Christmas Countdown Day 7: Holiday Home Spruce-Up

There's nothing like the approach of the holiday season to make our hearts turn toward home--and home improvement projects!

Simply thinking about the holidays ahead can sharpen our vision when it comes to the condition of the house. Suddenly, we notice ... everything!

It's only natural to want to celebrate Christmas in the home of our dreams. Problem is, our eyes can be bigger than our calendars (and wallets and time and energies) when it comes to preparing the house for the holidays.

How do we keep the pre-Christmas fix-up list within the realm of reason at this time of year?

Answer: we get grounded with a Holiday Home Spruce-Up exercise.

To Do Today

Plan holiday home improvement projects ... that are grounded in reality

It's not just "visions of sugarplums" that dance through our heads when we think of the holiday season. Many of us also succumb to Holiday House Fever: an intense desire to begin major home decor projects in the weeks before Christmas.

Anybody who's ever decorated a Christmas tree before a half-painted wall knows the risk: our dreams overpower available time, energies and resources. Result: damp carpets, naked windows, wet paint and lots of stress.

Today's assignment, the Holiday Home Spruce-Up Exercise, is a short course in realistic planning; it will anchor our dreams and help us identify realistic, doable goals for pre-holiday home improvements. When we're finished, we'll have a short checklist of achievable, realistic goals for holiday home improvements.

Ready? It's a sure cure for Holiday House Fever!

No More Holiday House Fever: A Home Spruce-Up Exercise

To Read Today

Feeling down in the mouth about the condition of the manse? Step back ... to consider what makes a home for the holidays:

Welcome Home ... for the Holidays

Today's Recipe

cranberry bread recipeLooking for an easy way to produce a gift basket at the drop of a hat? Turn to the freezer ... and make it quick!

Quick breads are a natural for holiday giving. A cousin to muffins, these no-knead breads containing fruits or nuts are easy to make and can be baked in loaf pans of varying sizes.

Tightly wrapped in plastic food storage wrap, then stored in zipper food storage bags, loaves of quick bread stay fresh for up to eight weeks in the freezer, ready to give.

By baking ahead and freezing, you can mix and match loaves of quick bread for a simple, welcome gift.

To begin your Quick Bread recipe collection, try this holiday tradition from Christmas Notebook's beloved list mom, Rhonda. It's been a favorite in the Ewer home for more than 15 years:

Rhonda's Cranberry Bread

To Print Today

Home Spruce-Up Checklist

Home Spruce-Up Checklist

Holiday Plans: