Me Time: Just for Women

Home and Hearth

Don’t let holiday lights be a hazard
All is merry and bright this time of year. Twinkling lights are hung up outside and pumpkin spice candles are lit all over your home. Don't let these holiday favorites turn into winter disasters.

Before you string up indoor holiday lights, inspect the cords for any frays or loose connections. Beware of mismatched voltages and wattages.

Dry trees are a huge factor in house fires during the holiday season. Make sure to keep trees watered and take notice of extra dry needles. Turn off unattended holiday lights (even brand-new ones) to avoid
overheating and fires.

Hanging up outdoor lights can pose other big risks. Never climb a ladder while home alone, no matter how sturdy the ladder may be. Accidents happen, and it is always good to have someone around while you are performing these types of tasks.

Nothing is better than lighting a delicious seasonal candle and snuggling up with your coziest blanket. Special care needs to be taken when lighting
candles, as well. Make sure lit candles are pushed back away from table edges to avoid toppling over if a pet runs by or another mishap. Never leave lit candles unattended, and make sure wicks are cool before young children come close.

READ MORE: Is a stress free holiday on your wish list this year?

Let someone else do the shopping
The holidays should be about family togetherness and quality time. But between cookie exchanges, holiday meals and feeding your little ones who are home for winter break, you have spent way more time in the grocery store than enjoying the joys of the season.

Let someone else do the shopping for you and stay away from the crowded stores. Most local grocery stores have shop-from-home options through an app or their website. Pick out the items you want, and someone else will comb the aisles and bag it up for you.

At Hudson Valley Parent, some of the staff rely on Walmart pick-up services to get the groceries they need but don't want to shop for. Do your "shopping" while laying in bed and set up a time to pick up your order that is convenient for you.

Do your holiday shopping online, too! Keep an eye out for sales and keep track of online coupons for your favorite stores. Sometimes, online retailers even have a gift wrap option and your purchase will arrive ready to go under the tree.

This way, you avoid crowds and icy parking lots and get extra time to snuggle up with your loved ones.

Bring in some cleaning reinforcements
The kids are home for winter break and it's really hard to find time to get a deep clean in. But you are desperate to find time to get some cleaning in before the holiday parties begin, and your in-laws arrive for their week-long stay.

Give yourself a gift early this year. Hire someone to clean your home so you don't have to! There are great, local cleaning services that will help you with everything from laundry to windows and everything in between.

Maybe you don't need a whole home overhaul. That's fine! Call in some extra help for the stuff you need a break from. After months of sticky, candy-coated fingers touching everything and an oven full of casseroles
that bubbled over, your kitchen could use some love. Let the professionals put in some elbow grease to get your home back to normal.

If you aren't in the market for a professional, convince the kids to help. Barter with special holiday treats for some extra help around the house. Divide the chores by what kids are able to do. Let little ones grab a duster and older kids can help with larger tasks.

Fill your home with flowers
When the last leaf falls from the trees, and the world outside seems unbearably gray, bring some brightness indoors to add some cheer to your home.

Nix the myth that there needs to be a special occasion to buy a bouquet of flowers. Celebrate a particularly difficult Thursday with a colorful batch of seasonal beauties.

Between bright colors and enticing scents, flowers will reduce anxiety and increase feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

Not only will colorful plants improve your mood, but they are the perfect way to spruce up any d?cor. Everything will look bright, new and cheerful.

Spread the cheer wherever you go. Instead of bringing wine or food to a holiday party, bring some flowers for the host and watch their
face light up!

Poinsettias are beautiful during this time of year and come in a few nice colors. Be careful having this type of plant near pets. Their leaves can be poisonous if ingested, so extra mischievous fur babies need to be watched carefully.