• “When cutting Christmas wrapping paper, I open my adjustable dining-room table just a crack so a paring knife fits in. Then lay the paper flat, and by following the crack, you can cut a straight line, and it is so quick to do.” — H.H. in Minnesota
• “To substitute for sprinkles on cupcakes at Christmastime, we freeze gumdrops and shred them on a fine shredder. They are so pretty, and really festive.” — B., via e-mail
• “We let the kids decorate our holiday storage tubs last year with a mass of stickers and permanent markers. It seemed like decoration overkill at the time (they were 3 and 5), but there was no mistaking those tubs when we went to get them from the attic this year. They stood WAY out!” — T.C. in Tennessee
• You can get baskets and containers year-round at second-hand stores. And while you’re at it, clean and save glass jars. Get yourself a nice bread, cookie or brownie recipe, and create a recipe gift for a personal touch. Stick a few utensils and perhaps canned ingredients in the basket, and you’re ready to give the gift of yummy.
• “Have one spouse get the kids out of the way (say, by taking them to the park) while the other is tackling big chores such as cooking, cleaning or hanging holiday lights.” — E.E. in Idaho
(c) 2009 King Features Synd.