Holiday Helpers

Helpful Holiday Services in Calgary
Holiday Helpers

Does it ever feel like the most wonderful time of the year is the most chaotic time of the year too?

Here are a few services to take a bit of the load off from the stress of fitting in all the wrapping, school concerts, baking, outfits, lights, cooking, tree, colds and flu, haircuts (and the beat goes on).

Holiday Lights
There’s nothing like coming home to the twinkling lights in front of the house. Instead of trying to balance ladders on top of snow and ice to install them yourself when it’s -20°C (read: emergency room visit), you can call in the professionals. Buy, rent or have your own installed, and at the end of the season, your lights can be taken down and packed up (even stored) for you until the next year. The Light Kings and Assiniboine Lights and Landscapes have been doing this for over 10 years, and the typical price for a bungalow starts at $200. Your house will definitely be the best dressed on the street.

Cooking and Cleaning
You can spend a lot of time cooking, or you can spend a lot of quality time with your family. Your choice. If you choose the latter, the Westin Hotel’s stuffed free-range turkey with all the trimmings with pie for dessert, is a delicious deal. All you need to do is pick it up and warm it up. Prices start from $280 for a 13lb turkey that serves up 10 to 12 generous servings. The River Cafe and Sunterra Market are also taking bookings for traditional turkey dinners. 

Having a lot of family and friends over is great fun, but let’s be honest: they make a mess. Give yourself (and your back) a break with the gift of a cleaning crew to make your home sparkle before (or after) the big event. A Maid for a Day cleaning service will come to your house, freeing up your time to attend to your to-do list and have some fun with the family. Rates depend on the size of your house and jobs to be undertaken, but be warned, this can be addictive.

Wrap It Up
Two specialty stores in Calgary will set your imagination alight with fabulous ways in which to wrap up the gifts that you have so thoughtfully purchased. At Creative Packaging, they stock everything from confectionery bags and boxes, ribbons, paper and gift wrap. This store is candy for the seasoned wrapper.

At Paper Panache Invitations, there is a great selection of fun and modern gift wrap and ribbons, Christmas cards ready for your family photo, and for those who want to get crafty, there are cute 3D snowflake-making kits for $10.50.

Personal Concierge Service
Even the most organized people have bad days or family members who get sick. If the details of life can’t get done, bring in a personal assistant from Time is Money Concierge Services to shop for the perfect gifts, wrap them, pick up dry-cleaning, take the car to be serviced and cleaned, or pick up that Christmas dinner.

We’re not saying you’ll want to avail of all of these services at once. That would take the fun out of the season. But if you’re feeling stretched, it’s always nice to know who to call for some help.

Let’s call them the chaos clean-up team. Tested by Fiona H., Calgary

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First published 2011.11.24

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