Well, it’s already Week Two of the Holiday countdown. I hope you were able to cross some projects off your list. If you missed Week One, you can catch up here.
How did I do?
Plant bulbs. I planted my amaryllis bulb and it’s already starting to sprout- perhaps it will be blooming by mid-December. I’m okay with that because we spend most of the holidays with our extended family anyway. I tried to buy some new paper whites (narcissus), but I couldn’t find any. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll come across some this week.
Outdoor lights. We didn’t get our outdoor lights up yet. My husband has been crazy busy at work and I’m the one afraid of heights. It’s definitely on our to-do list for the weekend.
Photos for cards. This past summer I booked Shallon Photography to take family photos. I know many of you will relate when I say that I thought about doing this for a long time, but never got around to it. My son turned 16 and it motivated me to finally do it. It turned out to be a really fun afternoon spent at the park. Shallon was really fun and I think she did a great job at capturing who we really are. I’m excited to share a few on our holiday cards and give some out to family and friends.(I’ll be sharing how I’m putting these together at a later time.)
Gather outdoor materials. I’ve been drawn to driftwood lately and collected a bag full to use for an upcoming wreath, mirror or ornament project- I haven’t decided what to do yet, but here’s my inspiration:
Winterize the house. The house and yard are basically ready for winter. Last year was an extremely poor winter for shrubs, so I’m hoping it will be different this year.
It’s your turn to host Christmas this year and you realize on December 15 that you’re not going to have enough seating for everyone. In a panic, you’ve decided that you need a new dining table and chairs. Guess what? It’s highly unlikely that it’s going to happen unless you’re willing to settle for whatever you can buy off the floor.
Most furniture orders have a lead time of 6 to 8 weeks and sometimes longer. I had a client two years ago who was really disappointed when I told her the new chairs she wanted were scheduled to arrive the first week of January. Luckily for her, they showed up the week before Christmas and she was ecstatic. Don’t count on this happening for you.
Clean and stock the kitchen.
Now is the time to clear out the fridge and freezer and give them a good wipe down. You’ll also want to clean and organize your pantry before you start loading it with holiday essentials.
I don’t know about you, but I try to limit my trips to places like Costco, Wal-Mart and grocery stores when the holiday frenzy really gets going. I like to stock up on baking supplies, wine and other beverages, meat, seafood, cheese, appetizers, napkins and anything else we may need for everyday living or entertaining. If you notice an item you’ll use is on sale, buy multiples to get you though the end of the year, but only if you have the storage room.
Decide on a decorating scheme.
How many times have you been gift shopping and stumble upon decorations that immediately grab your attention and you purchase them on a whim? Then you return home and they don’t seem to look as good as they did at the store. Retailers are clever at putting just the right mix of decorations together, using color, texture and scale. If you pay attention, certain colors and/or styles are grouped together throughout the store. Notice what you’re drawn to and stick with it. If you love the decorations you already have, add a few new ones to complement that style. If your preference has become the complete opposite of what you currently have, consider donating those items and starting fresh or pick only one room to update this season.
Perhaps you’re drawn to traditional Christmas decorations, such as red, green and gold.
Or you’d like to keep your space neutral by adding Christmas sparkle with glass, crystal and/or metallics.
Or you fancy a contemporary holiday decorating scheme, such as black, white and turquoise.
Whatever you choose, your decorating outcome will depend on honing in on the look you’re after. Limit colors to three to prevent it from looking garish- its okay to mix in a variety of neutrals or metallics.
Organize a cookie exchange.
I’ve never been one to create a vast array of goodies for the holidays. I usually find the time to whip up some caramel popcorn, biscotti and chocolate-covered pretzels, but that is it. I’ve always thought it would be fun to make an extra big batch of each and swap with someone else.
Some people go to great lengths to host a party for the event, but I’m planning on calling a friend or two to see if they want to simply meet up sometime in December to trade the goods (perhaps we can do it over coffee, but nothing fancy here).
Have you joined the Holiday Countdown yet? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to over the past week. Please send any suggestions or tips for getting ready my way.