5 holiday hacks you’ve never heard of that will make this season feel effortless

Ah, the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We get to sip eggnog, frolic in the snow, and wear cozy, festive (and sometimes ugly) sweaters. But we have a confession to make. As much as we love the holidays, sometimes they can be, well, a lot to handle. Bad weather makes the roads a nightmare, there are lines for miles everywhere, and we nearly go broke buying gifts. It’s inevitable: Holiday cheer comes with a side of holiday stress. But that’s where holiday hacks can help.

We turned to Holiday Hacks: Easy Solutions to Simply the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, a new book by Keith Bradford that’s filled with over 600 tips and tricks to help you have a fun, stress-free holiday. From decking your halls and shopping for gifts to baking Christmas cookies and traveling home to see family, Holiday Hacks will help you improve every part of the season. It even has tips to help you de-stress on days when the merriness gets to be too much. Keep it on your nightstand and consider it your go-to this season. You’ll thank us later over Nutella hot chocolate.

Here are five of our favorite tips from Holiday Hacks that’ll keep your season—and your sanity—running smoothly.

1“Icy doorsteps but no salt? Pour a bucket of warm water with dishwashing soap on them. The soap won’t let the water refreeze.”

You can control a lot of holiday stressors. Unfortunately, inclement weather is not one of them. If you find yourself iced in without any salt, here’s an easy way to clear a path.

2“You can make stale Christmas cookies soft again by putting them in a plastic bag with a piece of bread. Leave the cookies in the bag overnight, and they’ll be almost as good as new.”

Because there’s nothing more disappointing than a stale Christmas cookie. Nothing.

3“Try using bigger lights on the bottom of your tree and smaller lights on the top. This gives the illusion that your tree is bigger than it actually is.”

Turn your tree into an optical illusion. This is an especially great tip for trees in small spaces.

4“The cheapest time to book your holiday flights is December 4-10.”

It can be tempting to book the first flight you see. What if the price goes up? What if it overbooks? But it’s usually okay to wait until this window to get the best deal.

5“Keep a bag of kitty litter in your trunk. If you ever get stuck in the snow, you can pour the litter under your wheels for traction.”

Most people never think about getting stuck in the snow until it happens to them. Always be prepared.

Happy holiday hacking!

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