Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Preparations

We are hosting my family at Christmas this year. So I have wanted to be super-prepared - I feel like I have been really organized and on the ball, and then today I just realized: THEY ARE ARRIVING NEXT SATURDAY! Holy cow!!!

Good thing I've been prepping already otherwise I'd REALLY be feeling the stress this week. And I seem to poop out fast, so I'm glad to I don't have to scrunch it all into a few days. 

We have our tree up, our inside items all placed, and our outside decorated. We re-did our outside wreaths this year. We have a large wreath on our garage, and then wreaths along the porch (all lit) that have poinsettias, ribbon, red balls, and gold sparkly things. I pretty much replaced everything on the wreaths this year except the lights, and that was quite a project! Hopefully we will get another 5 years out of them. 

Jeff really LOVES Christmas, and is always on the lookout for more stuff to decorate with. He doesn't think we have that much (until he had to haul it all upstairs this year by himself)...and then when our friends said, "Boy, it's really Christmassy around here!". 

I have all of the presents ordered or purchased, except for 2 small things. HELLO AMAZON! I love it. And, am I the only one that pre-shops a bit online for ideas, then makes a spreadsheet for each person, item, source, and cost, and then tracks what I have ordered versus what has shipped versus what has arrived? I might be a little Excel obsessive. But it keeps me organized, on budget, and on time! 

We finished our Christmas letter and got most of the cards addressed. We pared back our recipient list this year to mostly family and a few friends because postage is really expensive! (I'll post our letter on the blog later in December though.)

I got all of the house preparations finished - enough towels, sheets, blankets, pillows for everyone, a new bath mat, guest bathroom drawer organizers, rearranged some shelves for people to put wallets / purses, pruned houseplants, hooked up cable in the guest bedroom, got more alarm clock...trying to make it comfortable!

I made all of our meal plans and grocery list, and the activity list for the 5 days everyone will be here. Some families like to simply hang out together - not us. Several people get grumpy / bored / annoyed when they don't feel like they have accomplished anything. So I have quite the schedule lined up! Of course, it's flexible, but it will give us some options of stuff to choose to do each day. (More on that later...) 

All of the supplies are purchased to make goodies - Spritz, Cut-out cookies, and Peanut Blossoms are on the list this year (we'll see how ambitious I feel though!). I literally had NO baking supplies. I never do it anymore - so we had to buy everything from flour and vanilla to sprinkles.

Jeff (again LOVES Christmas) is the ultimate cookie helper. Or actually, I'm in charge but he does a lot / at least half / ok most of the work. For spritz, we make the dough together, then he runs the gun and I decorate. For cut-out cookies, we make the dough together, I roll and cut out, and he manages in the in-and-out of the oven and cooling set up on the table. For Peanut Blossoms, I ball the dough and he punches the chocolate down. It's a team effort on all 3!!! 

Making cookies is probably the last "big" thing left to do before everyone arrives. Other than that - I think we are on a good pace to get everything done. How about you!?

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