“It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.”
Today is the day to start making your home look like Christmas — decor day! It is time to get out all of your Christmas decorations. You don’t have to do all your decorating today but get a start on things, especially outdoor decorating. If you live in a climate with a cold winter season, you need to get those lights and decorations out before the snow starts (if it hasn’t already).
This also gives you some time to take inventory and purchase items you still need.
Today is a fun day and if you haven’t starting feeling the Christmas spirit yet, today should get you in the mood. Amp up the Christmas spirit by turning on some holiday music, or your favorite Christmas movie, and invite your family to help you decorate. Decorating can become something fun for everyone, and you will not feel like it is entirely your responsibility.
Assignment: Get some of your decorating done.
Decorate outside as soon as possible.
As you are unpacking your holiday trimmings, be sure to set aside anything you no longer use or love and give those items to charity.
Make use of the boxes you are emptying and pack away some of your regular decor to make space for your holiday decor.
Make a list of decorative items you need to purchase. (Remind yourself to make a list of items needed for next year when you are putting this year’s décor away.)
1) Your Christmas décor boxes from last year.
2) A Christmas tree removal bag.
3) Ornament hooks
Share Your Thoughts:
Any tips for decorating? Were your decorations organized neatly from last year? If not, any tips for improving how they are stored for next year? How does it feel to have some of your decorating done? Did you throw away anything or donate to charity?
We all want our houses to be lovely. But we should be careful not to let our decorating “ideals” mutate into “idols.”
Today is another freebie day, and we are more than halfway there! Use this day to catch up on any projects you have been meaning to finish and cross them off of the list! Nothing feels better than to put a checkmark on your list.
If you are already all caught up on all of your projects, use today to bless someone. Maybe you could pay it forward to someone at the restaurant. Or bless the gas attendant with a random act of kindness card with $10.00 inside. You could also go visit a local nursing home with your children and have them sing a few of their favorite Christmas carols.
Share Your Thoughts:
Don’t forget to share with us what you did today! Did you catch up on that lingering project or did you have the opportunity to BLESS someone? How did it go? How did you feel afterward?
If you know that you can become easily overwhelmed during the holidays, strategize in advance and put a game plan in place for how you will take care of yourself during this busy season. For instance, there’s no rule that says you can’t take separate cars to the Christmas party so you can come home before you turn into the Grinch.
That favorite fudge recipe you always make, that delicious marinated carrot recipe your mom used to concoct, and Aunt Edna’s pumpkin pie recipe are yearly Christmas treats. The problem is every year you have to search to find them. Wouldn’t it be great to have your recipes together in one place?
Assignment: Gather your holiday recipes and organize them.
Now is the time to gather all of your favorite holiday recipes in one place! Print, copy, scan (whatever is easiest for you), all of the recipes you use and love each year. Get them into page protectors in your binder. You will be blown away by how helpful this will be to you!
This is also the time to discard any recipes you never use.
If you have a few free minutes, you can go through your recipes and jot down ingredients you will need when you go to the store.
Another great way to save time this holiday season is by making a couple extra copies of each recipe. Keep the extra copies in the same page protector as the original. This way, anytime someone asks you for your recipe, you will have an extra copy ready to pull out and give them on the spot.
Excellent instructions on how to organize your recipes in the binder are located in the book.
Supplies: 1) Page protectors 2) Your favorite recipes
Share Your Thoughts:
How many recipes did you include? Any tips for organizing your recipes? How does it feel to have all your recipes in one place before you need them? Did you throw away any recipes, and how did that make you feel?
Don’t try to do everything or to be all things to all people. Do what God offers uniquely through you.
Originally, this project was going to be “buy your stuff,” but I know that all of us probably have enough gift wrap, tags and ribbon to supply Santa’s workshop. Problem is, most of us find it December 26th.
So dig through your basement, garage, spare closet or under the bed and gather together:
Assignment: Elf supplies
Once everything is rounded up in one place, put it into a container to keep it together. If you can keep it out for a week or two do so, this will allow you to wrap a few gifts at a time. If this is not possible, wrap them up as soon as possible and get them under the tree. This will keep the clutter at bay. This is also the time to purchase anything that you are short on. (I end up buying tape every single year.) Organize your supplies with these fun labels.
Another fun idea is to have a wrapping party with your friends so you can wrap, chat and be merry (see what I did there).
The idea is to think outside of the box and give something new a try. You never know if something else works better if you don’t ever try something different!
What is the most stressful part for you about wrapping gifts? Do you feel stressed for time? Is it the space it takes up? How about the idea of wrapping with friends or family? Could you host a wrapping party and make it more enjoyable?
Be sure to ask for help before you need rescue. And remember – what overwhelms you invigorates someone else.
Plan ahead for gifts for out-of-town family and friends
Refer back to your gift giving list to identify anyone who will require their gift to be shipped, as these gifts for out-of-town family/friends can take extra thought. Now think of the least stressful ways to make this happen. A gift card to their favorite store or restaurant is a great gift and extremely easy to ship.
You can also ship gifts directly to people from whichever website you are ordering from. You know I am a fan of Amazon, and if you aren’t a prime member, order all of your gifts at one time so you have an order of $35 for free shipping.
Assignment: Plan you gifts for out–of-town friends and family.
Think about what you are going to get for whom and by what day you need to have it in the mail. Put the dates on your calendar and plan purchases accordingly.
Consider e-gifts or something that is easy to mail.
Be sure to check out the mailable gift ideas in the book.
Supplies: 1) Your gift list 2) calendar and 3) ideas.
Share Your Thoughts:
Share ideas for gifts for out-of-town family and friends? Any tips on mailing gifts? How many gifts do you usually mail?
Dreading the lines at the post office? Listen to “feel good” music through your headphones. Or better yet, set a goal to make the line more fun for everyone by seeing how many people you can get to smile. Remember — when we pre-decide our reactions, we get to be grateful instead of bitter.
It just won’t be Christmas unless . . . you listen in to these tips from Kathi Lipp and Tonya Kubo. Have less clutter and more living at Christmas without the mandatory expectations that wear everyone out. Listen in for tips 8 through 14 in this second installment on the Clutter-Free Christmas series on how to have a Clutter-Free Christmas.
Have you lost your Christmas joy? Does the thought of jam-packed malls, maxed-out credit cards, overcrowded supermarkets, and endless to-do lists give you the feeling that maybe Scrooge was on to something?
In Get Yourself Organized for Christmas, Kathi Lipp provides easy-to-follow steps to reduce the stress of the holiday season, including tactics for how to
put together a holiday binder you’ll use year after year
determine a budget that won’t break the bank
gather your elf supplies
get your gift list together (including ideas for various ages and relationships)
collect your recipes and prep your kitchen
By putting into practice Kathi’s tricks and tips, you’ll finally be able to fully enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.