Guest Blogger #275, Entry #802, November 30, 2011
If you are like most people, you might have a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit before you see snow falling, or hear the sleigh bells in the sky. However, that only increases the chance of a very chaotic season for you, and your family.
Even though I have always loved the season, it certainly has a knack for bringing on its share of stress. From the finances, to the attack of allergies, to running out of time, it can easily take away from the joy of the season.
Image via: Modern House
Take allergies for example. Just bringing out the decorations, which have been collecting dust for nearly a year, can bring on a marathon sneeze fest. So, in addition to some organization, I also recommend having some allergy medicine, such as a natural treatment for hay fever on hand.
A quote I came across, by Henry Ward Beecher, is applicable to this, “The body is like a piano, and happiness is like music. It is needful to have the instrument in good order.” I believe this can apply to our health as well as the home.
Each Christmas season also comes with additional cleaning, decking the halls, as well as extra cooking and baking. Without a reasonable plan of attack, it can be overwhelming. And, since I am not particularly fond of chaos, I changed my ways.
I would like to share some ideas that have significantly helped to remove the chaos, and bring back the joy that the season is supposed to be about.
Cleaning for the Season
Before the first bulb is brought out, I set my cleaning plans into action. A good thorough cleaning of the home before decorating is beneficial for diminishing allergies, as well as easing the stress of doing it during the busiest part of the season. Of course, that doesn’t mean maintenance isn’t necessary.
I like to have the air ducts cleaned out, chimney swept, all bedding washed, and carpets cleaned before Thanksgiving. These are things that don’t need to be done weekly, and you can get them out of the way, allowing for easier weekly chores.
At this point, it’s just the light chores to tend to, and I can have the kids help with those. Picking up their toys, dusting, and laundry are all areas they can assist with. If your kids are like mine, they are also getting excited for the holiday and are eager to help out.
Don’t Forget the Mistletoe
Decorating the home is one of my favorite parts of the season. By turning on our favorite Christmas songs on, it really motivates my entire family into putting up the tree, hanging the wreaths, wrapping the garland, and my favorite…the Christmas village on the fireplace mantle.
We often wait until evening, when it’s dark, to decorate the tree. I have found that creating tradition is a wonderful motivator. For us, decorating in a dimly lit room, with Christmas music playing in the background is a great start. And, knowing that our favorite holiday movie and cup of hot cocoa is waiting for us when we are done makes for a great ending.
As an extra bonus my parents, who live next door, join us for the evening. By doing this, we are not only accomplishing a large holiday task, but wonderful memories as well.
Image via: Stylish Eve
Hosting a Party
The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in both creating, and eating all sorts of sweet and savory items. Entertaining is one of my favorite hobbies, which includes the preparation of edible delights.
If I am hosting a party, I make sure to have the following on hand:
· A variety of baked sweets, such as cookies, bars, and chocolates.
· A nice selection of appetizers, both cold and warm.
· Beverages, typically a variety of sodas, and a punch.
If you are not sure what you want to have on the menu, do some research on the Internet. There are some wonderful cooking sites with a rating system. This gives you ideas, along with the assurance of creating a highly rated treat to share with your guests.
One thing I always consider is allergies. Many people suffer from food allergies, and it’s nearly impossible to know all of them, or to omit all allergens from the home, whether they are airborne, or food. So, to combat the potential onset allergy attack for a guest, I like to have an antihistamine on hand, as well as a natural treatment for allergic rhinitis for those who prefer organic remedies.
Image via: Ex interior Design
I hope I have been able to give some advice that can help you enjoy a chaos-free holiday season. There is nothing quite like good times with family and friends, especially during the most wonderful and festive time of the year.
Happy Holidays, from our home to yours!
Melissa Cameron lives in Texas with her husband and children, next to her parents. She is a freelance writer, who concentrates on writing about parenting, living a frugal life, as well as helpful information such as living with allergies. When she is not writing, she enjoys researching for new and innovative items and ideas that can help her family, and will often share it with others.
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