Moms are the work horses of the holiday season. We clean. We shop. We clean. We wrap. We clean. We decorate. We clean. We cook. We clean. We entertain. We clean.
Did I mention cleaning? No wonder moms turn into the Grinch before the goose is off the table. There's gotta be an easier way...
Enter the elves. No, Santa's not sending down reinforcements. I'm talking about the "volunteers" stationed year-round in our homes - our kids! It's time to call in the troops to help with the holiday house cleaning.
No matter what your holiday traditions are, some things are constant: You want to wear nice (preferably clean) clothes. You want a fire in the hearth and little music.
So as part of your holiday planning, you'll want to assign tasks before the Big Day arrives and let the troops - your little family elves - do a little preparation work.
No sense in doing too much too soon. Especially if you're a messy cook and have kids. On Christmas Eve day, bright and early, do your last-minute cleaning. Each kid is in charge of her or her own room. Mom better do the living areas. Especially if guests are coming.
Table setting: Appoint the kids if they're old enough. Make sure table linens are clean and the silver is polished.
Dish Duty: Involve the whole family in this one. One kid can gather up dirty linens. Another can scrape plates and bring dishes to the sink.
Another can cart out trash. (We're probably running out of kids here.) Mom of course gets to repackage leftovers and put them them in the fridge.
Put a kid in charge of collecting trash and items for recycling. Tell him he must make sweeps twice a day or he'll likely get a lump of coal from Santa.
And on Christmas morning, that kid is in charge of stationing trash bags in strategic areas where the unwrapping will commence. He's also in charge of hauling gift boxes and the rest of the trash out after the festivities are over.
Holiday planning should carve out time for housecleaning (and a team to tackle the dirty jobs) to ensure your home is ready and sparkling clean when guests arrive at your door this festive season.