I’m just beginning to realize, this is the last week of October. Thursday is November 1st. Where did the year go!
As moms, we are so busy that one day blends into another, one week , one month……. it’s just a blur sometimes. I’m constantly looking for ways to organize better and plan ahead to save time and money. With the holidays approaching, I realize I have to be organized.
Do you feel that way too? There are so many things to remember and do, that if I’m not organized and I don’t plan on something or write it down, I’m likely to forget it, and that wouldn’t be good.
So, here I am, with pen, paper and calendar in hand, making sure nothing gets forgotten.
Let’s start with menu planning. Keep stress to a minimum by keeping things simple. Plan holiday menus that will be gorgeous, tasteful, delicious, creative but very quick and easy to prepare. You don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen. Holiday time is family time.
Over the next few weeks, watch the grocery ads. Stock up and buy as the sales hit. This is a good time to stock up on baking staples: flour, sugar, butter, pumpkin, chocolate chips, nuts, canned milk, corn meal and corn bread mixes.
Also, over the next few weeks, watch for the price of turkey to drop and stock up on poultry and canned vegetables. Trust me. This is the time to stockpile the pantry.
Start looking for new recipes and creative ideas that will save you time in the kitchen. One trick I learned from my mother-in-law, a overnight, crock-pot, turkey breast, that is so simple, it’s funny! (I’ll share it with you soon).
Keep your eyes peeled for tips, tricks and simple recipes that will give the cook something to be thankful for. I’ll be sharing some of my own tips over the next few weeks!
Cleaning, Organizing & Decorating
Don’t try to do everything in the 24 hrs before Thanksgiving. Do a little each day and remember to have some fun in between. Relax. This time of year is a time to enjoy family. Plan ahead, organize and don’t stress.
- Clean, shop and thaw. Make a list and check it twice. Do all the grocery shopping ahead of time.
- Get the kids involved. Make a chore chart. Even children as young as two can help Mommy with the laundry and putting things away.
- Once a week, do a thorough cleaning ( with everyone helping), change all the bed linens, sweep, mop, vacuum and dust every room.
- Bathrooms & Laundry – Plan. Cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry is almost a daily chore for some families. For others, smaller families, every other day or longer is possible. Decide what works for your family and plan accordingly. Also, take in consideration holiday guests. Stock up on toiletries and tissue paper.
- Clean out and throw out. This a great time of the year to do a complete Fall cleaning. Pick a room a day or a closet a day. Clean, dust and organize. Sort through clothes and toys. Get rid of anything and everything that is not used or needed. Have a garage sale or donate to local charities or Freecycle. Also, keep in mind, some things you no longer need or use can be re-gifted to others this Christmas!
Make Family Time a PRIORITY this holiday season. Keep children entertained, cheerful and enthusiastic by involving them in whatever you may be doing as you prepare for the holidays. Make a game out of cleaning and cooking together. My children race to see who can make beds faster or vacuum rooms.
In the kitchen, have a few special recipes just for the kids to complete. Plan family fun events periodically throughout the holidays: movies, hay rides, park days, cookie baking days, gift making days, gift wrapping days, craft days, etc.
If there’s a homeless shelter or soup kitchen in the area, perhaps the family can volunteer to help cook, serve and clean up one night. Let your children see there is another side to the holidays and give them opportunities to minister to others.
Here’s another way to share and care. Prepare and take gift baskets to friends, neighbors and shut-ins. The possibilities are endless, just remember the priority is quality family time.
Stress Free Holiday
By doing a little each day and including family members in the holiday preparations, this can be can be a fun, stress free time for all. Do a little each day along the way and plan fun family activities and events throughout the season. Enjoy!