Merriment Made Easy

Posted on November 20, 2015

Ays Holiday Masthead 2

Along with festive lights, parties and family traditions, the holidays bring a major to-do list. We know you’re busier than ever grabbing gifts, planning feasts and sending best wishes, so we put together a checklist to help you stay on track this season. Who knows, you may even find time to relax! Consider it our gift to you. After all, OnStar tradition is connecting you to what you need, when you need it.

Four people in a vehicle, viewed from behind the backseat. The people in the backseat are watching a video on a tablet.

Stream a road trip story

Traveling more than an hour or two? An audio book is a great way to entertain the entire family, and keep the peace. Choose one of more than 1,200 family friendly selections at and get two free premium audio books using Marketplace.1

Or help your passengers relax using the 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot.2 Up to 7 mobile devices can be connected at the same time, so everyone can do their own thing, like stream music, videos, play games or surf the web, while you navigate in peace.

A dinner plate on a table with silverware on either side and a "Reserved" sign on the plate.

Make reservations

Take a day and let someone else do the cooking, but be sure to claim your table early to avoid the holiday rush! While you’re in the booking mood, push your blue OnStar button and an Advisor can use to get you a great rate on lodging and make the reservation for you.

A casserole dish filled with food, an artichoke and a cooked crab.

Take gourmet on the go!

Don’t let a long drive deter you from making one of your favorite dishes to share.

“Maintaining moisture on the way is the key to keeping your dish fresh,” says Randal Jacobs, executive sous chef of Chicago’s Blue Plate Catering. “To do so, cook it at home and let it cool. Then transfer it into sealable bags for the car ride. When you get to the party, put some oil in a stovetop pan and reheat your food in the oven. Then show it off in your festive dish.”

Some of Chef Jacobs’ favorite travel friendly recipes include pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry poached pears and sautéed haricot vert. Get the recipes.

An evergreen branch with droplets of dew on it.

Keep your tree evergreen

As Turn-by-Turn Navigation3 leads you to a remote farm to choose a tree, keep in mind these tips from the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) that can help your tree thrive the whole holiday:

  • Measure first. Your living room isn’t as big as you think.
  • Select for health. “Run a branch through your closed hand. If the tree is healthy, needles won’t come off,” NCTA’s Rick Dungey advises. “Also, bend the outer branches. If they snap easily, the tree is dry.”
  • Hydrate right away. The cut surface of the trunk should not be exposed to air for more than 3 hours, he says. If it is, cut off an additional half-inch before placing the tree in the stand with water.
  • When it’s time to take down the tree, contact your community about recycling options.

A line of brightly colored shopping bags on a wooden floor.

Creative ways to shop and save

There’s a lot to buy for friends, family and coworkers. Here are a couple of easy ways to save while you do.

  • Opt in: Remember to sign up for emails and texts from your favorite retailers to take advantage of seasonal discounts. Be sure to check your vehicle mobile app4 for nearby Marketplace offers too.
  • DIY: Take a class at a local crafts store or online and learn to make your own gifts. It’s a great way to add a memorable, personal touch and possibly save money.

A collection of packages ready to mail with a Christmas ornament on top of the pile.

Ship smart (and early)

An estimated 317 million packages will be posted in the mail from Black Friday to Christmas Eve — a 12% increase over last year.5 To get your packages to loved ones by Dec. 25, be sure to send them no later than Dec. 17. If you fall behind, some of the top retailers are offering free shipping day on Dec. 18.

Four tickets folded into an accordion shape that say "Admit One", surrounded by a scattering of popcorn.

Punch your movie tickets

Dec. 25 ranks as the second-busiest movie-going day of the year, and with nearly 30 major blockbusters hitting the big screen in November and December,6 you’ll want to snag tickets early this holiday. Before you gather up your fellow fans, push your blue OnStar button or log on to your vehicle mobile app and use Marketplace to locate Entertainment Book offers. Discounts toward admission and snacks or at local restaurants may be available in your hometown.

Closeup of a handle and lock on a door in a hotel hallway, with a key in the door that has a tag with the number 104 on it.

Gear up for the ball drop

No reservations yet for NYE? You’re not alone. “New Year’s Eve plans are generally put on hold until the last minute,” according to Travel Editor Brian Ek. “Past data has shown mobile reservations jumping 33 percent in the seven days from Christmas to New Year’s Eve.”

When you’re ready to find a room, just tell an OnStar Advisor where you want to countdown to 2016. Working with, they’ll find you great rates at thousands of hotels across the country.

Learn more about how Marketplace can help with your holiday schedule. Have a wonderful holiday and best wishes from OnStar!