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8 Things to Do to Prepare for the Holiday Season
8 Things to Do to Prepare for the Holiday Season
The holidays are practically here, which means it’s time to prep and organize your home. Ready yourself and your family for the season’s festivities by making a list and checking it twice. There’s lots to do and little time to do it, so add these chores to your schedule and get cracking.
1. Declutter and Donate
Before you buy more holiday decorations, gifts or a new winter wardrobe, check to see what you already have. Take inventory and get rid of anything you or the kids haven’t used in the past year. Donate these items to a local charity or host an online garage sale to get rid of them before Christmas. Decluttering and reorganizing your belongings will help make room for new ones and discourage overspending during the holiday season. Hooray for simplicity!
2. Use Alternative Buying Options
Many people plan to do their holiday shopping in person so they can peruse each store’s selection. However, there remains a strong demand for buy online pick-up in-store and curbside pickup options. These alternatives allow you the speed and convenience of ordering gifts online and swinging by retailers to pick them up. BOPIS and curbside pickup also keep you and your family safe from crowds of frantic shoppers who may or may not be wearing masks.
3. Make a Baking Calendar
Cookies, pies, brownies, cupcakes, sweetbreads and other baked goods make excellent gifts for friends, family and neighbors. However, whipping up dozens of desserts is going to take some time, so you better plan ahead. Gather recipes and make a baking calendar to determine when — and for whom — you’ll make each treat. Use this timeline to ensure there’s enough room in your fridge for dough and make-ahead goodies. You can even scale out your ingredients in advance and make DIY cookie mixes to save time.
4. Design and Send Holiday Cards
The United States Postal Service is running behind again this year, which means you should think about sending holiday cards sooner rather than later. Take family photos well in advance and use online templates to design the perfect season’s greeting. You can even print them out at home to get them in the mail faster. Don’t want to pay for postage? E-cards are a wonderful alternative that saves time, money and resources. Plus, you can include videos and voice recordings to personalize them, unlike a typical paper card.
5. Get Matching Jammies
It might seem like matching pajama sets are a new trend, but they’ve actually been around for more than 40 years, and man, are they adorable! Just imagine dressing your whole family — even your pets — in the same Christmassy print and snapping photos as they open gifts. Whether you don simple plaid jammies or ones with the Grinch all over them, you’re sure to stay comfy and cute all day. Plus, you’ll have plenty of fun photos to share on your socials later in the day.
6. Pull Out the Decorations
Once Thanksgiving is over, your first order of business is to pull out a beautiful Christmas decoration collection. Deck the halls in red and green, hang lights and put up the tree. Make it a family affair and let the kids lend a helping hand. If you have decorations that you’ve purchased over the years or items that retain a special meaning, space them out intentionally throughout your home. Just don’t forget to hang some stockings and designate a place for Santa’s milk and cookies when the time comes.
7. Switch to LEDs
If you’re someone who thinks “bigger is better” when it comes to Christmas lights, overloading your circuits is a major concern during the holiday season. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid loading a circuit over 80%, which is easier said than done when you’re decorating your entire home. Add the amperage draw of your lights to figure out which outlets can handle the electricity. Better yet, switch to lights with LED bulbs to skip the hassle, lower your electrical load and solve your overload problems.
8. Update the Guest Room
Are you having guests over this holiday season? Prepare their room now by giving it a quick facelift. Beyond the surface level cleaning and organizing, you should consider adding a basket of essentials like lotion, mouthwash and other toiletries. Replace the sheets and add a few more throw pillows to create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Incorporate a few tasteful decorations like a small wreath or bowl of potpourri to keep guests' quarters fresh and festive.
The best way to prepare for the holiday season is to start early. Make a list of everything you have to do and start checking items off before Thanksgiving arrives. The more you can do now, the better. This way you can be fully present for this year’s festivities and actually enjoy celebrating with family and friends.