Saturday, December 1, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

Christmas Week is Here-- Enjoy!

You'll undoubtedly have a full schedule during Christmas week with visits to friends, family gatherings, cooking and baking, and exchanging of gifts. Get everything ready so you can enjoy it all.
  • Clear the Decks
    Look around the house and get rid of everything that doesn't fit into the Christmas decor. I don't mean throw everything away-- just move it out of sight for a couple of weeks. Clear off tabletops and make room for plates of goodies and gifts.
  • Deck the Halls
    If you have placed fresh flowers or greenery around your home, check to make sure that they're fresh and green. Remove any old, dried boughs and replace them with fresh, fragrant ones.
  • Make Your Grocery Shopping List
    Go through your menus and make a final list of food items you'll need. Save time by making just one trip to the market.
  • Kitchen Duty
    If you're entertaining in your home, you'll be plenty busy when your guests arrive. Prepare all the food that you can ahead of time. Chop up vegetables for salads and store them in clearly-marked plastic bags. Cut pats of butter for the holiday table and keep them wrapped in plastic wrap until you're ready to arrange them beautifully on a plate. Combine punch ingredients. Mix up dry ingredients for cookies or muffins. Get as much ready ahead of time and your holidays will go smoother.
  • Beautiful Foods
    A platter of succulent meat would look beautiful with a garnish of greens. Think of ways to decorate your buffet serving pieces with herbs, cut fruit, lemon slices, or miniature apples. Dress up desserts with raspberries, mint leaves, or chocolate shavings. Taking just one extra minute for a final touch will have your guests in awe.
  • Get Ready to Create Memories
    Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are the perfect time to recreate traditions and create new memories. Plan to do one special thing that you've done in other years. Capture the moments on film. Share quiet times with individual family members. Read "The Night Before Christmas" or "A Christmas Carol." Watch a classic holiday movie together in front of a fire. Don't let these precious moments escape. It will be another year before you can do it again!
  • Expressions of Gratitude
    It's always nice to write a special "thank you" note for any gift you receive during the holiday. To remember who gave you which gift, make a record of your gifts and who gave them. You may think that you can remember, but it's best to write it down!

With all the final details taken care of, the tree trimmed, gifts wrapped, home decorated, food prepared, and carols playing, you'll be ready to really enjoy this Christmas. Take time to savor the moments with family and friends, share the joy of the season, and create wonderful memories for years to come. Merry Christmas!

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