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22 Smart Holiday Tricks That Are Actually Practical

Whoa, smart.

1. Stash your mini ornaments away in egg cartons.

2. Turn that extra pair of red-and-green fuzzy socks into cheery, reusable coffee cozies for your preshopping Starbucks runs.

3. To find a parking spot in the mall's crowded lot in just six minutes, find an aisle close to the mall's entrance with at least 20 total spots (even if they're all filled) and wait.

4. Up your wrapping game by actually learning how to do this six-step Japanese gift wrap technique.

5. Or stick to bags and fluffy tissue paper, because it's easy and looks just as festive as a beautifully wrapped box.

6. Store your wrapping paper in a plastic garment bag with a hanger, so you can easily slip it inside any closet.

7. Or corral all your wrapping rolls in a corner of your closet by hanging two basic tension rods.

8. And prevent your wrapping paper from rolling across the table when you're not using it by cutting open empty toilet paper rolls.

9. Store your gift bags inside a big shopping bag so they don't get beat up, and you can quickly look through your selection.

10. Stack your ribbons on a paper towel holder — you'll be able to see all your options, and unspool each ribbon when you want to use it.

11. Repurpose holiday-themed paper shopping bags into spirited gift wrap that costs basically nothing.

12. Cut shapes out of paint chips to make nice, free(!) tags for all your gifts.

13. Save a Costco apple container for storing your round ornaments later.

14. In the weeks leading up to your big holiday meal, start collecting all the ingredients you need in one place.

15. On your big shopping trip, clip a carabiner to your reusable shopping bags, so they're easy to keep together in your car and don't take up valuable space in your grocery cart.

16. Wrap a large cardboard box to use as a trash can on Christmas morning to avoid a black trash bag (or just lots of trash) in all your photos.

17. Wrap Pringles cans to use as practically free gift boxes for your cookie exchange party.

18. Or paint old foil or wax paper boxes and tie them off with twine.

19. Fill squeeze bottles with icing to make cookie decorating with kids a little less messy and a little more fun.

20. Use foil and two slow-cooker liners to make and serve two dips in a single slow cooker — without doing any dishes.

21. Enlist a bench scraper anytime you have to cook a big meal, so you can effortlessly grab a bunch of stuff from a cutting board all at once.

22. Keep a garbage bowl handy so you don't make a dozen trips from your cutting board to the trash can.