December Holiday Preparations

If I’m to be ahead of the game in terms of preparations for December holidays, the time to get focused is now!

At my granddaughter’s urging, I began thinking about Christmas preparations a week ago.  She urged me to believe in the Christmas Elf and to start getting ready for the holidays with some decorating and other preparations.

To refresh the house, I bought some frosted greenery and a small poinsettia plant. I’m on the lookout for a Christmas cactus as the one I’ve nurtured for years has the seasons mixed up.  It has lush green leaves but no buds.

After looking at the tarnished silver candlesticks in the dining room, I cleaned and polished them along with some other silver items that are used in the dining room. I skipped the flatware as I deemed it acceptably tarnish-free and shiny. The dining room table now looks festive with deep burgundy candles in shiny candlesticks along with a silk table runner in the same colour.

The next step was to open the red storage totes in the basement and sort some of the Christmas decorations. Christmas-themed hand towels went into circulation in the powder room along with a couple of Santa ornaments. Christmas placemats and napkins are on the dinette table as using these reinforces that holidays are coming. Christmas mugs replaced the usual coffee mugs; we enjoy morning cups of coffee and afternoon tea in the novelty cups.

We have two fireplaces with mantels to decorate. After assessing various strings of lights acquired over the years, I decided to buy battery-operated LED lights at one of the Black Friday sales. Decorating the mantels was much easier without worrying about extension cords. With the gas fires blazing, it feels like Christmas!

In terms of wardrobe, a search to the bottom of the sock drawer unearthed my collection of Christmas socks that I’ve collected over the years.  Every day my feet are proudly adorned with sock designs of Santa, stars, snowflakes and gingerbread figures. I’m not into wearing an ugly Christmas sweater but it’s time to bring out red sweaters to acknowledge the season. We aren’t attending nor hosting events that require party clothes as most invitations specify ‘casual’ dress.  Thank goodness — as this averts the stress of the ‘right’ outfit!

I started the list-making for gifts to buy and ordered some gifts online. I topped up supplies of gift wrap, ribbon and tape. After looking at commitments on the December calendar, I decided to make a task list and set completion goals for each week. Entering tasks by week and not by day adds flexibility.  I’ll need to exercise caution to keep activities manageable without compromising sleep, visits to the gym, or downtime. December obligations can quickly fill the days.

Finally, I found a Christmas cake in the freezer and wrapped it in brandy-soaked cheesecloth. Thank Goodness for a freezer! Finding a rich cake that I stashed last Christmas means not baking several Christmas cakes which will save both time and calories. I’ll do a taste test in the next few days to ensure that it’s still a cake I want to serve! If not, I’ll buy a cake.

Hopefully getting a head start on December holidays will avoid a meltdown later in the month. Planning should help to keep expectations realistic although I won’t get too smug! I’ve experienced enough Christmas holidays where unexpected illnesses, snowstorms, cooking disasters, and other mishaps have forced a last-minute change of plans. Hopefully, these early December holiday preparations will offer some element of control!

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