Welcome to Day 1 of Preparing for the Holidays. Today's focus is Decorating For the Holidays. For the next five days 25+ members of the Schoolhouse review Crew will be posting daily posts to help you get psyched to start getting ready for the holidays!
Everyone is welcome to link up with this Blog Hop. We would love to have you!
I have been working on this post (in my mind) for weeks. There won't be many photos, but I wanted to pass along the most important points on decorating for the holidays that I think might help those who are looking for ideas.
First and foremost, I will be shamelessly plugging FlyLady, as I love her and her system. Similar to the 12 Week Holiday Planner by Sheri Graham, FlyLady has a plan for "Cruising Through the Holidays", as well as a Holiday Control Journal.
In my home I never manage to decorate for Thanksgiving. Sorry. In November I am majoring on hosting Thanksgiving and pulling off an almost simultaneous birthday for the only child in the house. (Yes, he was actually born on Thanksgiving Day.) And with my sister (who lives with us) having Stage IV breast cancer, we will be hosting the family meal here this year. Clean house, Thanksgiving meal, 13th birthday party. That about wraps up November. My focus for "Decorate for the Holidays" will focus on Christmas.
Christmas meal will also be here this year, for the same reason Thanksgiving Dinner be. See above. So, starting at the beginning of November my focus is on decluttering, cleaning, and being ready to decorate for Christmas.
The biggest thing I have gleaned from these tools (notice the "12 Week" in the title) is spread the work out over time so that you don't burn yourself out.
So here is how I decorate for the holidays:
- Declutter, declutter, declutter. Take time each day. Put away, file, throw away school papers, books, scraps, clutter, junk mail, magazines. Right now I have not finished, but I am working on my living room. My goal is to clear all flat surfaces so that they no longer have anything on them that does not belong there, so that we are ready when it is time to decorate.
- When it was time to decorate, I used to pull all the decorations out and crowd them onto the already cluttered surfaces, trying to make everything fit. I learned the idea from somewhere (FlyLady?) to remove the normal decorations to put out the seasonal decorations. I put the everyday decorations into the boxes that the holiday decorations came out of. They will come back out when the holiday decorations get put away.
- Once there was a day the boxes from the holiday decorations would then sit in a pile at the end of the hall waiting for the holiday to be over. What an eyesore! It took me awhile, but I finally learned, this is part of decorating: When the decorating is finished, the boxes get put back away! Let them stay put away until you have finished enjoying a peaceful holiday.
- Every year add to the decorations collection one new ornament per the child. When we were younger, and at times when cash was less available, this ornament would be homemade. We would do ornaments at our home school group's annual Christmas Craft Fair. We would make an ornament at home. When we have money but no time, we buy each child an ornament at the local craft store.
- Every year we go to a local Christmas tree farm and cut our own tree. We have a small house, so we have to totally rearrange to fit a tree into the house. This includes relocating the big bird cage, totally removing the corner end table, moving couch and chairs, and letting the furniture be crowded for a month for the joy of a nice tree every year.
- Every year we also like to make or get a wreath of fresh greens. It is nice to make it yourself, but I can't. I'm very happy if I can just get one. If I can't, I have a fake one I pull out to put on our door.
When my kids were little we took all of December to do Arts and Crafts, Baking and making Christmas presents. So, if you are able to do that, I highly recommend it. I look forward to giving you ideas on those topics later this week. So, I hope you enjoyed my ideas, and I hope you check back again tomorrow.
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