Can you believe it’s December? I can definitely feel the holiday pace picking up- you know the people who block Christmas out of their minds and then a sense of panic sets in once the calendar turns from November! We’ve all been there. If you’ve been following along, you’re likely feeling ahead of the game and that was my goal. If not, it’s okay because there’s still time to catch up on this series (or at least part of it).
How did I do?
Decorate your front door/porch. This week we had a snow storm and heavy winds that put a little wrench in my outdoor decorating plans. In fact, one of our neighbor’s wreaths ended up in our back yard! By Saturday most of the snow had melted and the wind died down a bit, so I geared up to decorate. Then came another wicked snow storm that ended Sunday afternoon. I’m hoping to finally get to it today! (I have to say it does look pretty outside.)
Buy or create an advent calendar. My son is now 16 and although he would love a chocolate every day leading up to Christmas, I decided to change things up this year. Instead I’m somewhat of an elf and I put a note in his room revealing what the advent item is for that day. So far I’ve done:
- 1- milkshake from Fat Burger (that was a big hit!)
- 2- one song from itunes
- 3- weekend “sleep ’til whenever” pass (because according to him, 10:00 isn’t late enough)
- 4- chocolate
He loves it, but I’m finding it a bit challenging to come up with something new everyday that doesn’t cost too much. Let me know if you have an ideas!
Prepare and send your holiday cards. As mentioned last week, I won the Brightside Prints giveaway on A Design Story and worked with Jill to personalize our holiday cards. The proof looks fantastic and I can’t wait to receive them. To prepare, I’ve purchased my stamps and printed everyone’s addresses on mailing labels so when they arrive, (should be this week) I can just stick the labels and stamps on and away they go!
Decorate your tree.
I know some of you already have your tree up and decorated, but I personally wait until the first week or so of December. I think it started years ago when we used to get a fresh tree. Now that we spend a certain amount of time away for Christmas, we use a pre-lit artificial one. I do miss the look and smell of a real tree, but I don’t miss the mess.
Do some baking.
I used to do a lot of baking for Christmas when my son was little and my husband and I could eat anything we wanted without gaining weight (oh, I long for those days). The past few years I’ve narrowed it down to a few favorites and I’ll try a new recipe if it peaks my interest. Last year my husband’s aunt shared the easiest chocolate caramel pecan pretzel recipe with me and I think that will be on the list again this year. There are so many easy recipes that I think everyone should make at least one thing. I encourage you to get the family involved. I remember popcorn-ball-making-night when I was growing up. The best part was licking the caramel goodness off my hands when we were done.
Here are some fabulous recipes:
If you remember back to week 2 I talked about organizing a cookie exchange. This week I’ll be doing the baking for that and we’re exchanging early next week (recipes and photos of that will be on a later post, including the pretzel recipe I mentioned above).
Set up a gift-wrapping station.
There’s nothing worse than being disorganized while wrapping gifts. I don’t have a separate craft/gift-wrapping room, but I do have everything I need in one large tub. It’s easy to pull out and put away, but this year I want to organize it a little better.
I’d love to set up a gift wrapping station down the road that functions well and looks pretty. This year I’ll just organize my ribbons, tags, and other supplies in clear plastic totes or decorative boxes.
A big thank you to everyone who has been following this Christmas Countdown series and all your wonderful comments. I’m having a blast putting it together and it’s definitely keeping me on my toes! I’d love for you to share what you’ve been doing to prepare for Christmas. I’m planning on doing a reader round-up, so send me your photos and/or ideas and you may be featured. It can be anything- baking, decorating, traditions, crafts…I’d love to see them!