Prep now for a Stress-Free Christmas

I know, I know, it isn’t even fall yet and here I am talking about Christmas! Each year I keep telling myself I’m going to get an early start on the holidays, and then end up at the last minute rushing around. This year is going to be different! All of us may have a little down time, due to the state of the world right now. Hopefully by Christmas we can start getting back to small gatherings and family get-togethers.

This Christmas I want to spend more time in the moment. Instead of running around trying to get everything done and missing the most important part…time together with those you love.

Here are a few things I’ve thought of that I can do now to prepare for Christmas!

Make your Christmas lists.

This is a great way to start planning for gifts, and preparing Christmas cards to be sent out. Right now is a good time to catch end-of-summer and Labor Day sales. Some states are having tax-free days for back to school. A lot of the items on sale would make great Christmas gifts.

Get your Christmas cards ready.

After you’ve made you list, why not go ahead and make out those Christmas cards! A lot of stores already have their Christmas section on display. Usually greeting cards are some of the first things to hit the shelves. If you’re like my daughter, she likes to do personalized photo cards each year. Now is a great time to schedule the photo shoot and get those Christmas cards ordered.

Make Homemade Gifts

Now is a great time to get started on that Christmas sweater or scarf you’ve been wanting to knit or crochet. I’m new to knitting, so I’ll just stick to a simple blanket. You don’t have to be ultra crafty or talented to make beautiful, thoughtful homemade gifts. There are several things you can make from every day items around your house. Homemade gifts are from the heart and also help with your Christmas budget! Below is a link to one of my favorite websites for some great Homemade Christmas gift ideas!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/homemade-gift-ideas-1251561

Make ahead meals, and cookie dough to freeze.

This is actually one of my favorite things to do. I love cooking and baking, but with family and friends coming over I want to spend more time with them and less time in the kitchen. Making and freezing that pot of chili or beef stew is still homemade with love, but convenient for you! Mixing up several batches of cookie dough is a great idea year-round, especially at Christmas! Cookie exchange parties, bake sales, last minute gifts, and of course, cookies for Santa! Below are a few of my favorite cookie recipes that freeze well. Just roll them into a log or into little balls, then wrap them in wax paper and place them in a freezer bag. Don’t forget to label and date them! Slice and bake a batch of homemade cookies in just minutes!

https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/christmas/g2177/easy-christmas-cookies/

Start preparing for overnight guests.

You can make up these welcome gifts ahead of time, shrink wrap or just warp them in a plastic bag to keep clean, then store them on a closet shelf. You can make up themes or individualize them for the guests you know will be coming to stay with you.

Another great idea to prepare for overnight guests is to have new bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner and packaged razors on hand. If you need to buy a few more towels and washcloths, this is good time to find them on sale and stock up. I like to buy all white bath towels. They can be bleached and kept stain free. It’s just a comforting feeling for your guests to know their towels and washcloths are sanitary.
Keep them in a cabinet, then the day before they arrive, refresh the bathroom with new toiletries and linens. This is something I know I love and appreciate.

As far as the bedroom itself, I like to wash the linens just before they arrive to ensure they have clean, fresh sheets to sleep on. In addition, I put a bedtime linen spray on the nightstand. It can be difficult sleeping away from home, but with the help of some organic lavender linen spray, your guests will be able to nod off and dream of sugarplum fairies!

So let’s get busy now, so we can relax and enjoy the holidays later!

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