christmas organizing ideas for the family's holiday season

The holiday season is upon us. Icicle lights have popped up on neighbors' rooftops seemingly overnight.

Seasonal jingles and sentiments are suddenly everywhere. Friends and family are calling, wanting to know who's going where this year - and bringing what. It's enough to make the most festive of souls feel Grinch-like.

With the seasonal onslaught in mind, here's a week-by-week Christmas organizing guide to getting it all done before Santa arrives.

Christmas Organizing Ideas for Week 1:  After Thanksgiving

  • Deck the halls. Add a few holiday throw pillows; affix a strand or three of white lights up and down the interior banister; get down that box of decorations and you're on your way. Looking for fresh ideas? Check out these 8 Easy Christmas Decorating Ideas.
  • Rearrange the living room to make room for the tree. Then make plans for the family to pick out the tree and decorate it. Together. Consider a celebratory dinner following the Christmas creation.
  • Shop. Plan to finish up most of your holiday shopping this week so you'll have time to enjoy the holidays without having to rush around - or pay last-minute gift prices.
  • Print the holiday card list. Make adds, changes, deletions as needed. And if you don't have those addresses on a computer labeling program, this is the year to set aside time to do it.

Christmas Organizing Ideas for Week 2:

  • Take the kids' holiday pictures. Print on photo paper at home. Trim with pinking shears, or create an unusual trim of your own.
  • Mail holiday cards. Be sure to create room in your home to display the cards you receive, too.
  • Make sure your party clothes are clean. And don't forget to clean or have cleaned the rest of the family's holiday best, too.
  • Wrap creatively. You'll both conserve the environment and create a memorable, highly personal gift. Consider using things like the kids' artwork for wrap; or make your own from inexpensive butcher-type paper. Add a few holiday stamps with ink from the local craft store; or perhaps pick up some red, green, gold and silver paint and allow the kids to doodle their own personal greetings. Let dry overnight.
  • Finalize holiday travel plans. If the gathering's at your home this year, make sure a guest room is entertainment-ready. If the guest room is, in actuality, your home office or your child's room, plan now which area you'll clear out to make room for guests' clothes.
  • Create a welcoming guest basket of creature comforts: clove or other scented seasonal soap, toothpaste and tooth brush, bath salts or bubbles, a travel alarm clock, and any other necessities your guests may need.

Organizing Ideas for Week 3:

  • Make your holiday cooking and baking list. Check it twice, then head to the store.
  • Set aside time for family holiday crafts such as making ornaments with the kids. This can be as simple as stringing popcorn to wrap around the tree, or picking up a clear glass ornament at the local craft store and writing in a gold or silver pen the year and the family's sentiments of the season.
  • Plan the menu. For Christmas Eve and day, if you're hosting; and any other entertaining you'll be doing at home.

Organizing Ideas for the Week Before Christmas

  • Plan breakfast menu for Dec. 25. Even if it's simple, write down the basics and ensure you have them ready.
  • Wrap stocking gifts. Do this a day or two in advance so you're not wrapping these must-haves on Christmas Eve.

Put these Christmas Organizing ideas into play - and enjoy the holiday season!

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