Christmas Planning – Decorate the House

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

This week it is all about Decorating the House for Christmas. When decorating the house, the first step is to clean the house. Get everyone involved. Then once it is clean, it is time to decorate. As you clear for the decorations to be put up, declutter the house as you go. Don’t make this a massive element; just ask yourself whether you need these ornaments in the future.

Enjoying Christmas – Spring Clean and Decorate for Christmas

decoratingIf you haven’t already done so, it is time to Spring Clean, DeClutter and Decorate the house. Wow, that seems like three big tasks. However, like everything we do, we break it down.

Spring Clean

It is time to think about the cleaning tasks that need to be done for the Christmas season. Do these tasks over the next few weeks if you can. Starting with the long lasting tasks. It may be organising for the carpet and curtains to be professionally cleaned. It may be a good solid dusting in the rooms that you will be entertaining in during the festive season.

If you can outsource tasks then book them in. Keep in mind this is not a time for major home repair jobs, painting, redecorating or other big projects. Our objective is to have the house cleaned and ready for Christmas.

If you can delegate tasks to other family members then start delegating. We give ownership of certain tasks to family members on a weekly basis in our house. My son vacuums upstairs, my daughter downstairs, the other daughter dusts the lounge and wipes all the kitchen cupboards and bench tops. My husband cleans the toilets and does the grocery shopping and sweep and mop the floors, plan the weekly menu and clean the bathroom and ensuite.

Decorating

Once the cleaning is completed, it is time for decorating. The first step can be actually finding all the decorations. As you get out the decorations for this year, check if they are still in good condition.

When I decorate, I actually store some of the everyday ornaments back into the decorations boxes. This way I don’t have to remember where I put them. When it is time to pack up the decorations, all of my normal ornaments are ready and I know where they are. It doesn’t become my annual treasure hunt.

Once I have all my decorations out, I then take a look at what decorations are left in the boxes and if I haven’t used them, I ask myself why. Sometimes it is because they are old and tatty (so out they go). Sometimes it is because I don’t like them (well, out they go). Sometimes it may be because I have a different colour then (these ones get to stay). This process means I am decluttering as I go.

We get the whole family involved in decorating. When the children were young, it was such a special and exciting time for them. Now my children are a bit older, however, it has become a family tradition. I let them be in charge and make decisions themselves. My home is a family home and all the family get to contribute and take ownership of how our house looks for Christmas.

It can be a big job, however, once it is done, you feel so good. It is something that I know. I feel exhausted when it is done but as a family, we have had a ball.

Christmas Planning – Gift Wrapping Station

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

This week it is all about the Wrapping the Christmas Gifts.

Set up a gift wrapping area or station in your home. Items to include:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Ribbons
  • Gift Boxes
  • Bags
  • Gift tags
  • Set this all up in a zone in your home.

Enjoying Christmas – Gift Wrapping

252The size of families varies and the number of gifts we buy varies as well. This may be a great tip for you or it may just be a little bit over the top. If it is, apologies; however, our organising community is varied, so it is important to help and support everyone.

I have a friend who likes to wrap all her presents Christmas Eve so this may not apply to you at all. I prefer to get my sleep Christmas Eve, so I like to have my gifts wrapped early.

I have created what I refer to as a “gift wrapping zone” in our house. It is all set up and ready this time of year with sticky tape, wrapping paper, bags, ribbons, pens and gift cards.

Having the gift wrapping station (zone) means I can use pockets of time to get on top of all my gift wrapping. If I have a spare five minutes, I can get a few gifts wrapped in that time. It keeps it all in one area of the house, which means I am not impacting on others in the house.

In addition, I have my master gift check list. This is where I have the names of people I am purchasing gifts for and what present ideas I have. I then write what I actually purchased. This allows me for next year to know what I got them so that I don’t double up but also helps me when I am trying to think of gifts. Some of the gift ideas may be suitable for others, some of the gifts ideas I can extend on.

This master gift list gives me a report on what shopping and gifts I have completed and what I still need to do.

This is another example of “chunking” in action.

Christmas Planning – Christmas Menu

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

This week it is all about the Christmas Menu.

  • Design your Christmas menu
  • Write out your shopping list
  • Start purchasing non-perishable items now
  • Being organised this way means that you can ask others to bring food and dishes to the celebrations

Enjoying Christmas – Menu Planning

249This week, it is time to finalise the Christmas menu or menus. That depends on how many Christmas functions you have to hold or attend.

Designing the Menu

Designing the menu provides you the opportunity to actually give someone an item or items to bring along when they ask “What can I bring?” When people offer, they are genuine about helping and it is important to allow them to feel that they are contributing to the day.

I do this all the time. We have dinner parties with friends a number of times a year and we all bring something which makes it so much easier for the person who is holding the event. Someone brings entrée, another one brings salad’s, someone else a fruit platter and someone else chocolates. Easy to prepare, and we all really enjoy the night.

So take time now to think about your menu. If you are going to cook it all that is fine, so start writing out your shopping list. There are many items that you can start buying now so that the grocery bill is not massive come Christmas. Items like drinks, napkins, nuts, dried fruit, chocolates, bon bons. Then have your week before Christmas shopping list ready. It is another task done and ready. Pressure off come the time just before Christmas.

Christmas Day Plan

You can even write out your time plan for Christmas day now. For example, Christmas Eve cut carrots, corn, beans, get out plates, saucepans, set the table.

Christmas Eve Day

Complete grocery shopping
Prepare salads
Set table
Defrost meat

Christmas Morning

10.00 am – turkey on
10.15 am – prepare fruit platter
12 noon – family arrive
12.30 pm – entrée served
1:00 pm – gift giving
1.30 pm – main course
2.15 pm – sweets

This is just a rough guideline but knowing this and being ready help to keep your head clear and allow you to feel more relaxed. Who knows, you may even have time for conversations and to enjoy the day.

After Christmas Menus

Something else that may be worth thinking about is your menu the week after Christmas. You may have left overs so now is the time to look for recipes that involve 101 ways with turkey and ham.

Many families head away for holidays this time of year so it may be worthwhile actually thinking about what other food is needed for the first week of holidays. Some simple easy to make meals where you can have the ingredients ready or even pre prepare and freeze the food so that you also get to have a holiday.

I know for some of you this type of planning comes naturally; for others, it may be a foreign concept. However, give it a go. Remember our goal is to take big tasks and “chunk” them down into little steps.

Christmas Planning – November Tips

Our aim is for this Christmas to be magical and enjoyable. That means it all comes down to the planning. The next few weeks will be tips to help you be organised this Christmas.

  • Order the ham and turkey
  • Christmas cards are you still writing them
  • Christmas schedule – is that still okay and not too overloaded
  • Christmas decorations
  • Christmas lights
  • Think about holiday sale items that you may want to purchase in the sales