Saturday, November 06, 2010

Clearing the decks for Christmas preparations

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about preparing for Christmas. I want to simplify these last weeks before Christmas, freeing me up to enjoy crafting, baking, and decorating for this most meaningful of all holidays.

• It's always helpful to have some main-dish type meals in the freezer, ready for company or family. I plan to make 2 pans of vegetable lasagna, which freezes beautifully and goes over well with everyone I know. I'll freeze it in foil 13X9 pans so there'll be less cleanup as well. You can find the recipe :here.

Earlier this week, I made and froze five containers of meatballs, using this recipe:Make-Ahead Meatballs. These are a good basic meatball which can be used in a variety of ways -- spaghetti and meatballs, Swedish meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs, meatball subs, soup, or anywhere you would use the purchased frozen meatballs.

Even if you don't have a lot of freezer space, you can do something similar. Each week you could do something like roast a small turkey, bake a ham, or make a large meat loaf. For easy, almost-instant sides, you could fix a large pasta salad or a large potato salad, bake a pot of beans or make a large casserole of macaroni & cheese. Along with things like frozen vegetable blends, bagged salad or baby carrots, you could coast along for a week's worth of simple meals. You can then use the time you saved to do some Christmas baking, crafting, or decorating. This type of meal will also get you out the door quicker (with less cleanup, too) for all of those family Christmas activities you're likely to be involved in.

• Some people take time to clean and organize their craft room or even their whole house in preparation for Christmas. I admire them, and I like the idea in principle, even if I can never seem to make it work. What I've done instead is to sort of clear the decks in my crafting areas, clearing the flat surfaces, getting the ironing caught up so the iron and ironing board are freed up for ready use, and put away any materials that won't be needed for my Christmas projects. As far as the whole house goes, I'll be doing my FlyLady routines to keep it under control and even improve things a little.

* As mentioned in the previous post, I've also taken some time to go through my Christmas notebook and do a reality check concerning my crafting. I've redone my list and, though it is still long, I think it's doable.

I also rewrote my Christmas list -- which includes both crafted and purchased gifts -- as the former one was just a jumble of ideas for various people.

I noted down what gifts need to be ordered online and where I will order them from.

I revised my list of what craft materials I still need to purchase for projects -- it's quite a short list at this point -- and also bought some of these this week.

I located all of the recipes I hope to use for Christmas and also noted down some new ones I want to try.

So there are a few notes on how I'm trying to prepare for the wonderful, busy season ahead. Maybe they will give someone else a few ideas. What are some ways you prepare for the season?


  1. I usually prepare for the season with panic in my heart & praying for some help & grace to get things done! It's not usually that bad, but I don't ever seem to get all of things done that I want to get done. But that's ok. I attempt to plan, organize, & try my best to follow through & get things done :-) You, on the other hand, are a great example to me with your forethought, planning, & organization! Way to go!

  2. Thanks for the sweet encouragement, Mary Ann. I used to be far less organized -- and I have done my share of finishing handcrafted gifts in the wee hours of Christmas morning. It really does help to think ahead, I've found, and I'm thankful to have had a little time lately to do just that. Thanks again for stopping by!

    God bless,


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