Christmas brings good cheer but there are a million and one things to be done before the true festivities kick off. Welcoming Santa is not easy and unless you go about it in a systematic manner, you are more likely to be tensed and worried all the time about things missed out and what should have been done. This is one of the reasons why I space out preparing my home for Christmas starting as early as the first week of December and completing everything by the 20th at the latest. This gives me enough time to relax for a couple of days before really living it up with friends and family.
Let me tell you how I go about it.
Involving the family – Christmas is a time for togetherness and it is but natural that every member of my family should be actively involved in the process. First my husband and I make out a checklist of what needs to be done. Even the smallest things are included and we keep ticking off the boxes as we go along. Beside each point is the name of family member entrusted with the work, we and our children. Soon after, we have a family meeting where everybody is told about their allotted tasks. Well, if this sounds like a military camp, it is not so. It is hugely fun and the kids have a wonderful time.
Cleaning the house – No amount of decorations will look good if there is dirt and dust and cobwebs around. I deep clean the house that includes dusting, vacuuming, polishing the floors, scrubbing kitchen and bathroom tiles and fixtures as well as the inside and outside of appliances. And yes, for me grease trap treatment is compulsory at this time with eco-friendly cleaning solutions. As a rule I avoid products that contain harsh and toxic chemicals. Mild and green cleaning substances keeps my kitchen nice and fresh, ready for baking the cakes, cookies and ginger bread house.
Setting up the tree – I always prefer to buy a real Christmas tree instead of going for an artificial one. Decorating it is a family affair with lots of whoops and laughter. The lights are wrapped around first and then the ornaments. The children have the first say here and are allowed to put up their favourites. The tree topper, be it is a star or an angel is always decided by voice vote.
Shopping for presents – This starts early to avoid the late Christmas shopping rush and in any case completed by the 1st week of December. Colourfully packed presents are generally kept around the tree by the week before Christmas but the ones for the children are brought out a couple of days before. The reason is obvious of course.
Christmas cooking – It starts by the second week, especially the cookies which are kept in air tight containers. But with children around, I always bake an extra batch or two and keep them hidden away. The cake is left for the last as is the Christmas pudding and the turkey.
I believe that every household will have their own specific plans for preparing their house for Christmas. This is my way and we simply love it.