31 Ways to Hack the Holidays


Sign Up for a Race

To keep you (at least moderately) in shape over the next 30 days, sign up for a Jingle Bell 5K Run or a Resolution Run 5K. 

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Check In Online

To jump security at the airport without getting tackled, sign up for the TSA pre-flight security check: tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.

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Don’t Gift Like a Dumb Guy

Last-minute gift tip: Nobody uses (whatever)-a-day calendars after January 8. Unless it involves Kate Upton. It’s science. 

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Do the Math

Numbers to monitor during the holidays: 

1. Weight

2. Free minutes to exercise

3. Credit card balance

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Don’t Get Stranded

Before you go out, put the number of a local cab company in your contacts. 

Use it.

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Accessorize Like a Gentleman

Always carry a handkerchief. For you, for her, for a stranger. Check out some cool options at pretentiouspocket.com. 

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Haggle Like a Pro

Before you say, “I’ll take it” on a big gift purchase, ask what else they can throw into the deal. You can use the extras for stocking stuffers.

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Think Outside the Box

Meta holiday stocking stuffer: compression socks.

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Honor Our Troops

Send a holiday package to our troops at uso.org/uso-holiday-boxes.

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Fuel Up Pre-Party

Quick pre-holiday-party chili: tomato sauce, ground beef or turkey, beans of choice, chili powder. Veggie up as you wish. 

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Trim a Tree

Holiday rule you might as well accept once you turn 21: The ornament of your favorite team will always go on the back of the tree.

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Mingle with Tact

Roles to assume at office holiday party:

1. The Listener

2. The Toast Giver

3. The Joke Teller

1,053. The Mistletoe Enthusiast

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Organize with Ease

Need to organize a group function? Use wiggio.com: Invite members, use a calendar, upload documents, and have discussions.

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Remember: Inverse Relationship

When buying gifts for your significant other, think of a mix of small, medium, and large. (The thought that goes into each isn’t proportional.)

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Save Cash on Cards

Buy discounted gift cards at cardpool.com

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Hold the Santa Speak

Be careful to whom you say, “Ho, ho, ho.” 

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Gift a Ball Game

Great gift to give to a kid: Find a local college hoops game. Students are cleared out, so there’s usually plenty of room in the courtside seats.

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Work Out Wherever and Whenever You Can

Busy man’s workout: As many pushups as you can do while the shower warms up. Body-weight squats while you rinse off. Something > nothing.

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Impress Guests

Killer appetizer: Cook ground beef with turkey sausage. Add cheese of your choice. Scoop onto whole-wheat bread. Bake 10 min. at 350°.

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Snack Smart

Nuts > caramel corn > fruitcake.

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Jazz Up Your Joe

Supercharge your morning-after coffee: Cinnamon helps boost cognitive function and memory. Nutmeg has mega anti-inflammatory properties. 

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Be the Pie Guy

It’s never too late to start a tradition. Offer to make the pie. Learn to make the pie. Be the pie guy. 

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Get a Leg Up On Vacation

Set your automatic out-of-office reply to start a day and a half before you’re out of the office.


Don’t Fight Over Food

Even if you know a better way to mash the potatoes, there’s no sense in fighting about the best way to mash the potatoes.

Suck Up “Assembly Required”

No matter how long it takes, or the fact that it came with 3 screws instead of 4, taking the time to assemble the kids’ toys is #worthit.

Strike Preemptively

December workout mantra: Preemptive workouts always reap better benefits than guilt-driven ones.

Ring Up an Old Friend

Just for today, choose one pal you’ve been meaning to call—and ring him up. Virtual holiday fist bump, bro.


Today, take a walk through the woods with the whole family. No tech allowed.

De-Stress with Peppermint

Peppermint season + stress season = she deserves a shoulder rub with a soothing peppermint lotion. (NOT melted candy cane!)

Clean Up Your Creative Mess

Organize your thoughts, ideas, files, e-mails, and documents with thebrain.com

Burn Off the Nog

Eggnog-burning workout: 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 pushups, 30-sec. rest between sets. Repeat for 10 minutes. 

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