Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 Days of #HotHolidayHints: Day 18 with Stacey Espino

Author Stacey Espino shares her hints for surviving Christmas morning with the kids on Day 18 of 25 Days of Hot Holiday Hints! Leave Stacey a comment for a chance to win a $5 gift certificate. We're giving one away each day!

We have five children, so Christmas is a huge deal at our house. One is gone and married, but we still have four at home on Christmas morning. It’s fun and exciting for the kids, but it can be stressful for parents if you’re not prepared.

*Have a black garbage bag ready. Add wrappings as you go to avoid a massive clean-up at the end. Toss some scraps to the cats so they’ll behave while the kids unwrap.

*Try to save holiday gift bags and boxes to reuse next year.

*Keep a pair of strong scissors, a small toolkit (screwdrivers), and an assortment of batteries handy (important). It will be a big help when kids demand their toys be free of the crazy packaging. Some dolls are more secured in their boxes than Fort Knox. Be prepared to put things together and follow complicated instructions (you may need some spiked eggnog to get through it all).

*Have a plastic storage bin or laundry basket ready for each kid. They can add their gifts to the basket and carry it away to their rooms when all is done to help with cleanup.

*Don’t forget the camera J

Have a wonderful holiday season!
Stacey Espino xo

Stacey Espino is the multi-published, bestselling author of COWBOY OUTCASTS, the winner of the 2013 Best Western Readers' Choice Award!

Callum O’Shea has segregated himself from a world that rejected him since childhood. His older brother, Arden, protected him from life…but even he can only take so much of the isolation.

When a young university student offers to help with Callum’s hog problem in exchange for room and board, he’s not in a financial position to refuse. He’s surprised when she doesn’t judge him for his Tourette’s Syndrome. But he’s learned that good things rarely last.

Hailey Watson tried to prove her parents wrong by being the best scientist she could be. When her research funding is cut off, her world spirals out of control. With the help of Callum and Arden, the reclusive Irish cowboys, she learns there is more to life than success at her job. But are the two hardcore cowboys capable of real love?



amy bowens said...

Wow 5 kids too much for me lol.
Christmas morning is always hectic at my house and we do try to be organized and we pretty much do everything you suggested except for throwing scraps at the cats (cats are scared of the kids)And I like your idea about the laundry baskets will definitely try this year. I find myself making multiple trips up the stairs. As for your book I loved this one who am I kidding I love all of your books. Cant wait to read your next. Thanks for the idea and I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

Jessica Hale said...

wow maybe i should give these xmas ideas to my aunty she has 6 kids to deal with so it might help with clean up on xmas


Vanessa N. said...

Great tips. Christmas morning is also crazy at my house too. My brother comes over with my nephew and we have alot of fun.

Sweetpea said...

I almost, but not quite, miss the early morning chaos on Christmas. Your hint on having batteries is so on point. There's nothing sadder than a child on Christmas that can't play with their new toy because there's no batteries. Setting up the camera on a tripod and just letting it film might help. Thanks again for the hints! Happy holidays!

Sweetpea said...

Oops, forgot to leave my email!

sweetpea122 at rocketmail dot com

Anne said...

Stacey's not kidding about some of those toys being harder to get into than Fort Knox. I remember those crazy mornings. Santa did not wrap presents which helped. It always surprised me when friends would say Santa wrapped his gifts too.

Anne said...

Forgot my e-mail:

Debbie said...

I'll miss the craziness, I'm down to one child. To keep the dog busy which is a 130lb white German shepherd, I just drop 5 tennis balls in the kitchen, Merry Christmas to him. He goes nuts collecting them. The cat will already be IN the tree.
Merry Christmas

Laura-Mae Le Capelain said...

Stacey, Those were all great tips. Im working the Midnight shift through the holidays away from home so will not bee around Christmas day.

Cowboy Outcast is on my Christmas list along with many others.

Anonymous said...

You sure are organized. I really enjoyed your books!!

Life Without Frank said...

No wonder you're organized, 5 kids! We don't have any children but a lot of animals, that love wrapping paper, ribbons and the people who drop food on the floor for them.

sabai30705 at yahoo dot com

Marie Mattingly-Woods said...

We have 2 little ones so the paper chaos isn't too bad.

Patricia Watkins said...

I have twelve year old boy-girl twins and have never managed to be organized. Great tips. I'm a work in progress

Stacey said...

Thanks Stacey ~ I never thought of most of them as tips since it was the way I was raised, so I still do it! Especially the garbage bag! Makes life so much easier to do it as you go :)

Thanks for sharing

Lorraine Lesar said...

Good tips, especially about keeping batteries handy. Also I think that assembly time, should be thought through more and loads of time set aside for that, even better, assemble before Christmas. We have just assembled a child's JCB (it is large) and it took just over 6 hours! Yes, 6 hours. The instructions were not in English and no picture! There were so many screws, nuts, bolts etc., a total nightmare. Never again!!