Money & Career

Six splurges that will make your life a lot easier

Forget stressful pre-party cleanups, bad hairdos and even buying Christmas paper — treat yourself to a no-fuss holiday with these ideas.

Glee star Jessalyn Gilsig, Chatelaine New Year's Even party feature

Photo by Alvaro Goveia

The holiday season is in full swing which means your schedule is probably packed with parties and Christmas shopping. All that merry-making can be a bit stressful, which is why it may be worth putting aside a bit of money for certain conveniences. Here are some ideas that will help you destress this season.

1. Massage, from $80 an hour

Shopping and pre-party planning can be exhausting on the mind and tiring on the muscles. Treat yourself to a spa session for a bit of pampering. Too expensive for your budget? Get a manicure instead. At a quarter of the cost of a massage, a little TLC for your hands and nails is a small luxury that’s worth the splurge.

2. Pre-prepared food, from $10 per person

Allow yourself to escape the kitchen (and avoid the restaurant madness) for one night: buy a healthy pre-prepared meal or order takeout. Then sit back with a glass of vino and your meal and bask in the effortless dining experience. But take caution: getting takeout can be addictive, so make sure you don’t make it a habit.

3. Cleaning service, varies depending on space

This may pinch your wallet, but if you’re hosting multiple parties this holiday, hiring a cleaning service will make your life so much easier. Forgo the pre-Christmas cleaning hustle or the dreaded post-New Year’s party cleanup — leave the mess (and the stress) to the professionals.

4. Gift wrapping, from $2 per present

Gift wrapping can be a tedious task that eats up a lot of time. If you’d rather not slave over rolls of Christmas paper, ribbons and sticky tape, drop off your holiday gifts to a wrapping service instead and pick them up at your convenience.

5. Fuss-free hair, from $35

Look your best from party to party and get your hair professionally done. A quick blow-dry and style may not be a service that’ll make your life easier by much, but you’ll feel and look great afterwards — and that’s worth the splurge.

6. Christmas dinnerware, approx $40 for 12 glasses, plates and cutlery

Hands down, my favourite holiday splurge. Every year we host dinner for at least 12 people and every year, we rent our china, cutlery, wine and water glasses. When dinner’s done, we put them back in the box and return them to the rental place. No mess, no stress, and it doesn’t break the bank.