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5 Things to Do Right Now to Prepare for the Holidays

Five ways to prepare for your holiday to-do list—which also includes fun and relaxation.

Kristen Mascia
candy canes in a glass, picture
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Photo: ALMAJE / Shutterstock
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The holidays should be about more than just hard work. Make room for a little fun when you can.
  1. Get your bake on. Hip, hip, hooray: Dec. 4 is National Cookie Day. Visit your favorite bakery or swap sweet recipes with friends. For the richest, most delectable chocolate chunk cookies ever, spiked with orange zest, get a recipe from Pearl Bakery in Portland at

  2. Upgrade your wheels. Automakers tend to roll out their deepest discounts during the last two weeks of December, industry experts have found. So if you've been considering an auto purchase, now is a great time to act. For more car-buying wisdom, visit

  3. Service your furnace. Have your home's heating system checked before winter. Call in a technician to replace old filters, test for safety and efficiency, and clean floor vents. A tune-up will run you around $100—worth every penny when nights get chilly.

  4. Spend your money. Tax-free funds in flexible spending accounts typically can't be rolled over. Before Jan. 1, use what's left to purchase medicine cabinet staples such as antacids, pain relievers, and sunblock.

  5. Put your feet up. Nov. 7 is International Stress Awareness Day. Before the holiday rush, take time to unwind by joining a yoga class, dining with a friend for lunch, or getting a massage.

This article was first published in Fall 2018. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.