While Christmas Day is often a quiet time with family, Christmas Eve can become a frantic last-minute rush to get everything done. "Good Morning America" talked to the experts to find out how you can survive Christmas Eve in style. Here are their tips.
Last-Minute Shopping Tips
You're checking your list, you're checking it twice -- and you realize you forgot about some important people. But even if it's Christmas Eve and you're stuck at the airport, you can still buy some great gifts. ABC News' Barbara Pinto went to the airport in Pittsburgh to test out these tips.
Find out whether the airport has any good stores. In Pittsburgh, the airport has a Victoria's Secret and a Brooks Brothers. If you're at the airport in San Francisco, you can shop at Coach. Some airports have a Zoom Shop, which is a high-end automated vending machine that sells iPods and digital cameras.
Don't wrap your gifts. Security may have to unwrap them, wasting all that effort. Instead buy pretty gift bags and put the presents in those.
Creative Gift-Wrapping Tips
The presents are due under the tree in a matter of hours, but they're not wrapped yet. Luckily, lifestyle expert Katie Brown has some suggestions that will trick the recipients into thinking you put a lot of time and effort into wrapping their gifts.
Skip the gift bags and the rolls of wrapping paper. All you need is some plain brown paper from lunch bags, grocery bags or the butcher. Then you need to use your imagination in decorating them. For lunch bags, you can hole-punch a design in them or weave a ribbon through them. Paint stripes around grocery bags and turn them into a basket. Spray-paint the butcher paper or attach a doily.
"Recycle" paper you have around the house and turn it into wrapping paper. You can stencil designs on old newspaper or you can wrap a thin band of newspaper around a plain white package. Sheet music makes beautiful wrapping paper, especially if you tie a colored ribbon around the package. Pages from a coloring book work, too. Or, turn to your kitchen cupboard for aluminum foil, wax paper or napkins, which can all serve as wrapping paper.
Adorn your wrapped packages with leaves and pine cones. It's a great way to make presents look seasonal. Or, dig into your sewing kit and decorate with buttons, ribbons and yarn.
Tips on How to Maintain Your Diet at a Party
If you're going to a Christmas Eve party, you'll want to remember these diet tips from ABC News medical contributor Dr. David Katz.
You don't gain as much weight during the holidays as you think you do. New research shows most of us only gain a pound or two during the holidays. The real key is that the more you focus on healthy eating year-round, the less important holiday weight gain becomes and the more you can just enjoy those holiday foods.
Take the edge off your appetite by eating low-calorie foods. There's usually an array of food options at holiday parties. Pick a low-calorie food and take the edge off your appetite with that. Try fresh vegetables and low-calorie dips like salsa and hummus. It should keep you from overeating.
Decide how you want to indulge and then indulge selectively. First, case the joint -- scope out all the different food options: the cheese, the hot hors d'oeuvres, the Christmas cookies, the fruitcake. Then choose one or two you want to indulge in. That way, you'll feel like you've had the best of the holiday foods.
Instead of making every drink an alcoholic one, alternate between alcohol and seltzer. Alcohol is a very concentrated source of calories, and when we're drinking, we tend to eat more because we're thinking less about our diet and more about having a good time. So, alternate between alcohol and seltzer.
Don't fast before a big holiday meal or party. It slows down your metabolism, and when you finally sit down to dinner, you will be more prone to overindulge. So have a healthy snack, such as yogurt, an apple or banana, early in the day before you head out to the party.
Work out the day of the party or big meal. Dieting is as much about calories you burn as it is about calories you take in. If you don't have time to go to the gym, go for a long walk before or after the meal. Or, if it's a party, dance!