Cooking for the big feast? Save time later in the season by doubling-up on any side dishes that can be frozen for later use. Freezer-friendly recipes like Garlic Mashed Potatoes means you'll cook once, eat twice … and save time and stress!
The Christmas Countdown is organized around six weekly themes. Each week, you'll tackle one aspect of holiday preparations, breaking down seasonal chores into small, do-able steps:
There's method to the sequence of the weekly themes. Take a good look at the first two: Get Organized and Reality Check. No sniffling sentimental sappiness here! These are good, upright, honest themes, designed to simplify your holidays, organize your planning, bring you face-to-face with some uncomfortable realities, and lay the calm hand of financial restraint upon your decision-making.
Because these themes fall early in the holiday season, there will be plenty of time for sentiment, provided you've laid the groundwork with some stern hard choices.
The middle themes cover the two largest tasks of the season: Gifts and Giving, and Get Cooking! These are workmanlike themes, designed to get you over the hump with gift selection and holiday cooking. Get Cooking! week is also designed to help you prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner during the following week.
The final themes reflect more abstract Christmas virtues: Decorate and Celebrate. They're intended to flow along with your planning and preparation, and bring you right up to the brink of the season, organized, prepared and ready to celebrate. Decorate! Week falls during the American Thanksgiving holiday, a time when many families begin holiday decorating.
No tasks are assigned under the Countdown after the first Saturday in December. By that time, the holiday season is about to enter full swing.
The Countdown is designed to bring you to this point organized and ready for the celebration.
After the holidays, we'll conclude with a debriefing on the first Monday in January. As we store decorations and ornaments, we'll track what worked, what didn't, and what changes we would like to consider for next year. If we've bought gift wrap or decorations at after-season sales, we'll record it.
The debriefing gives us an opportunity to wrap the season with a big red bow, and begin preparing for the next Christmas season with a clean slate and a good heart.
An organized holiday. A simpler holiday. A holiday that honors and celebrates the deeper joys, those gifts that can never be purchased with cash.
Ready? Get organized for the holidays, and make this the best, most stress-free Christmas you've ever had.