Last week I kicked off the Holiday Countdown Series, which is a recap of last year’s plan for staying on track while preparing for Christmas.
I was happy to hear that many of you are planning on following along and want to thank you for spreading the word. If you wrote (or plan on writing) about your own holiday preparations, make sure you send me the link and I’ll add it to next Friday’s post (same goes for each week leading up to Christmas).
Since last Friday, I have been working on a few projects I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks. I am up to date on last week’s list, except the Christmas lights, which will hopefully be going up this weekend (weather pending). To tell you the truth, all I had to do this week was plant my bulbs, since we had already completed the other items on last week’s list beforehand. Rita from Harbour Breeze Home told me about forcing bulbs in a glass jar or vase with water and no soil. I decided to look into it a little further and I’m giving it a try this season.
This Week’s Holiday Countdown Homework
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. So what do you do? In a panic, you decide 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 in the past who was really disappointed when I told her the new chairs she wanted were scheduled to arrive the first week of January. As luck would have it, 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 use frequently is on sale, buy multiples to get you though until 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 colour, texture and scale. If you pay attention, certain colours 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 picking 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 sparkle with glass, crystal and metallic decorations.
Or you prefer a contemporary Christmas 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 colours 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.
Some people go to great lengths to host a party for the event. Last year I swapped cookies and recipes with one of my friends over a cup of coffee, and this year, I’m hoping to add one more friend to the mix.
If you want to find out more about planning a cookie swap, check out Simple Mom’s tips on how to host a memorable cookie exchange.
Have you started preparing for Christmas yet? I’d love to know what you’re up to.
Enjoy your weekend!