This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Duracell.
Christmas is my absolute favorite day of the year, but now that we have three kids, a dog, and my family coming for dinner, it can easily end up being the most stressful day of the year. 
I am a big time procrastinator, but with the holiday season, planning ahead can make a huge difference.
Here are some of the ways I plan ahead to help the day go smoothly so that I can truly enjoy it.

1. Go to bed early.  The kids will undoubtedly have you up before the sun rises so try to get to bed early so that your not completely exhausted all day.
2. Have coffee ready to go, the kids get so antsy when I say “wait for mom and dad to grab their coffee” I try to make sure its a quick process so I leave the mugs and the k-cups next to the coffee maker.  I also let them open their stockings while we get situated.
3. Have your camera charged and lots of empty space on your memory card!  There’s nothing worse than trying to delete pictures quickly to make room for more photos while the kids are rushing to open gifts.
4. Cook what you can ahead of time, especially if your having company for Christmas dinner.  We have my parents over and at times my brother and in-laws, so there is a lot of cooking involved.  I love to host at my house so that the kids don’t have to leave their toys, however I also want to be able to enjoy time with them instead of being in the kitchen all day.  In order to cut down on cooking time, I prepare what I can on Christmas Eve or the day before that.  All my baking is done ahead of time, dips are prepared, and appetizers are laid out next to the bowls/platters I’ll be using so I can just open things and set them out quickly and easily.
5. Lay out everyone’s outfits ahead of time.  I let the kids stay in their Christmas jammies for as long as possible, but I also love getting them dressed up.  So I make sure every aspect of their outfits are laid out ahead of time from shirts to shoes.  I do this for myself too,  Although I keep it a lot more laid back for myself and am usually comfy in my yoga pants or sweats all day.
6. Have an easy and yummy breakfast ready to go.  I don’t like slaving over dinner so I definitely don’t want to be in the kitchen for breakfast.  We usually make a French toast casserole the day before that is refrigerated over night, then I just throw it in the oven in the morning.  It smells amazing while its cooking, the kids love it, and it takes me 5 minutes on Christmas morning. 
7. Wrap everything ahead of time!  No one wants to be up till 2am wrapping gifts for the morning.  Wrap them slowly throughout the week before Christmas so that the Santa set up is a quick and easy process.
8. Build everything too!  I have spent, (well my hubby and father have spent) many Christmases building Barbie houses or play kitchens.  It’s not fun, now instead of waiting till Christmas, I have the hubby build the big stuff and hide it in the basement.  Then we just put it under the tree with a bow on it, instead of wrapping a huge box of pieces. 
9. Before wrapping everything, take an inventory of all the gifts that will need batteries.  There is nothing worse than an overly excited little person rushing to play with their new favorite toy, then finding out you don’t have the right size batteries.  So stock up on batteries before the Christmas morning.  You also want to get good batteries!  You don’t want to be replacing batteries all day or end up with a package of batteries that don’t work to begin with.  We buy Duracell as our trusted long-lasting batteries.
10.  Relax and enjoy the day.  It’s the most magical time of the year!

Why Duracell?  
Duracell CopperTop All-Purpose alkaline batteries are not only dependable, they’re also long-lasting. You can take comfort in a 10-year guarantee in storage with Duralock Power Preserve Technology. They’re great for many of the devices you use on a daily basis in your home. And from storm season to medical needs to the holidays, Duracell is the #1 trusted battery brand of first responders, pharmacists and parents, so you know it’s a battery you can trust. CopperTop batteries are available in AA, AAA, C, D and 9V. 4 pack: Never run out of power with the Duracell Coppertop AA Alkaline Batteries. These Duracell Coppertop Batteries are the ideal choice for toys, radios and other electronics that will see a lot of use. Just pop in the 4 count Duracell Coppertop Alkaline Batteries and you are ready to go for hours of entertainment and fun. 16 pack: Duracell Coppertop AA Batteries in a Doublewide pack deliver efficient and reliable power in popular battery powered devices such as toys, Wii remotes, portable gaming systems, smoke alarms, clocks and radios. Use them in all of your devices and enjoy the fact that they are long-lasting. The Duracell AA batteries come in 16 count pack to provide plenty of power.

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This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Duracell.

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