2023 - HHP - Week 18 - New Year

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Holiday_Mom

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This is our wrap up week of the House and Holidays Plan. Thank you for joining me in getting our homes ready for Christmas. I hope you were able to enjoy the Christmas season and life leading up to it.

Week 1 - Planning and Paperwork
Week 2 - Calendar and Creativity
Week 3 - Me & Mine
Week 4 - Close to Home
Week 5 - House Room
Week 6 - Wardrobe
Week 7 - Bed & Bath
Week 8 - Family Space
Week 9 - Public Space
Week 10 - Cooking Space
Week 11 - Food Storage
Week 12 - Dining Space
Week 13 - Entryway
Week 14 - Storage
Week 15 - Final Clean
Week 16 - Nearly There
Week 17 - Celebration
Week 18 - New Year’s

A new year lies ahead, so celebrate it with this week's assignments for the House & Holidays Plan.

All good times must end; with the arrival of New Year's Eve, it's time to wrap up the House and Holidays Plan and move into an organized New Year.

In the coming week, we'll tie up the season's loose ends, make New Year's resolutions, prepare to store holiday decor, and set the stage for next year's celebration.

See you next year!

This Week's Focus: New Year's

Ring in the New Year this week, then make a good start toward an organized Christmas next year.

This Week's Household Checklist

  • Minimum maintenance. It's the organized solution for busy times: a rock-bottom chore checklist of must-do household chores. Does your household have one? Create a minimum maintenance checklist and post it publicly. Encourage family members to pitch in and share the work. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

This Week's Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Recycle holiday paper. Give Mother Earth a holiday gift: reuse or recycle gift wrap, ribbons, holiday cards and packaging materials. Alternately, swap leftover gift wrap and holiday cards with a friend; you'll each enjoy fresh new designs to use next year.
  • Write family thank-you notes. Best way to teach the art of the thank you note? Do it as a family. Write notes together this week.
  • Plan low-cost, no-cost activities for kids. After the big day, the small fry can experience a real letdown. Keep the holiday week a happy one by scheduling a few simple, inexpensive activities. Whether it's camping out under the Christmas tree or a drive to see holiday lights, some mid-week events will keep sparkle in the season.
  • Decorate for New Year's. Will you hold a gathering to celebrate the New Year? Replace Christmas decor items with New Year's decorations to keep decor fresh.
  • Make New Year's resolutions. This year, plan to keep resolutions as you harness the power of paper. Use a free resolutions tracker to pin new habits down on paper.
  • Set up a calendar for the new year. Designate a fresh new calendar for the year ahead. You've polished calendaring skills as you've worked the plan, so carry them forward into the new year.
  • Take down remaining decorations. All good things have to end--and the visible Ghost of Christmas Past can be a real disincentive to an organized new year. Take down remaining holiday decor next week. You'll see it again, next season!
  • Take down fresh trees and greens, and deliver them to recycling. Watch local news sources for information about recycling Christmas trees.
  • Store holiday decorations. Take the time to store holiday decor securely and in an organized way. However ready you are to move on, sloppy storage will cause new problems down the line. Be sure to use sturdy, moisture-proof containers and organize stored decorations neatly. Make notes of any items that need to be replaced, and purchase replacements in the after-season clearance.
  • Set up a "lost holiday box" for stragglers. No matter how you scour the house, a few holiday items will always hide out in laundry, kitchen or corners. Give them a place to go with a holiday box: a designated container for any last holiday items you find. In a few weeks, take the box to the storage area for next year.
  • Hold a holiday debriefing. Get a head-start on next year's planning--and avoid traps--with a quick debriefing session. High points or low, they'll guide you next year.
Mark your calendar for next year! Will you join us next year for the House and Holidays Plan? Tuck your Christmas planner into a bookcase; you'll be ready to get organized for Christmas next year!

What are your plans for this week?
 

Holiday_Mom

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I head back to work this week. It's been nice to have a break and relax at home with the family.

Household Checklist
  • Minimum maintenance.

Holiday Prep Checklist
  • Set up 2024 Goals.
  • Set up a calendar for the new year.
  • Prep for the undecorating party on Jan. 6th.
  • List what worked and didn't work for 2023.
 

Holiday_Mom

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Sep 12, 2009
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Christmas 2023 Wrap Up

What worked?


  • Setting December 17th as the date to have all cards mailed and all gifts wrapped gives me permission to move on to house and food prep. If I forgot someone’s card, I just let it go. If a gift didn’t get wrapped, then I put it in a gift bag.
  • Eating from the freezer from meals made in the summer was so helpful in November and December with work and our busy schedule.
  • Listening to the dds and dh and noting what they might need was a good idea.
  • Hosting Thanksgiving but not a Christmas meal worked for me
  • Gift Tracking - Worked nicely in Google sheets. Items were color-coded as bought, waiting for arrival if ordered and wrapped.
  • Bought sodas and seltzers every time there was a sale in November and December.
  • Bought one bag of tortilla chips, one bag of pita chips, one bag of potato chips, two boxes of crackers, cheeses and a few specialty jams. Only used the tortilla chips when hosting board game day. Will use the rest for the undecorating party and the Superbowl.
  • Bought and prepared raw vegetables for snacking on Christmas Day. I went out a few days later to replenish the fresh produce for snacks during the week.

What didn't work?

  • Wrapping - No early wrapping due to time constraints. Wrapped gifts as they entered the house. Labeled them and placed them in a labeled bag. In spite of those precautions, I still managed to place a package in the wrong bag. I also woke up at 5:30 am Christmas morning realizing that 6 gifts were not completely wrapped. :eek: :rolleyes: :D
  • Gift Buying - Usually I buy closer to Black Friday. Stocking stuffers and gifts for those who provide service to us could have been bought and wrapped earlier if time permitted. It did not.
  • Gift Tracking - Worked nicely in Google sheets. Items were color-coded as bought, waiting for arrival if ordered and wrapped.
  • Home made gift certificates were forgotten to be done until the last minute.
  • Baking - Setting up Cookie Dry Mix in the summer would have been helpful.
  • Wrapping paper is needed for next year. I went through 3 brand new rolls and 1 half used roll. Will need more medium and large gift bags. Plenty of small gift bags are available. Will need more tissue paper.

What to do differently in 2024?
  • In the winter and spring, brainstorm Christmas gift ideas for the family when there is more time to think about it. Brainstorm ideas for gift exchanges at various price points.
  • In July, choose one gift idea for those who provide services to us. If possible, buy them in early autumn. Prepare them to hand out during Thanksgiving week.
  • In July, decide on stocking stuffers and buy whatever can be found then.
  • Buy the gift cards and make the gift certificates for experiences first instead of last. Keep them all together in the planner until Christmas Eve or another solution is figured out.
  • Prepare Dry Mixes for speculaas, springerle, gingerbread, stollen, oatmeal cranberry and chocolate chip in August.
  • Use those mixes to make cookie dough and freeze in October or November.
  • Make speculaas, springerle, gingerbread and stollen. Have chocolate chip and oatmeal cranberry dough available as a backup.