Posts Tagged 'holiday preparation'

Get in Order for the Holidays, Part 7

It’s A Wrap!

The big day is quickly approaching. Are you ready? Are you in the Christmas spirit?

It’s time to wrap up your preparations and your gifts!

Consider setting up a wrapping station where you can keep all of your wrapping supplies and gifts in the same area. Make it fun and festive by setting up your wrapping station near a TV. Then you can wrap and organize, while watching old Christmas classics or listening to Christmas music.

When you pull out last year’s wrapping paper, take the time to discard any wrinkled, outdated, or damaged paper and supplies.

Get the kids involved!

  • Give the job completely to an older teen
  • Have younger children help by stamping, painting or decorating butcher paper to use as gift wrap

Wrap gifts soon after you purchase them to avoid the last minute rush. Be sure to clearly label each gift and cross the gift off your list.

Remember, don’t be afraid to cross off some tasks from your list! Your friends and family would rather have a joyful you, with store bought cookies, than a stressed out, frazzled, you, with homemade treasures.

Check out Part 1, Happy Shopping, Part 2, Take Time to Make Time, Part 3, Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 4, Cleaning, Part 5, Decorating, and Part 6, Meal Planning, of my Get in Order for the Holidays Series.

May you have joy in the journey!

Get in Order for the Holidays, Part 6

Meal Planning

We tend to cook more and entertain more during the holidays. There is much that you can do prepare for this busy time so that you can truly enjoy your celebrations.

First, ask yourself who, what, when and where? When you have your answers to these questions, you have the backbone of your plans.

Take time to prepare for the weeks ahead by doing some (or all!) of the following:

  • Organize, purge and clean your pantry, refrigerator and freezer
  • Do a quick inventory of dinnerware, glasses, silverware, linens and serving pieces. If there is a need, there is certainly a sale!
  • Prepare a flexible menu for the weeks ahead
  • Each week, make a shopping list from your menus and try to shop only 1 time a week. Go on off-peak times of the day—early in the day and early in the week, if possible
  • Take advantage of sales to stock up on non perishables that you will need for your holiday preparations
  • Prepare dishes, breads, cookies and desserts that can be frozen
  • Keep basics and easy to prepare foods on hand
  • Share the responsibility and joy of cooking for others—when your guest asks if they can bring something, say YES, and cross something off your list!
  • Consider pot-luck dinners for large celebrations

Remember your goal this holiday season! Look back at your “Holiday Mission Statement” that you created back in week one. How is your mission going? Are you joyful in the journey of your preparations? If not, it might be time to cross a few more things off that list of yours, regroup and move forward.

Check out Part 1, Happy Shopping, Part 2, Take Time to Make Time, Part 3, Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 4, Cleaning,  Part 5, Decorating, and Part 7, It’s a Wrap of my Get in Order for the Holidays Series.

Have a blessed and organized holiday!


Get in Order for the Holidays, Part 5


Picture of Christmas Tree

Our Little Tree

I’m sure many of you have started, if not completed your holiday decorating. We are finishing up this weekend. Once again, we purchased our tree from a lot rather than cutting it down fresh. We’re hoping for more than sticks during our New Year Celebration!

When is the best time to put up and then take down the Christmas tree? When I pulled out my Christmas boxes, I was joyed to find a long lost, ultra (not!) spiritual book about Christmas celebrations that gave me a clue. In her book, A Purse-Driven Christmas (So, What did you get me?), author, comedian and singer, Anita Renfroe, writes:

“We can’t find any guidance from the official etiquette dames regarding the question of the right time to remove the Christmas decorations. When is the optimum time to take them down? I have seen (only in movies) that there are some people who don’t even put their trees up until Christmas Eve. Who are these people? Don’t they know that the joy of having a tree is its being up at least a couple of weeks prior so they can enjoy the lights and watch the presents and pine needles stack up around the bottom? These are the same people who take the tree down the day after Christmas. They obviously don’t do quite as much decorating as we do, because if we waited until Christmas to do all that we do and then took it down immediately afterward, we would miss Christmas altogether. I believe that these people are secretly Christmas haters and just want to have the least amount of Christmas environment allowable by law. Their mantra is, ‘It’s not Christmas yet, not yet, not yet, not yet –now it is — great, it’s over already — get the stuff outta hear!’”

It’s a funny, lighthearted read, described as “The happiest accessory for the holiday season”!

For those of you that haven’t started your decorating yet, most of the us who are in the midst of it, and the few who actually wait until Christmas Eve, keep these tips in mind.

  • If you do a lot of decorating, don’t try to get it done in a day (OK, this one doesn’t apply to the Christmas Eve folks!)
  • Make a schedule, delegate, and work as a family
  • Make it a part of your celebration and remember to have joy in the journey
  • Before you begin pulling out the holiday decorations, be sure the house is clean and straight

As you pull out your holiday decorations

  • Take the opportunity to purge any items you no longer use or love
  • Consider donating those items that you no longer use
  • Pack up your regular season decorating accessories into your holiday boxes (it will save you from searching for them after Christmas!)

Happy Decorating!

Check out Part 1, Happy Shopping, Part 2, Take Time to Make Time, Part 3, Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 4, Cleaning,  Part 6, Meal Planning, and Part 7, It’s a Wrap, of my Get in Order for the Holidays Series.

Have a Blessed and Organized Holiday!


Get In Order for the Holidays, Part 4


This is the time of year when your doors are open, friends are in and out, and company is on the way! Make it easy on yourself, and get your house in order early, so that you can enjoy! This is NOT the time of year for major home repairs or projects – save those for the slower times of year.

First, decide what needs to be done. Then decide on a realistic schedule to get those jobs accomplished.

Begin with jobs that won’t get undone:

  • De-clutter and purge – make room for the holidays!
  • Clean carpets if needed
  • Clean silver
  • Do the Great Exchange:  Switch out spring & summer for fall & winter linens, platters and dishes. Switch out the beach towels and chairs for gloves & hats and sleds & clothes
  • Purge and organize your pantry – prepare for the holiday cooking and baking
  • Clean out the oven, refrigerator and freezer

Next, Get caught up on basic cleaning each week. If you are overwhelmed with your cleaning list, consider some of the following options:

  • Use a timer and set it for 15 minutes several times a day – it is amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes of focused time!
  • Eliminate some of the jobs in your list
  • Delegate! Get your family members involved
  • Hire help, if possible (this is a great gift for both yourself and your family!)

Have a blessed and organized holiday!

Check out Part 1, Happy Shopping, Part 2, Take Time to Make Time and Part 3, Budget and Gift Giving Guide , Part 5,  Decorating, Part 6, Meal Planning, and Part 7, It’s a Wrap, of my Get in Order for the Holidays Series.


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