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Some handy tips to get ready for Christmas
One Month Before
· Do any online shopping. - Order gifts now so you have lots of time to wrap them once they arrive.
· Wrap gifts as you buy them. - Not only will this keep little eyes from finding out what Santa is bringing, it will save you time on Christmas Eve.
· Take stock of your decorations. - Get out your lights, ornaments, wreaths, and lawn ornaments. See if anything is broken and needs to be replaced. Is it time for an update?
· Take stock of dishes and glasses. - Make sure you have the serving platters and wine glasses you’ll need for parties or special meals, in time to buy more, if necessary.
· Start addressing Christmas cards. - It can take a while, depending on how long your list is.
Three Weeks Before (First Week of December)
· Mail cards. - If you’re too busy to get them addressed and mailed during the first week of December, consider putting them off until after the holiday rush. People generally enjoy getting a card a few days late, when things have slowed down and they actually notice the mail.
· Buy a tree. - This is a good time to get your tree, if you are getting a live one and want it to stay fresh and retain its needles through Christmas.
· Decorate! - By the first week of December, it’s time to get the house looking festive.
· Finalize menus. - If you’ll be hosting Christmas lunch or dinner make sure you know what you’ll be cooking and what family members will be bringing. Start a master grocery list.
· Order or a buy a turkey or ham. - Or whatever else is the centerpiece of your holiday meal—you don’t want to get caught short.
Two Weeks Before (Second Week of December)
· Make sure out-of-town and overseas presents are mailed. - Try to have gifts in the mail by December 10.
One Week Before
· Deep clean your house. - You’ll enjoy those decorations even more if the floors are clean and the kitchen is organized. One important task: Clear out your refrigerator. Toss old leftovers to make room for big dishes and ingredients that’ll be piling up closer to the holiday.
· Buy batteries for children’s toys. - If you haven’t stocked up while shopping make sure you have all the batteries necessary for that handheld video game or remote-controlled car.
Three Days Before
· Shop for fresh ingredients. - Hit the supermarket for the last-minute vegetables or fruit you need for meals and salads.
· Set the table. - Make it even easier on the big day by putting a sticky note on each platter that states what dish you plan to serve on it. (That also allows people to help you without asking 12 times.)
Two Days Before
· Start cooking and preparing. - You’ve probably socked away some things in the freezer already, but now’s the time to prep main courses and make anything that can sit for a couple of days.
· Buy fresh flowers. - Whether they are for a party or a family meal, fresh flowers should always be purchased two days in advance. Blooms have time to open up, and they’ll still be lush and fragrant.
The Day Before
· Recharge the batteries on your camera or video recorder. -You don’t want to miss the reaction on a little one’s face because the battery ran out during the week before.
· Finish last-minute wrapping. - And assemble toys that will be surprises from Santa.
· Finish cooking and preparing, and make a timeline for the next day. - Decide when you’ll be feasting, then count backward to determine when to put the meat on the BBQ.
· Sit back and relax. - Enjoy your family and friends and relish the traditions you share.