of the holidays sooner rather than later, you'll have more time to enjoy all of the festivities.
With that said, here are eight tips Gaines has shared to help you handle the holidays (almost) as well as she does.
1. Hang onto tradition rather than stressing yourself out with the 'trends.'
“While the popsicle-stick picture frames have cracked over the years, and the photos within them have faded — it only makes me love them all the more,” she wrote in her blog, Magnolia. “I want to decorate our tree with our same ornaments that we ooh and ahh over each year. Our tree could never be complete without the kids’ handmade offerings.”
It's okay to hang onto family traditions, even if that means your tree doesn't necessarily look as chic as the trees on social media — family traditions are what make the holidays beautiful. In fact, Gaines actively steers clear of all trends surrounding the holidays.
"It’s rare for me to get excited about a new holiday recipe or trendy ideas for decorating the tree,” she wrote. “I’m not looking for ways to reinvent this season. Instead, all I want is to gather the same ingredients for the same beloved cinnamon rolls that I’ve baked on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember."
2. Simplify your gift wrapping.
"Handmade gifts are generally considered extra-special because the recipient appreciates the time and effort you put into making them," she writes on her blog. "You can easily evoke the same appreciative sentiment with purchased gifts by putting a little extra time into the wrapping. This year, why not keep it simple by using brown kraft paper? It’s classic, and the possibilities of making these packages look beautiful are endless."
She shares three tips for making gift wrapping look like the stuff of dreams, which include yarn, personalized letters and ornaments.
3. Delegate seasonal tasks.
Seasonal responsibilities like holiday decorating or baking are a team effort for Gaines' family.
“Everyone takes a task: The older kids lead the charge on hanging the ornaments while the younger ones hunt for everyone’s stocking," she wrote. "And every year, Chip and Drake hang my very favorite antique sign, the one that we got earlier in our marriage, that says ‘Christmas Trees For Sale.”
4. Use lots of garland rather than spending time (and money!) on more complicated decorations.
On her blog, Gaines shared that Garland is one of her favorite decorations, calling it "timeless and beautiful wherever it's placed." She uses it on her staircase, mantle, chandeliers and more.
5. Make less of mess by using artificial plants in your home.
Pine trees and festive sprigs might look beautiful, but they sure do leave behind a mess. Gaines uses artificial stems for some of her decorations to cut down on the vacuuming she'll have to do later.
“I like to stick to one kind of stem and use a few in each vase because it looks the most authentic,” she reportedly told Target. “Make sure you tease out the branches to give them a little life and movement.”
6. Light some candles.
If you're looking to relax a little in between all the decorating, shopping and cooking, light some Magnolia Market's holiday candles, which come in two scents this season: Joyeux Noel (mandarin, cranberry and clove) and Twelve Nights (cedar, citrus and Fraiser Fir).
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report,