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Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Illustrations by: Allison Reisdorph

Holiday Hacks to Help You
Survive the Season

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The holidays, in all their frenzied, festivity-filled glory, can sometimes feel like a test to our sanity. The key to coming out the other side unscathed? Relying on a few good cheats—say, a quick crowd-pleasing meal or a go-to gift you can buy in bulk. Here, nine time-strapped women share how they keep it all together.

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season
Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Founder and CEO, Bumble

HOLIDAY HACK: Instacart. “A game-changer! It gives me the ability to grocery shop from the office rather than rush to get to the store after work—and makes hosting a dinner party a lot less stressful.”

GO-TO GIFT: “A great bottle of wine is always a nice hostess gift. I like Silver Oak, which does a beautiful presentation for the holidays.”

NO-FAIL DISH: “I make a salad with fresh organic romaine and spinach, topped with vegetables and finished with a blueberry vinaigrette.”

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season
Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Nandita Khanna

Editorial Director, goop

HOLIDAY HACK: “New York-based stylist Erin Swift launched Holiday Workroom this November in an effort to make having a fresh, beautifully decorated Christmas tree at home a little less daunting. (If you’ve ever tried to haul a 5′ Douglas Fir up five flights of stairs in a Manhattan apartment, you get it). What’s great is they have a menu of tree styles—from Scandinavian Modern (white and silver ornaments, white lights) to New England Classic (warm-colored lights, plus red, green and gold trimmings)—so the decision-making process is simple. If you want a New Year’s tree—they’ll do that too.”

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Annie Campbell

Event Planner and Caterer,
Annie Campbell

HOLIDAY HACK: “Forget the flowers—a decorated tree or snips of holiday greenery are all you need. Also, studding a garland with winter citrus is fresh and seasonal.”

GO-TO GIFT: “Calendars from Artifact Uprising with photos of our kids for our family members. It’s become a great new tradition.”

NO-FAIL DISH: “This year I’m purchasing tamales from a local church for my holiday party (easy and unexpected). I’ll round out the menu with blood-orange margaritas and a big salad of market lettuces, avocados, and satsumas. To start, I’m decorating the guacamole with pomegranate seeds!”

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season
Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Kelsey Patel

Empowerment Coach
and Reiki Master, Kelsey Patel

HOLIDAY HACK: “House decorating—hired! I paid for someone to come and decorate my house using all my own holiday decor. While in the past I’ve loved doing it myself, this year it felt like a burden. That’s when I knew I needed to approach it in a different way, and I could not be happier.”

GO-TO GIFT: “”This fall I launched my first-ever Magik Vibes Box after fielding requests from my friends and clients for years. It’s full of amazing pieces (a candle, sage, loose incense, crystals, etc.) that can really be shared with anyone.”

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season
Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Katya Libin

Co-founder and CEO, Heymama

GO-TO GIFT: “I look at gift giving as its own little art form so when I see something I love on Instagram, I save it in a gift-giving folder so I can go back and buy it.”

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Elise Loehnen

Chief Content Officer, goop

HOLIDAY HACK/GIFT TO SELF: “I buy Miraval in bulk at Costco, both for my own general survival and also because it’s a crowd-pleaser. (And yes, it’s rosé, but hey, one of the great advantages of living in LA is that you can pretend like it’s always August.)

GO-TO GIFT: Shinola Monogrammed Journals. Bonus: complimentary and in-store.

TRAVEL TIP: “Traveling with kids is tough, but for some reason, we still do it. I have a boat tote for flights that I just keep packed. Headphones, puke bags, magnetized games, and kiddie Dramamime for my oldest, and random wrapped tchotchkes and snacks for my youngest (unwrapping stuff keeps him entertained for a few minutes).”

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season
Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Evelyn Rusli and Angela Sutherland

Co-founders, Yumi

HOLIDAY HACKS: “During the holidays, I buy local delicacies in bulk to use as hostess gifts and to give to out-of-town guests. Some of my favorites include Canyon Coffee, an organic coffee that’s roasted in Los Angeles, and El Machete fried garlic and carrot fire-roasted habanero sauce. These are also great as last-minute stocking stuffers and as augments to larger gift baskets.”— Angela

GO-TO GIFT: “I’m all about the anti-hack when it comes to gift-giving. If I’m going to send a holiday card, I don’t do printed cards, but instead break out the fountain pen and write long-form letters to friends. It’s time-consuming (and hand cramp-inducing), but in a world where everything is electronic there’s a beauty in the act of putting pen to paper. Oh, and, I love a big ol’ candle from Diptyque.” — Evelyn

Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season
Holiday Hacks to Help You Survive the Season

Kate Wolfson

Deputy Editor, goop

GIFT TO SELF: “I’ve attempted to cool-ify my basic-white dish set multiple times, only to get overwhelmed by the endless variations and combinations I’d find in stores. Year & Day has a beautiful line of ceramic table setting—plus, glassware and flatware—and compresses the entire process into an online lifestyle questionnaire (how many do you cook for, how often do you host, color preference, etc.) and produces a complete shopping list, which you can mix, match, subtract, or add to as needed. Painless.”

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