Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Crunchtime--my plan to get it all done without freaking out

I can't believe I now have less than a week to go until the Christmas festivities begin.  We're having a celebration on Friday with my mother-in-law, plus Christmas Eve and Christmas day are both completely dedicated to family time.  Here's my plan for getting it all done without procrastinating and hopefully taking life into account:

Today, I will be doing a preliminary cleaning of the house, making sure everything is put away, dishes are done, laundry is caught up, and so forth.  Basically, prepping for more thorough cleaning later in the week and making sure I'm not more distracted from my holiday tasks than I need to be.  I'm also hoping to make some no-bake cookies to have as snacks on hand for the week and to get me a chocolate fix if I start to feel a minor freak-out coming on.  If time permits, I also would like to get started on presents for the adults on my list, by grating beeswax for candles I'll be making, but I don't know if I'll get around to that.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a family day, but if I am already falling behind on my plans, I may try to catch up some in the evening, or sneak a little work on the kids' presents I still have to make after they go to sleep.

Monday and Tuesday are craft days.  I'm tentatively planning on finishing the kids' presents, felt food for my kids, the treasure jar for my nephew, and painting a couple other little things for my kids on Monday, but I may have to shift things around, depending on how I can do things without little eyes witnessing.  By the end of Tuesday, I definitely should have the candles made and, hopefully, the kids' presents will be done too.  By the end of Tuesday, I'll also have put together the menu for Friday's dinner as well.

Wednesday, I'll have Decembers food stamp money in, so I plan on going grocery shopping to pick up any regular food we need for the week, anything I might need to buy for Friday's dinner (quite likely nothing, actually!), and maybe get some treats for the kids' stockings.  I plan on spending the evening wrapping any presents that still haven't been wrapped, like the ones I'll have made the days prior.

Thursday, I'll make anything I can make ahead for Friday's dinner.  I don't know what all this will include yet, since I haven't figured out the menu, but I'll try to include as much as possible that I can make the day before to free up Friday for other things.  I definitely plan on making pies at least on Thursday.  Apple and pumpkin, maybe?

Friday, earlier in the day will be baking time.  I'm plan on giving my mother-in-law a gift basket of homemade jams and bread (sourdough?) for her birthday, which is on Wednesday, but we won't see her until Friday when she comes up for Christmas stuff, so I'll be baking the bread the same day so it will be as fresh as possible.  After that, I will need to keep the oven available to stick the turkey (and anything else that needs to be in the oven) until after dinner.  After dinner, I'll just stick everything in the fridge to be dealt with later.  Once things wind down for the evening, I'll be making some acorn pound cake to include in my stepmother-in-law and father-in-law's gift basket of tasty things you can't buy in the store.  If I have time, I may also make some green tortilla chips to go with the apple-tomato salsa I'll be including.

Aaaaaaand, Christmas is essentially here with the whirlwind of festivities Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, things will have calmed down and returned to normal, at which time I'll clean up the carnage from Sunday morning's excitement, debone the turkey and freeze the meat, and start the stock, which I will can when it is done.

I'm pretty sure that's everything I have to do yet!  I hope it is, because I'm already getting stressed out just looking at it, even though it doesn't really look like too much.  *deep breaths*  I can do this!

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