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.