By the time the holidays roll around, we’re overbooked, overextended—and pretty much over it all. This year, put the jingle back in your step by saying “no” to unnecessary stress. Yes, there will be house guests. Yes, there will be events to host. Yes, there will be that luminescent image of your own martyred mother during the holidays to battle. But there is no need to do it all, ya’ll. Read on for some smart shortcuts to stay sane.


Houseguest 911
Do you hear them? They’re coming! From out-of-towners who want to do a little Atlanta-based shopping to your husband’s work colleagues, the guests are on their way. The following services will ease your preparation, from the linens to the sliced lemons.

Dry Cleaning Delivery: Press Atlanta
Toss your iron out with the re-gifted fruitcake! They’ll pick your table linens (and other dry cleaning items) up one day, and deliver them later the same week, all for the same price as the average drop-off cleaners. Behind on your wash and wear laundry? They’ll do that, too.


Breakfast: Casseroles Atlanta
Pick up a french toast casserole or a sausage strata, and you’ll be set for out-of-towners who will be there for breakfast, but will grab lunch while shopping. Keep a few handy for Christmas morning, but remember to take them out of the freezer before presentpalooza begins around the tree.


Easy Dinner: Zoe’s Dinners for Four
With a huge salad, steak, chicken, or shrimp skewers, and a side of either rice, roasted potatos, or roasted vegetables, you can’t go wrong with the very reasonably priced dinners for four at Zoe’s Kitchen. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to transfer it all into your own platters and bowls, before the guests get back from the malls!


Full Service Catering: Dennis Dean Catering
Elegant, creative, flexible, and just plain good, Dennis Dean works within your budget to create a menu that will please the palates of partygoers, and they can accomodate every need, from a pick-up at their office to a fully staffed and seated dinner. They’ve got your back.


Hire a Husband:
Our sweethearts are absolutely capable of conquering any domestic project, no matter the size, with a light heart and only one trip to Home Depot. Right. But when you need something done quickly and without the drama, dial-up one of these services:

Lights: Atlanta Loves Christmas Lights
This might be the world’s most worthwhile splurge. Reclaim a Saturday and let the pros handle the lighting on your abode.

christmas lights

Tree Deliveries: Big John’s Trees
Love the live trees but don’t have time for the process (new parents, we’re talking to you)? Give Big John a call. They’ll be glad to drop it off, install it, or even string it with your own lights if you want. Don’t miss their selection of wreaths and swags so your front door and mailbox get some love too.


Santa at Home
As we all know, getting the kids dressed, happy, and to the appointment (that we worked so hard to get in September) with the Big Guy is hard. Some might say more maddening than merry. Why not say “no” to the in-Santa-ty of the whole ordeal and just hire him to come to you? Make him a part of the cookie exchange or brunch—and you’re guaranteed to be on all of your friends’ holiday calendars for years to come.


How will you stay sane this holiday season? Got any tricks? Share with us below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of Big John’s Trees via FacebookSanta Atlanta via FacebookDennis Dean Catering via FacebookZoe’s Kitchen via FacebookCasseroles via FacebookPress Delivery Dry Cleaning via Facebook, Atlanta Loves Christmas Lights via FacebookFlickr via Creative Commons