Welcome and THANK YOU for being here! I look forward to giving you my tips every year and this year is no exception! You reading my blogs means the world to me and I hope you get some great tips, recipes, design ideas and more from this years 12 days!
Today I'm giving you the perfect timeline to ensure you aren't rushed and overwhelmed this holiday season!
3 Weeks Out
Make a list and check it twice!
1. Get out your calendar and mark down all parties, family gatherings, luncheons, secret Santa/gift exchanges, charitable deadlines and everything else you have on your schedule leading up to Christmas.
2. If you're hosting any parties, dinners or gatherings, make a list that includes the menus, grocery lists and other accompaniments required to host.
3. Make a list of all of the people you are buying gifts for and brainstorm the ideas you have for each person so that you can target your shopping to the specific stores that might have those items.
2 Weeks Out
1. It's time to start executing the lists you made last week! Head to the grocery store to find the non-perishable items required for your recipes.
2. Order any specialty items like pies, cakes, cookies or fresh buns from bakeries that you will pick up right before the holidays. Often times these small shops can not accommodate last minute purchases and require pre-ordering to manage their inventory. Don't miss out on having your favourite treats because you didn't plan ahead!
3. Get those gifts bought! Order online or Contact your favourite local makers and arrange to pick up your gifts and stocking stuffers. Hit the boutiques, malls and box stores you require to fulfill your friends and families wish lists. Shopping a few weeks out gives you room for error. If you don't find what you are looking for immediately you can regroup and find it somewhere else or choose a new gift.
1 Week Out
Get to work!
1. It's time to start wrapping! I know some people like to wrap all of their gifts on Christmas eve but I am going to encourage you to do it in advance so you can be present this year. Let's stop staying up until midnight (or later!) to get it all done. Imagine if everything was wrapped a week before and you can truly eat, drink and be merry with your family?
2. Make any food that can be made ahead or time and frozen. There are certain recipes for both Christmas dinner dishes as well as appetizers that are finicky and take extra time. If you are making cabbage rolls from scratch, do it in advance and freeze them so you can focus on the items that need to be made fresh on the day of the event. This includes most of your baking!
3 Days Out
It's all in the details!
1. Create a playlist for the gathering.
2. Figure out if you have all of the required service ware for the food you are serving. Often times, we host more people than we are used to during the holidays so make sure you have enough cutlery, plates, chip and dip bowls, a turkey platter, a gravy boat... I include the gravy boat in the list because I broke my gravy boat and did not replace it once and had to serve the gravy from a bowl (a very messy solution!). Other things to consider are table clothes, folding tables and chairs.
3. Do your last minute shopping. Ensure you have all of your gifts and grocery list items. While you are shopping you can grab any of the above mentioned service items required.
2 Days Out
Make it shine!
1. It's not the most glamorous job but doing a good clean of your home before you host an event is required. 2 days is close enough that those bathrooms should still be somewhat clean and will just need a quick polish on the day of the gathering.
2. If your turkey is frozen make sure it is out of the freezer.
1 Day Out
Fresh Baking Day!
1. Confirm with guests the time and if they are supposed to be bringing anything, remind them of the details. Having a gift exchange? Make sure you do one last reminder to your guests so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Buy the buns! A requirement of Christmas is a fresh white bun! Also, pick up any specialty baking you purchased from local bakeries.
1. Tidy the house. Give each bathroom a quick touch up and change the hand towels.
2. Make the food. A bigger job than this blog makes it sound like!
3. Set the table. As a designer, this is my favourite part of the day!
4. Turn on the music, turn on the Christmas lights, and light the candles. You wouldn't believe how many times I have a party and forget to turn on the custom playlist until half way through!
5. Enjoy your friends and family!
Happy December and thank you for reading today! I will be back tomorrow (and for the the next 11 days!) with more tips and tricks for the holiday season!