Dear Readers: With the holidays approaching, getting ready for all the events and activities can be stressful. Here are some hints to help reduce all that stress. Get every family member involved and plan ahead.

Use your computer to create guest lists, shopping lists, menus and recipes. You can also print out homemade invitations and email photos after all of the festivities.

Use old family wreaths or home-made decorations, instead of buying new ones. To help save money, use the fall and winter bounty, like leaves and pumpkins.

Have your children help create table decorations, like place cards and centerpieces. Have them set the table and help you in the kitchen, too. And they can make wonderful homemade gifts that will be appreciated by family members.

— Heloise