October Christmas Checklist
Last month I talked about the benefits of starting early getting ready for the Christmas holidays and that I would be sharing preparation ideas for each month up until December. I was pleasant surprised at how many favorable responses I received. Special thanks to everyone who commented and grabbed the printable. I wanted to help and give advise but was very shy to mention Christmas in September.
Last month you made your appointments, set budgets, created your wrapping station, completed a third of your shopping and discussed gift giving plans with your family. If you didn’t participate last month here is the list of ideas.
Here is my wrapping station for this year. As you can see its not glamorous but it does have everything in one area, the large bag is full of folded boxes the remaining boxes are stacked on the side.
Have you ever visited a home that has Christmas ornaments set out on top of the every day decor and they literally had stuff everywhere? Christmas is the most cluttery time of year, you have the presents, all that food, guests and their luggage, winter coats and all that beautiful decor. In October reduce as much clutter as possible now, to leave you some extra space during the holidays.
October preparation isn’t glamorous or a fun month of preparation, but I promise it will help you enjoy November, oh will you enjoy November.
The designed lists contain the same information as the post. If you want the printable list they are uploaded into the Faerie Insiders page.
I enjoy baking and my family enjoys my baking. I use to bake for a whole week when everyone was home, but now I bake for a couple of glorious fun days in November. In October I look through my baking pans, toss the ones that are too grimy and scrub all the other ones. It can be labour intensive so ask Hubs if he would consider helping you out with them. I then buy any pans that I may need as a treat for cleaning all that.
Serving Ware and Dishes
Do you have really beautiful dishes that are for special occasions? October is the month to wash them so they are ready for serving guests. Also wash your wine glasses, martini glasses, etc. so that you don’t go to pour the wine and have to give them a wash first.
Its very likely that the majority of these dishes are clean, so it doesn’t take very long to make sure they are clean. This job is more dusting that scrubbing so I do it myself.
Clean, Inventory and Restock your Pantry
Have you noticed how prices go way up on baking supplies in November and December? If your a baker I recommend checking your supplies and buying the every day things you are in need of. Butter, lard, flour, sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, raisins, dates, chocolate chips, condensed milk, canned milk, dipping chocolate, currants, walnuts, vanilla, cocoa, bitter chocolate, corn syrup, salt, baking powder, baking soda, parchment paper, plastic wrap. A word of caution, don’t buy more than you will use. Wash out your canisters and store everything pretty and organized. If you usually don’t have all this stuff year around, put it in a nice neat box all together and pull it out when your baking.
Spend one solid half hour and check the dates of your condiments, specialty foods and things you rarely use. Toss anything outdated like last years left over seafood sauce, this helps make room for this years.
Organize the Freezer
October is the month that I go through my freezer and actually write down what I have on hand. I then make one or two every day casseroles to eat while I am busy decorating etc in November. The menu for October consists of whatever we already have in the freezer. This gives me some more room for the Christmas goodies.
The only items I purchase because I know they go up are short cut spare ribs and chicken wings. If you order something special from the butcher, I order it in October, check on it in November and pick it up when I need it.
The Front Closet and Guest Closets
Remove everything you can from these closets. I know ours still has sandals in it. Leave one or two coats per family member and one pair of boots or shoes. Make sure there are extra hangers. Remove what you can from the guest closet and give them some hangers as well.
Ask/ Tell Family Members its Destash Time
Give each member of the family a garbage bag to fill with their stuff. If you can trust them let them do it on their own. If encouragement is needed do one bag a night. It doesn’t take long to fill only one garbage bag and it does make room for the new stuff that’s not going to stay in pretty stacks under the tree.
Oh Sure – but where do I find the time?
Don’t plan any guests for October if possible. In Canada is Thanksgiving but otherwise try not to pack your calendar with guests if you don’t need to. ( Hubs actually has family coming in October for a week or so.)
Let your family know your busy and its popcorn and milk tonight, or sandwiches. Anything you like that takes less then 20 minutes and no dishes. A couple nights of super casual meals won’t kill anyone. Especially if they see your busy working on something.
Those freezer meals I mentioned earlier, instead of one lasagna make two. Nothing with a recipe, just a proven family favorite. A little more cooking but you will save time on clean up.
Put elastics around the handles of your china cabinet (cupboard) to remind the family that those dishes are in holiday mode. Clean a shelf worth of dishes as you have time, but no one uses them.
Clean the main floor bathroom, but let the master bath go for a couple of weeks. You will do a deep cleaning before the decorations go up, so let the everyday stuff slack a little, sweep every second day, use a swifter instead of really dusting.
Hubs loves beer and I rarely drink it. To surprise him I asked if when we went Christmas shopping if he would like to go grab a tasters pallet of beer with our lunch. He actually said he could not believe he heard me right. We had the tasters pallet of beer flavours and a couple of appetizers after we finished Septembers shopping. It was awesome as he didn’t mind going shopping at all.