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Dec 5, 2009

Get Ready for Christmas

Have you ever loved Christmas but you didn't know how to get ready for it? It is easy when you tackle it in an organized and methodical manner. Here are some suggestions to help ease the holiday stress.

About two months in advance, start organizing a Christmas gift list. Write down tentative gifts for family and friends. Start a Christmas Club account at a bank or credit union. Bank the Christmas gift money and then shop in late November to early December before the Christmas shopping rush hits. In November, purchase and start writing Christmas cards. Write a Christmas newsletter. In the US check [1] for mailing dates. In general most letters and packages must be sent by late December for first class mail for domestic locations. Military postings should be sent in early December.Don't forget the stamps! Decorate the house with holiday decorations in early December. Some people like to put some of the Christmas decorations by late November, but if this is done try to keep the decorations low key. Add more Christmas decorations as Christmas gets closer. Decorate your house. Put up lots of lights both inside and outside. Use commercial and handmade decorations inside the house, especially in the living room area where everybody will gather. Don't neglect the dining room - there should be such things as Christmas themed candle holders and wreath decorations.
6. Bake cookies as needed. Make sure to make these by hand. Share cookies with friends. Plan a cookie exchange in December. Approximately one week before Christmas purchase perishable food stuffs. Leave enough time to defrost the turkey, if preparing. Put up your Christmas tree. Some folks like to put up the tree on Christmas Eve some do not. It all depends on family traditions.

Decorate your tree with ornaments, tinsel and lights, placing a special star on top of the tree. Spray the inside of the windows with the artificial snow. Search the Internet or library for Christmas carol sheet music. Get the music from CDs or by downloading and practice singing Christmas carols for Christmas Eve. Go caroling. On Christmas Eve, use your practiced singing to delight the neighbors. Be careful not to sing to the wrong people. Make Christmas baked goodies. Cookies, Christmas cake, stollen and other delights. Frost some Gingerbread Men with family and/or friends.Starting to decorate cookies. Purchase an advent calendar. Use it from December 1st. Invite friends over for a holiday meal or party. Leave a plate of cookies near the fireplace on Christmas Eve.Be sure to place treasured bulbs out of reach of children and pets. Drink eggnog with or without rum!

Advent calendars can be found at most grocery stores. They are cardboard boxes with little windows that you open, one for every day of December, up to Christmas. They have chocolates in each one. Buy festive wrapping paper, Christmas lights and ornaments on sale right after Christmas. Buy them with neighbor for bulk pricing. Encourage neighbor to decorate their homes with lights. Buy a live tree and then plant it. Recycle the tree if it's cut, and all the paper and boxes. Repack the lights, ornaments and wrapping paper really well, for next year. Hand-make things as much as you can, such as the cards, ornaments, bows and even wrapping paper (by drawing on plain paper). Place breakable ornaments at the top of the tree, near the star and out of reach of young children and pets, to prevent losing treasured Christmas ornaments. Live trees are the only trees you should get! The fake ones are expensive and not very fun to use.Sleep in when you get time off!

Get an adult to help you with Christmas tree lights and baking cookies. Check Christmas bulbs, wiring, etc. to make sure they are hazard free. Make sure to keep water in the basin for real Christmas trees. Do not leave the tree lit while unattended. Place the Christmas tree lighting on a switched outlet. Turn the tree lights off when leaving the tree unattended.Use care when burning candles. Don't drink too much rum!