Countdown to the holidays checklist

• Keep their fingers occupied making fun crafts or centerpieces for the holiday table.
• Before Christmas, give every child a box and have them fill it with the toys they can give to someone in need.
• Put them to work! Most kids just want to help…so give them small and age appropriate tasks to keep them busy.
• Exchange "play days" with friends and family so everyone can enjoy a "kid free day" and play a little catch-up.

✓ The electronics

Gather the cords, all the cords -- chargers, USB, and download cables! Keep them bundled together in their own recloseable bags or containers and label them clearly.

Our best advice is this: don't try to do it all! After all, friends and family is what this time of year is really about. In the end, those memories will shine brightly long after the decoration and gifts have been put away.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.