Getting Your Home and Family Christmas-Ready
Celebrate a truly merry Christmas with loved ones
Keeping up with Christmas traditions is a favorite pastime for many people. After all, who doesn’t enjoy spreading holiday cheer, watching wide-eyed little ones open presents, and sharing the magic of the holiday with loved ones? As you prepare for Christmas this year, you might be focused on checking names off your Christmas gift list, decorating the Christmas tree, or planning your family dinner.
Don’t forget to get your home and family ready for Christmas well in advance. Use this helpful guide to transform your home into a winter wonderland that will impress family and guests alike.
Organization is the key to successful Christmas planning
Let’s face it – sorting out which areas of the home you’re going to decorate, what time Christmas dinner will be served, and which presents you’re going to purchase can feel overwhelming. As you’re getting ready to prepare for Christmas this year, remember that the entire point of celebrating this amazing season is to spread joy and cheer to loved ones.
When you’re counting down how many days til’ Christmas are left, the easiest way to stay on top of things is to get organized. Start by filling in your calendar with everything from school parties, family gatherings, and other social events. Then, work out a budget before you go shopping for presents. Promote a less stressful, more enjoyable countdown to Christmas by:
- Getting the entire family involved in preparing for Christmas
- Sorting through your décor ahead of time to find out what does and doesn’t work for this year’s overall holiday theme
- Donating any items you no longer need to organizations like Goodwill or a local thrift shop
Preparing your house for the holiday season
With proper holiday planning, you can enjoy a more relaxing experience with loved ones with less worrying. Get your home Christmas-ready in advance by:
Creating a cozy environment that encourages relaxation
Up the cozy factor by keeping a crackling fire going as you entertain family and friends. Keep plenty of soft and comfy blankets nearby for people who aren’t sitting as close to the fireplace. Light scented candles that emit a warm glow in prominent places throughout your home. Don’t forget to have plenty of cocktail ingredients on hand!
Thinking about your home’s safety
When you’re decorating your house, keep safety as your top priority. First, keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources or highly flammable materials. It’s always a good idea to store a fire extinguisher near your tree. Second, make sure you regularly hydrate your Christmas tree to reduce the risk of dried-out needles catching on fire. Finally, check your Christmas lights for frayed wires, loose connections, and broken sockets.
Stocking your freezer
Prepare as many holiday goodies as you can in advance. Items like casseroles, cookies, baked goods, and some sides freeze and reheat well. It’s always a good idea to plan a few extra dishes for unexpected guests, too.
Getting your home ready for overnight guests
Make your guests feel welcome and more comfortable by taking the time to tidy up the bathroom and guest room for friends or relatives who will be staying for a few days. Remember to provide plenty of towels, washcloths, pillows, blankets, and toiletries to help them feel right at home.
Make a Budget and Christmas Checklist
Getting organized before the holiday arrives is a great way to ensure you’ll have less stress and more holiday cheer. Keep track of the important tasks you’ll need to tackle by making a budget and holiday countdown checklist for:
- House adjustments you might need to make
- Indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations
- Presents, including gift wrap supplies and Christmas cards
- Fun and festive outfits that may encourage a new family tradition
- Food items you plan to purchase for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Any charitable contributions you’d like to make
Get into the Christmas spirit
As you’re busy preparing for Christmas, remember that the most important aspect of the holiday is to get into the Christmas spirit. Encourage the entire family to make jolly holiday plans by:
Covering the holiday basics
Choose a fun and festive décor scheme for your house. Discuss which Christmas tree decorations your family will love, whether whimsical, traditional, modern or another option. Hang mistletoe over the entryway, and consider upgrading your stockings this year to bring a fresh touch to your space.
Infusing your home with Christmas scents
Make your home smell wonderfully delightful by using holiday-scented candles or sprays. You can also diffuse essential oils like clove and peppermint oil and add scented hand soaps to your kitchen and bathrooms.
Making a Christmas playlist
While you’re enjoying decorating for the holiday season together, nothing’s better than listening to cheerful Christmas music playing in the background. Include songs that the kiddos know and love, such as “Santa Baby” and “Deck the Halls.”
Planning your family’s favorite seasonal dishes
One of the most popular Christmas traditions involves planning the family’s favorite seasonal dishes together. Ask each family member about his or her preferences so you can start putting your holiday shopping list together.
Going shopping for presents as a family
When shopping for Christmas gifts for extended family or friends, share the experience with the family. For an extra-thoughtful touch, get the family involved in creating DIY presents together.
Christmas traditions and activities the family might enjoy
Don’t forget to plan plenty of traditions and activities the family can enjoy together. Here are five traditions to consider including in your holiday plans this year:
Start a Christmas countdown
A holiday countdown encourages excitement as the family waits in seasonal anticipation. Make your own “Days til’ Christmas” calendar, and have family members cross off each day that passes. An event calendar is a fun substitution, too.
Create a secret Santa gift exchange for adults
Purchasing presents for all of the kids on your gift list can be expensive. For every adult in your life, consider creating a secret Santa gift exchange in which random names are drawn so everyone ends up with a Christmas gift.
Wear matching pajamas
Taking plenty of holiday photos might be one of your family’s traditions. This year, wear matching pajamas as your family poses in front of the Christmas tree.
Make DIY Christmas decorations together
Encourage a new Christmas tradition by making cheerful DIY Christmas decorations together. Adorn your space in homemade crafts that will save your bank accounts, such as a DIY holiday wreath for the front door, garland accents, and beautiful ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree.
Designate a Christmas movie marathon night
Watch all of the Christmas classics everyone in the family loves, like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Make sure you have plenty of snacks to last the whole night, too.
Christmas activities and traditions little ones will love
If you have younger children, plan a variety of activities and traditions they’ll remember for years to come, too. Consider including these well-known Christmas traditions in your holiday plans with the kiddos this year:
Write a letter to Santa
Encourage the holiday spirit by letting your little ones write their own letters to Santa. They’ll enjoy anticipating his response on Christmas Eve, and you’ll appreciate having a head’s up about which presents they want!
Plan a visit to see Santa
Few things feel as magical to a child as getting to sit in Santa’s lap and discussing which Christmas gifts are on his or her list. Chances are, you can find Santa visiting many places within your community.
Build a gingerbread house
Foster your children’s creativity and holiday excitement by building a gingerbread house together. Gingerbread houses encourage plenty of family-bonding time.
Enjoy your current holiday traditions, then make new ones
Every family enjoys certain Christmas traditions. Perhaps your loved ones like driving around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. Maybe you appreciate opening Christmas presents one at a time. No matter which traditions your family values, don’t hesitate to incorporate new ones into your holiday plans each year.
Make your family and loved ones your priority, and enjoy!
Throughout each step of preparing for Christmas, make your loved ones your top priority. If you start to feel overwhelmed with deep cleaning the house, buying presents, and decorating, take a step back. Remember what the spirit of the season is all about: connecting with loved ones. Hopefully, the above guide will give you a few ideas about preparing for the holidays with greater success and less stress. Merry Christmas!
This article was originally posted on Porch.com.