Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week 10

As I clear away our Halloween decorations, I can't help but think about how much I LOVE this time of year.  There's something about the cooler air and the anticipation of Christmas that I love almost as much as the holiday itself.  Now that the rest of the world is catching up to us, it really begins to feel good to have such a handle on our holiday planning.

Now it's time for some confessions.  Confession #1- I have some catching up to do.  Life has been particularly busy this year, for some reason I can't explain, so I have a couple meals and baked goods to knock out.  Confession #2- I cannot bring myself to put up my Christmas tree. *hangs head in shame*  I know so many people who have jumped into the Christmas season with both feet and I'm so proud of them for deciding to enjoy it as long as possible.  I really do wish it was longer than a month.  But there is just something about the experience of putting it up, that I just can't let go of. 

One of my favorite holiday memories is watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and seeing Christmas commercials air for the first time all year.  Those days are long gone, but the kid in me still revels in the fact that Santa's arrival in Herald Square ushers in the Christmas season.  Then and only then can the Christmas music play and the tree go up.  It's tradition.

Until then, I'll enjoy the sights and sounds that are already all around me and enjoy the anticipation.  In the meantime, let's not forget Thanksgiving!  It is a major production for those of us hosting, so don't let it fall through the cracks.  Retailers may not realize there's a holiday in between Halloween and Christmas, but there is and it is one of the BEST!

Here is our list to tackle this week.  Let's hit it!

  • Make a batch of holiday goodies (or two, if you're like me this year)
  • Make one freezer meal (or...well, you know)
  • Buy at least one gift. We are getting down to crunch time.  If you can knock out more than one, go for it.  Store's are well stocked right now, but won't be for long.  You don't have to wait until Black Friday to get a good deal.  Check your paper and the web.  Take advantage of coupons while you can and while stores have inventory.  Beat everyone to the punch!
  • Wrap and label your packages.  Wrapping paper is readily available.  If you haven't had any hanging around from last Christmas, head out a.s.a.p. and grab some rolls.  Wrapping gifts is the thing that sneaks up on us.  Just remember, even when you've finished your shopping, each of those gifts need to be wrapped.  Don't save it all for the last week before Christmas!
  • Work on homemade crafts or gifts
  • Polish silver and clean your glassware. 
  • Clear out your Halloween décor
  • Put up Thanksgiving décor if you have any.  If you want to put your tree up and your husband won't shame you (LOL) then GO FOR IT!
  • Clear out your hall closet and make room for guests coats (unless you live where we do and your Thanksgiving temperatures are generally in the 80s). 
*Special note- Do NOT shampoo your carpets.  It is common this time of year to want to have a spotless house for guests.  But consider all the foot traffic your carpet will see over the next two months.  Your newly cleaned carpet won't last long.  Instead, get a good spray cleaner from the store and spot clean your carpet.  Save the expense of having it professionally cleaned until the holidays are over. 

I found a recipe on Pinterest for homemade carpet cleaner and it is, by far, the best one I've ever used.  Incidentally, it also cleans upholstery beautifully and has effectively pre-treated laundry stains for me.  Here is the recipe:

1 tsp clear dish soap
1 C warm water
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
Mix the dish soap with the warm water first, so that it dissolves better.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and pour into a spray bottle.

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