Toronto moms share priceless hacks for surviving the holidays

From sending the elf on vacation to the truth about Santa

Cat and Nat tackle motherhood with wit and wisdom. Find them at or @catandnat.

Tis the season for holiday hacks to help you survive this festive season. So here we are, sharing our top tips to hopefully bring you peace on Earth and keep you merry and bright throughout the chaos that is Christmas.

The Elf on the Shelf

If you don’t have one, we strongly advise you not to get one! If you do have one, what the heck were you thinking? The only way out of this now is to send that freaking elf on a vacation. Let the kids know just how hard he has been working the past seven years and that it’s time for him to enjoy a much-needed holiday (because let’s be honest, one of you deserves a break, and you’re sure as sh*t not heading to Tahiti anytime soon).


If you have to host Christmas dinner, there is no reason why you should have to cook it too. Go get some pre-packaged food (veggies, scalloped potatoes, broccoli salad, they even have full turkeys!). Throw it all into some ramekins, and boom — dinner is served.


If you do have people over for dinner, there are going to be a lot of dishes. So in order to avoid a completely unnecessary major cleanup, get yourself a pack of designer paper plates. They’re actually prettier than most regular plates and you can throw them in the green bin.

“Coffee” and mimosas

To ensure a well-balanced liquid diet, switch up your drink of choice throughout the day. Grab your holiday mug and pour yourself a nice cup of Baileys. Don’t worry if you forget to add the coffee! There is no judgment here. For mimosas, forget the champagne and use cheap prosecco instead. Start with a drop of orange juice to add a bit of colour, but don’t add too much because it can ruin the taste.


You know how stockings always appear to be jam-packed and overflowing in every book, movie or picture you see? All you have to do is fill that stocking with 17 tangerines and then stick a couple of dollar store gifts on top, and that baby is full.


Instead of staying up all night wrapping gifts, get a nice, white grocery bag, put your present inside, tie it up, write the name on it with a Sharpie, stick on a bow, and you are good to go.


Every year leading up to Christmas, your kids ask for all these expensive gifts. And every year, when you tell them the items on their wish list cost too much money, they don’t seem to care because “Santa will bring it.” So, when your kids come to you for the first time with any suspicion that Santa may not be real, let them know that he’s a fake and you’re the one who has to buy all the presents, and quite honestly, you don’t have the money for their list of luxuries.

And there you have it, friends! Our holidays hacks for making it through December with your sanity still somewhat intact. We hope you find them helpful.

Article exclusive to TRNTO