Christmas is five weeks away. You have a mere 35 shopping days left to fill the stockings, deck the halls, and prepare for holiday celebrations. It might sound like plenty of time, but that is really only 5 weekends with which to do everything from decorate your house (inside and out), to ordering your turkey, and completing all the last-minute details, like ironing the linens for the Christmas table. That’s a lot of work (unless you’ve got a team of minions that tackle your chores, you lucky soul). Have you made your list yet? Do you need a little help organizing your time?

First Step – OUTDOOR DECORATING:

Time to decorate! How tangled are your Christmas lights?

Decorate the outside of your house. Before you find yourself frozen solid to a ladder, grab the lights from storage and get hanging. Whether you trim your trees, eaves or every inch of your property with a Christmasy glow, it is far easier to do when the weather is comparatively milder. Don’t forget to give your planters a festive feel too. Add evergreen boughs, snazzy red bows, or simple birch branches for a holiday look that won’t be bothered by snow. Don’t forget wreathes for your doors. Many area nurseries create beautiful displays that will make your house shine.

And if you have to climb on the roof to attach a wooden Santa to the chimney, or eight tiny reindeers to the roof, make sure you have a helper or some kind of spotter for safety’s sake. Of course, if you want the cheery glow, but don’t want the hassle, you could always contact Christmas Decor London to decorate your home for you. They specialize in lights, garlands, wreathes and more, plus I hear tell they do a nice job. All you have to do is pick your colours, then move onto the next task on your list.

Second Stage – INDOOR DECOR:

Once the outside of the house is shining bright, it is time to tackle the inside of your home. This is a great time to pick up a duster and clean your home. Before you even look for your boxes of decorations, take the time to pack away extra decor items while Christmas takes over your world. With them stored, scrub cobwebs from the corners, wipe the mantelpiece, and dust any shelves that will host your Christmas items for the next month. That includes everywhere from your living room, kitchen and any bathrooms that might be seen by guests visiting over the holidays.

Christmas Decor is a matter of personal expression

IDEAS:

  • Choose a simple one- or two-colour scheme decor palette to give a designer theme to your home.
  • Bring the outdoors in with design items like pine cones, dogwood twigs, birch bark, or cedar boughs. They add beauty as well as a delightful scent to any space.
  • Embrace Kitsch. Do you still have your Grandmother’s old glass ornaments? Have you collected an eclectic mix of Christmas baubles at garage sales over the years? Is the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story” your favourite holiday centrepiece? Mix it up and make Christmas unique at your house this year.

Third Round – SHOPPING:

Shop Western Fair’s Farmer’s Market for all your holiday needs

Time is beginning to tick. If you haven’t started yet, it is time to hit the malls. I know there are plenty of folks that leave their shopping til the last-minute, but you have better selection the earlier you shop guys! Honestly (no, my wife didn’t force me to say that). Barring the malls, there are lots of Christmas markets around to browse through, like Christmas in the Market at Western Fair Farmer’s Market. If that still strikes fear into your hearts, you could also just hit the virtual mall and shop at home from the comfort of your easy chair with the help of your laptop. Just make sure to leave enough time for delivery!

Fourth Phase – PARTY PREP:

Make sure you have enough seating and tableware for all in attendance at any holiday parties you throw

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a few Christmas parties to attend. If you happen to be hosting one, whether it be a party or Christmas dinner itself, there is plenty to prepare for. You need to make sure you have anything from enough toilet paper for the number of guests who will be visiting, to sufficient glasses, plates and cutlery. If you are having a formal sit-down meal, place names for the table make life easier when it comes time to be seated. Plus, don’t forget to iron tablecloths, pick up extra chairs as necessary, polish the silver service, and make sure you have that giant turkey ordered in time for the gathering.

Fifth Stop – CHECKING IT TWICE & MAKING IT NICE:

You are almost there! Christmas is just about upon you. You might still have some last-minute shopping to finish, but the house should be decorated and ready to go. The last of your tasks are items like wrapping presents, finalizing your Christmas menu, baking cookies for Santa, and enjoying the joy that Christmas brings. There is just enough time left to have a glass of Christmas cheer with the neighbours and maybe gather some reindeer food to sprinkle for Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget to clean up fireplace for Santa, so his suit doesn’t get too tarnished with ashes and soot.

As I take a look at my list, I wonder how much double-checking I have to make. What have I forgotten? Did you send out Christmas cards? Have you watered your Christmas tree? Did you open all the doors of your advent calendar? Have your children found the Elf on the Shelf every day? What other traditions do you have in your home over the holidays?

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