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Holiday Prep Part II: The Final Countdown

The countdown is on and with just a few weeks to go it’s time to get down to business and complete your holiday prep. In this installment of our holiday prep guide, we will walk you through the final stages of planning and preparing for the holiday season on a week-by-week basis.

Before December 15, 2012

  • Decorate. If you haven’t yet started, now is the time to get decorating. Don’t want to break the bank with decorating? No problem! Click here for some budget-friendly decorating ideas and advice.
  • Tree.Whether you prefer an artificial or real tree, this is a good week to put it up. If you opt for a real tree and are purchasing one for the first time, there are a few things to consider:
    • Measure your space. Decide where you want to place the tree and how much ceiling height you have. You’ll also want to make sure you measure the width of the space.
    • Before you shop. Bring a tape measure, heavy-duty gloves, twine or heavy duty rope, and a saw if you are cutting down your own tree. You’ll also want to make sure you have a stand for the tree.
    • Tree type. There are several different types of trees to choose from. Trees with shorter needles are easier to decorate but can make more of a mess. For more information on types of trees, click here.
    • Select your tree. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of tree you’d like to purchase, look for a tree that has space between the branches so you can hang ornaments straight. You should also select a tree with needles that are bright green and shiny. Stay away from trees with needles that are browning or that fall off when you pull on the branch.
  • Holiday cards. Start writing your holidays cards with a goal of completing and mailing them by December 15. Try doing five to 10 a night.
  • Party planning. If you’re hosting any holiday parties or dinners, now is a good time to start polishing the silverware, washing glassware and planning your menus. You may also want to consider ordering your turkey this week as well.

December 16 – 22, 2012

  • Presents. The expense of buying gifts and the pressure of last-minute shopping can cause great stress. This week is a good time to finish your shopping and start wrapping presents (if you haven’t already). Try wrapping a few gifts a night to make the task more manageable. For tips on finding the perfect gifts, check out part one of our holiday prep guide here.
  • Grocery lists. Since you’ve already planned your meals, you can now start pulling together your grocery lists. Purchase non-perishable items such as alcohol and canned goods.
  • Baking. If baking is on your holiday to-do list, consider using this week to whip up any delicious goodies that can be kept in the freezer.
  • Clean house. We all know the holidays can be pretty hectic, so set aside time this week to give your house a good cleaning. With everything else that needs to get done, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is scrubbing the toilet or mopping the floors.

December 23–25, 2012

  • Dinner prep. Shop for any fresh or perishable ingredients. Revisit your menu plans to see if there is anything you can make a day or two before Christmas (e.g., garnishes, gravies and dressings).
  • Set table. Set the dinner table on Christmas Eve so the next day you can focus on food prep and entertaining your guests.
  • Start cooking. Make a cooking timeline for Christmas Day. Plan out the times and temperatures at which your dishes need to be cooked or prepared.
  • Gifts. Finish any last-minute wrapping and assembly of toys that will be surprises from Santa.
  • Santa. Don’t forget to put out the cookies and milk!
  • And finally, enjoy!

Happy holidays from all of us at Reliance Home Comfort!

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