Getting ready for the holidays is a lot of work. I think the Grinch had the best approach, but simply stealing Christmas isn't an option at my house. So I've come up with some DIY tricks for better holiday preparations:

1. Hang a wreath on a door

A better way to hang a wreath on a door
A wreath looks great on a door and you can hang one without driving a nail or screw into the face of the door. I've found this works with wood, metal and fiberglass doors. I also learned (the hard way) that the wreath will swing as the door is opened and mar the door. To prevent that, stick adhesive-backed felt pads to the metal frame on the back of the wreath.

2. Stabilize the tree stand

A tip-proof Christmas tree
A slab of plywood or hardboard gives your tree a broad, solid base and prevents tipping. It also makes setting the tree in the stand easier: You can step on the plywood so the stand can't move while you're inserting the tree. The bigger the base, the better. But measure your Christmas tree skirt first to make sure it will hide the plywood.



3. Light-string storage

Cardboard spools for holiday light storage
You can buy plastic spools for Christmas lights, or you can make them for free.  When all the gifts are opened, cut up the cardboard boxes to make simple light holders of any size. It takes only a few minutes and will save you some frustration next year.



— Gary "The Grinch" Wentz, Senior Editor