Ho, Ho, Ho, Holidays are here again! Special time of the year that we spend with our families and friends, enjoying good food, hot chocolate or wine and Christmas carols and movies. Can you hear the jingle bells yet?
The unpleasant truth is that before we can dive into the festive mood we all have a long to-do list which causes an illness called pre-Christmas stress. To avoid it, here are few rules to keep you sane. Don’t wait with the preparations for the last minute, there is no such a thing as perfect Christmas and you cannot please everyone, not to mention your mother in law, and even in the busiest day find a little bit of time for yourself. Don’t let the Holiday season take you down. Take a deep breath and go to action.
- Declutter your house
Everything will be much easier with enough space to move around. Take a tour around your house and recycle what can be recycled, give away things that you have not used for more than one year (they can still make someone else happy), grab some storage bins, put all out-of-season items in there and store them in the basement or attic. Do the same in the pantry and fridge, all expired and gone bad items should go. Ask your children to collect toys they do not play with anymore and get rid of them.
- Clean up and finish small repairs
Make a plan and set priorities. Maybe the bedroom drawers or windows washing can wait until spring. Instead focus on public areas, living room, kitchen and guest rooms. Start few weeks ahead and work on 1-2 areas per week. Order your carpet cleaning or other professional cleaning services on time to make it to their busy pre-holiday schedule. Delegate some cleaning chores to your family members as well. It is also good time to fix drippy faucets and doors that don’t close properly to make your holiday guests feel comfortable.
- Decorate on time
It’s hard to tell when is the right time to start decorating your home. While some Holiday fans start putting Christmas lights on their houses pretty much right after they hand out last Halloween candy, others leave it for the Chistmas Eve morning. You can break the process into few steps, start with the outside of your house at the end of November, get your door and table wreaths ready for the first Advent Sunday, then follow with the inside of your home and top it up with the Christmas tree. Keep things simple to create warm welcoming atmosphere.
- Cook and grocery shop ahead
When your guests arrive the last thing you will want to do instead of having fun with them is to spend most of the time in the kitchen or at the store grocery shopping. Stock up your pantry ahead of time so you have staple items handy. Cook some meals for dinners and freeze them. Breakfasts and lunches can be simple – cereal, fruit, sandwiches with leftover meat and salads will do just fine. Going out to eat at the restaurant could be a nice change too.
- Prepare the guest room
The guest rooms are usually rarely used, so they might need some deep cleaning. Open the windows to get some fresh air in, dust all surfaces, vacuum the carpets and put clean sheets and bedding on the beds. Make sure there is enough room in the closet and if possible bring in a chair, so your guests have other place to sit down than the bed. Provide clean towels and if there is a guest bathroom clean it thoroughly and equip with supplies.
Check, check, check…. All done? See, with some planning it was not that bad after all. The holidays are more enjoyable when your house is neatly organized and clean. Now you can light a candle in your aroma lamp, pour in some Christmassy essential oils such as cinnamon and orange, grab a cup of mulled wine, relax and be jolly. In the end the best thing you can do to prepare for Christmas is to be happy.