It’s no secret that we love Christmas around here. Last year, we even built a huge Christmas vintage TV for the front yard – which we won’t be doing again. Ever. But yeah, we’re that kind of crazy about Christmas. We typically start putting out Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. A day filled with hot chocolate, tree decorating, internet shopping and pajamas followed by a night filled with Christmas movies is our kind of Black Friday. While it’s not time to start decking the halls just yet, it is time to start thinking about it.
Being a fan of lists – I’ve even been known to make lists of lists – the other day, I put together our to do list for the month of November (some house-related, some not). Things are bound to get hectic once Thanksgiving rolls around and it will be here before we know it. As Christmas is getting closer and closer, I really want to get our proverbial ducks in a row enough to really enjoy the Christmas season and breeeeeeathe. Sure, we’re still going to have house projects to work on and work stuff to finish up before the new year, but having a few things out of the way will help turn the crazy into, well, not so crazy. Here’s what’s on our list of to-dos…
01 // Deep clean the entire house. We like to give the house a really deep clean every few months or so. Doing it in November, before the Thanksgiving prep begins, is (in our books) key to a peaceful and clean holiday season. If we spend a day (or two, or three) giving everything and every room in the house a good and deep scrub down, that will make regular house cleaning a lot easier and faster during the busy season.
02 // Clean the windows. Around our neck of the woods, Fall is a great time to clean exterior windows because the bugs are dying and pollen season is over. Yeah, it’s not fun, but once it’s done, it’s really nice to start off a new season of snow weather with sparkly clean windows. Speaking of window cleaning, click on over here to win a Professional Fish Window Cleaning Kit.
03 // Schedule our get-togethers. This year, we’re headed to Florida for Christmas to hang out with my side of the family. Since we’ll be out of town, we’re going to schedule other times to exchange gifts and do the Christmas thing with Greg’s family. Needless to say, everyone’s holiday calendars tend to fill up fast. In that case, even though we’re weeks away, we’re currently tossing around a few dates to set in stone on the calendar – which will make this the first thing we’ll be knocking off our to-do list.
04 // Design, Print, Address + Stamp Christmas Cards. Last year… let’s just say we were a “little” late when it came to sending out our Christmas cards. So late in fact that we didn’t even send them. So, I was left with three sheets of custom-printed mailing stamps with Bentley’s photo and “2012”. Yeah, go me. Lesson learned. This year! I’m going to be on the ball and get these little suckers designed, printed, addressed and stamped before Thanksgiving. I know that seems super early, but once Thanksgiving has come and gone, all I have to do is pop the cards in the mail and I will have conquered the world. Okay, not really. But you know what I mean.
05 // Stock the pantry with baking essentials. Something about the smell of something yummy baking in the oven gets you in the holiday sprit, right? I’m not really an avid baker throughout the year, but I like baking with my family around the holidays. Since I’m pretty sure we don’t have confectioners sugar in the pantry already, I’m going to go ahead and start stocking up on the essentials. On that note, one year, every single area grocery store in our area was sold out of canned pumpkin. Seriously. So, I’m going to be sure to pick up a few cans just in case.
06 // Hang the Christmas lights on the house. Last year, we had to decorate the outside of the house the week before Halloween because we were taking part in a “holiday style challenge” for Home Depot. We definitely had a few weird looks from people driving down the road, but it had to be done. This year, we’re still planning on hanging the icicle lights on the house early, but not until about the third week of November. That way, the weather won’t be unbearably cold yet. We won’t turn them on until Thanksgiving night (that’s kind of a tradition around our area of town).
07 // DIY an Advent Calendar. I’ve wanted to do this for a while now, but when I think about it, it’s always too late. This year, I’m determined to get that baby done before the first. Now, let me pause while I go put numerous reminders in my iPhone.
08 // Start (or finish) buying Christmas gifts. I’m one of those people who think about gift ideas for people in our life year-around. I’ve found that a private Pinterest board is the best way for me to keep track of them without running the risk of someone seeing it. So around this time, I have a pretty good idea of who’s getting what from Greg and me. In that case, now is the time to start buying gifts. That way, we don’t end up spending a lot of money at one time and it’s all pretty spaced out and we can save money of expedited shipping. I keep all of the gifts we buy on the top shelf of the guest room closet (we actually already have a few gifts stashed away in there). So, when it’s time to start wrapping, I know where everything is.
09 // Make a Christmas activity to-do list. If you live in Richmond, you’re well aware of the awesome Christmas lights downtown. They have the entire James Center Plaza decorated with gobs and gobs of deer with little white lights. If you search long enough, you can find Rudolph! Our wedding reception was at the Bull & Bear Club, which is on the top floor of the James Center. Since we got married right after Christmas (on the 29th), all of the lights were still lit. For that reason, it’s always a special thing for us to go downtown to see the lights. Since we got married, Greg and I have wanted to go to the Grand Illumination that takes place the first week of December, but it’s always too late to schedule it in our calendar once the ads start popping up on the local news. Which is why, a to-do list for Christmas activities is a must. If we schedule things far enough in advance, we’ll hopefully be able to get around to everything Christmas-y we’ve been wanting to do.
10 // Break out the Christmas music. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. As far as the Christmas music is concerned, I actually started listening to it a few weeks ago. Yeah, I told you we were crazy. Our cable company has a group of music channels that are actually pretty good. We like having it on the “Singers and Swing” channel throughout the year, but when Thanksgiving gets closer, they break out the Christmas music on the “Sounds of the Season” channel. As the music is paling, the screen displays Christmas photos and fun Christmas trivia. They have a great mix of mostly old classics (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, etc) mixed in with new classics (Mariah Carey, Lady Antebellum, etc).
That about wraps up the gist of our To D0’s. We’re hoping by slaying this list over the next few weeks, our holidays may be a bit merrier and brighter. How about you, do you have any November to-do’s to add to the list? When do you start decorating for Christmas? My BFF is married to “Mr Christmas”. After agreeing that if he got 100 likes on his Facebook status, she’d let him put up the Christmas tree. Well, after nearly 200 likes, they now have two Christmas trees up in their house. At least we’re not that crazy ; )
Altered image from here.