1. Tinsel should be removed and stored every season. A real savings. Use a leaf rake to get the strays up off the carpet. A vacuum only grinds them further into the weft.

2. If the Christmas tree has a bad side, turn it to the wall. If it doesn't want to stand up straight, tie some thread to the top branch. Put a tack in the ceiling. Loop the thread around that, pulling back till the tree is perched at a precarious angle. This gives everyone vertigo and enhances the magic of Christmas.

3. After the tree comes down, make a family game of cleaning up the needles. Give a point for each needle. The game lasts a year. And so does the fun. Tally up next Christmas.

4. Pesky reindeer droppings, Santa soot and cookie crumbs are just part of the morning after. Clean these up with an ordinary windshield scraper and then put them in the L'egg's eggs you've been saving all year because it looks like you could do something with them.

BONUS TIP. To get cats out of the Christmas tree, squirt them with spray starch.

DOUBLE BONUS TIP. Cut the rope part off dad's soap-on-a-rope. And just use it as you would any ordinary piece of rope, for tying things up. Then just put the soap in a dish. And that will take care of it once and for all.