9 Simple Steps to Start Holiday Prep

9 Simple Steps to Start Holiday Prep

Relax! By the time the holidays arrive, you'll be ready.
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With all you have to do before the holidays arrive, it's easy to leave things to the last minute. But why not get an early start on your holiday list this year. With a little planning and only an hour or two each week, your holiday can come off without a hitch.

1. Holiday Cards

Put on holiday music, light a Glade® Candle in Apple Cinnamon and settle in the same time every week to work on your cards. Assess how many you need by making a list of names and addresses of friends and family, business associates and people you need to add on your kids' behalf—like teachers, troop leaders and coaches. If you're sending photo cards, start sorting through photos to find the one you want to share.

2. Travel Plans

If you're traveling this holiday season, research hotels, flights and rental cars on booking, bid or auction sites and look into package deals. If you're flying, travel early or late in the day. If you're driving, make an appointment to have your car tuned. Put together an emergency kit for your car, too. It can be a lifesaver [See sidebar].

3. Plan Your Holiday Meals

Are you having a holiday open house? Hosting a dinner? Start poring over your cookbooks to plan your menus—and don't forget to hit websites for great recipes. A site like Recipe Quantity Calculator* can help you figure out the new measurements you need when doubling or tripling recipes.

4. Food Shopping

You can shop early for canned goods, dry goods and frozen foods. Make sure to clear some room in your cabinets, pantry and freezer first. Double-check to make sure you have baking and cooking basics like baking powder and baking soda, salt and pepper, vanilla, sugar, flour, chicken stock, olive oil and vinegar.

5. Holiday Cookies

If your holiday planning includes gifting baked goods, Ziploc® brand storage containers are ideal for packaging them, so start stocking up. Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap™ Seal are great for freezing cookie dough until it’s ready for baking and for bringing home cookies from a swap and keeping them fresh. They’re also inexpensive enough to fill and give away as gifts. Another great gift idea is to package the dry ingredients of your favorite cookie in a new Ziploc® VersaGlass™ Container along with cooking instructions—your friends will love the cookies and the tempered glass container.

6. Polish the Silver

If you store it correctly, you can polish your silver now and it will be tarnish-free when it's time to set the table. Apply a good liquid, cream or paste polish with a 100 percent cotton cloth, and follow your previous polishing pattern. (It's usually circular or lengthwise.) Rinse under warm water and dry with another soft cotton cloth. (Air-drying can leave corroding water droplets.) Wrap silver in tarnish-inhibiting flannel bags, and store it away from heat and light.

7. Wash and Iron Table Linens

Unfold your holiday linens and examine them thoroughly. Apply Shout® Advanced Gel to any stains and then launder. Remove linens from the dryer while they're still damp (this makes ironing much easier). Keep them wrinkle-free until it's time to set the table by folding them once, gently, and rolling them onto a cardboard wrapping-paper tube or by hanging them over a padded hanger.

8. Gift Wrap Supplies

Check to see what you have left over from last year so you can build on your current supplies. Cut small samples of each paper and attach them to the top of a shopping list to make it easier to pick matching ribbon and bows.

9. Guest Room

If you're putting up friends and family this holiday season, make them feel welcome. Since guest rooms tend to accumulate clutter, make a list of what's been stored in there that needs to find a proper home. Stock up on cleaning supplies to use once once your guest room has been cleared. For a guest bathroom, Scrubbing Bubbles® Extend-A-Clean™ Active Scrub Cream Cleanser works for days on multiple surfaces.
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recent comments
10/13/2011 , 
Mary  B.
I purchase cards, wrapping paper and napkins etc after Christmas Holiday. Starting in November I do one chore (baking, card writing, cleaning, menu, shopping ) every day to get ready for my Christmas Holiday. When Christmas arrives I am ready to go. I entertain on Christmas Eve and Day having sit down dinners for family of 21. Love and laughter fills the days before and on Christmas.
10/9/2011 , 
Verna  C.
Perfect advice. I buy cards just aafter that holidy passes. Before packing them up, I sign them all. 1 month before that holidy rolls around again, I pull out that tote and get bussy. They are all signed. Now just address, and any personal note. Or family photo added. And we are off!!!!
10/9/2011 , 
Mary  L.
I love giving cookie dough dry ingredients to teacher so they can make cookies with their kids over Christmas break. It doesn't take a lot of time but brings smiles to their faces!
10/7/2011 , 
carey  p.
make a list great idea i live by them and they work can't start early enough for any hoildays
10/6/2011 , 
nancy  p.
For travel it would also help to have some non perishable food items in car i.e. pb crackers, trail mix, granola bars, protein bars. Eat and rotate as needed after winter season start on summer and spring versions. Never now when you'll need to walk ot of a situation. Don't forget a way to carry your water. Super important water is.
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Winter emergency kit

If travel is part of your holiday plans, always get on the road with a fully charged cell phone and, according to the AAA, always keep the following in your car:

Shovel
Blanket
Flashlight and flashlight batteries or hand-charged flashlight
Ice scraper
First aid kit
Sand, salt or kitty litter for traction
Basic tools
Flares or reflective triangle
Hat, scarf, gloves
Jumper cables
Window washer solvent
Paper towels or cloth
Drinking water

*Recipe Quantity Calculator – © Kathryn Eberhart. All Rights Reserved
Do Tell
If you have only 10 minutes to clean, what do you grab first?