Stress Free for the Holidays Part 1
Put your Halloween Stuff Away
Once each holiday is over, you have to put everything away that goes with that holiday. This means Halloween, too. It's not like Walmart where you can have Halloween and Christmas sitting next to each other. Unless you're Tim Burton.
Put up your decorations slowly, over the course of the week. They didn't get there overnight. I don't expect you to get them put up overnight.
Save yourself some trouble for next year. Go through everything and see what's broken or damaged, what needs to be thrown out, and what you can donate. Anything that's left, put it away nice, neat, and complete. Try labeling stuff or have a specific colored tub for all your decorations. Black and orange work well. And, I'm not talking just your paper cutouts and light up pumpkins. Put your carving kits, patterns, even costume ideas all in one place.
Want to know something awesome? Novemeber 1st is an awesome time to stock up on stuff for next year at amazing prices. Costumes are ok, but kids grow and grow out of phases. She may dig Dora now but next year she'll be into Hanna Montana. And skip the makeup. It goes bad after a while. But decorations are always in style. And, throughout the week, yo umay be able to get really great prices but you're running the risk of the store not having what you were wanting. When you do get everything you can, put it away with the rest of you Halloween gear. you can play with it next year. Think of it like Christmas. YOu have to wait to open up the cool stuff.
This is the week to prepare for Thanksgiving. No, you cannot wait until the Wednesday night before. That's just silly. Especially if you have your family, or inlaws, coming to your house for dinner.
You're going to want to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. This means you need to figure out if you're going to someone's house or if they are all coming to you.
Not to state the ovious, but you're going to have a lot work ahead of you if you're cooking it all by yourself. My idea, make it potluck. Tell everyone to bring something very specific. That wasy you don't wind up with 4 green bean casseroles. Tell sister in law 1 to make her amazing mashed potatoes, sister in law 2 to make her sweet potato casserole, and mother inlaw to make her stuffing. You have no idea how much easier this will make your life in the long run.
Go through everything you're going to need for dinner. then, make a grocery list. Do like Santa, check it twice. Ask anyone you're cooking for if there is anything they are allergic to. If you haven't used certain recipes since last Thanksgiving, make sure you have all the ingredients on your list. Nothing is worse than trying to fight the hoards at the store because you forgot sage.
When you go grocery shopping over the next few weeks, try to throw in some of the canned or frozen stuff. It just saves you from having to get everything all at once. And there's some peace of mind to knowing it's in your house ready to be used. Now if you want to make some of the same recipes for Christmas, double up. Anything to make life easier.
Now, look at your list. What on there can be made a few days in advance? If you're making cookies, then make the dough and freeze it now. You've got time. Take it slow. Make it simple. This is about making like easier for you.
Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) planning
I know I know. Christmas already? Yeah, well, you do have to start thinking about it now because it will creep up on you and before you know it, it's Christmas Eve, you're at the mall and life sucks beyond all knowing.
There's actually only two things Winter holiday related I want you to do this week. Figure out which cookies and other baked goods you're going to be whipping up for friends and family. The other is your family Christmas or whatever you celebrate Letter.
So what is a Christmas Letter?
This is the letter you will be writing in all your Holiday cards. All your friends and family and such will be reading this so, yeah, make sure it's appropriate. This is just a great way to to keep everyone up to date with our lives. Think of it as an annual family newsletter. Which is actually a really cute idea for a setup or format or template.
Now, I don't expect you to handwrite each and every letter. That's madness. Make some copies. Either at home or Kinko's or whatever. Print it on some cute paper. Don't worry about enveloping and addressing and such. That will come later. Right now, just get copies done and place the letters in a safe spot.
Baking Schedule Planning
Have you decided who is getting what and what you're baking for whom? No? You should figure that out. Totally makes life easier than flyin g by the seat of your pants on this one. For reals.
The best thing about baking for gifts is you can freeze so many of them ahead of time. That means you can do a little at a time. Saves you much stress and time.
There is a tendency to want to chill and be lazy after Halloween. The time before Thanksgiving is a very important time that can help you keep stress free before the crunch of the Holidays.