HGP 2017 -Recap

Discussion in 'Holiday Grand Plan' started by AuntJamelle, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. AuntJamelle

    AuntJamelle Well-Known Member

    Well, how do you feel about how the HGP went for you in 2017?

    If you are anything like me - and most of us - you probably started strong and things fizzled away at the end!

    What worked well? What was a struggle? Was there anything that didn't get done that you really want to focus on next time?

    Were you equally balanced between cleaning and holiday prep or did one take over more than the other?

    Share your thoughts! :)
    Minta likes this.
  2. Minta

    Minta Administrator Staff Member

    I never got the master bedroom cleaned and organized before the holidays. I did manage to get some done the week between Christmas and New Years. One of the problems is that we still have stuff in boxes and totes from when we moved in 2 years in our bedroom. I think we need to invest in totes that can slide in under the bed and that should help a lot. I really need to do a good dose of decluttering and purge some stuff .. ok a lot of the stuff that I have been holding onto. I also need to go through the garage and shed to purge a bunch more there.

    Getting the kids to help me was a plus, need to involve them more.

    Need to make sure I keep an eye on the cleaning supplies and make sure I restock as needed.

    I need come up with a place to stash the wrapped gifts where they won't be in the way and where the wrapping doesn't get damaged. We don't place gifts under the tree until Christmas eve, too afraid the pets will mess with them prior since the cat likes to sleep under the tree and the dog likes to pester the cat.
  3. AuntJamelle

    AuntJamelle Well-Known Member

    Finally getting around to posting on this thread! Life has been busy!!!

    All in all I think the HGP went well for me this past year. As always, I started strong and then things fizzled out towards the end. Right around mid November things got dicy. BUT it was very helpful to get so much done ahead of time! I couldn't have foreseen getting sick right after Thanksgiving and staying that way the whole month of December :( UGGGGHHH!!!

    Things that worked well:

    Getting the windows done early rather than waiting to do them as I got to each room! This was a big factor in being able to stay on track as I worked my way through the weeks on the plan!

    Having a detailed room by room list in a Word document that I prepared ahead of time (last year's list resaved and tweaked) which let me stay on track, juggle things around, etc.

    Purchasing gifts via Amazon - that SAVED me last year! All my shopping was DONE before I got sick other than a few random things.

    Wrapping ahead of time! I did a much better job this year and although I was left with a healthy amount to cope with once I got sick it wasn't crazy and I got through it. Plan to repeat the early wrapping this year. In years past I've wrapped but not decorated the packages - this past year I did them up completely, then carefully placed in black trash bags and hid them in various storage areas. Some things didn't have to be hidden of course, gifts for friends, etc.

    Things I struggled with:

    Getting the floors cleaned. I would get all the other tasks in the room done and then the floors ended up with a lick and a promise instead of a good deep clean! DH bought a new wood floor cleaning kit the other day that I need to get out and try. Hoping to have a better system for this, not only during the HGP but all year long!

    Balancing HGP tasks with holiday prep, freezing cookie doughs and other foods (mostly appetizers) and crafting. I had intended to complete the majority of all crafting by the time the HGP started last year and felt far short of that goal. I'm going to push much harder to make that happen this year. Even if I can get 80% of everything done by that point I think it would be a huge benefit!

    Failing to complete final weeks on the plan in any sort of organized fashion. Those final weeks which cover Garage/Storage, Attic/Storage and Dining Room were the ones I was the most lax at completing my list of tasks. Fortunately the Dining Room was 90% under control since that area is part of the great room which is open concept of kitchen, dining and living room and I'd strayed into cleaning parts earlier on the plan.

    Keeping the North Pole under control! What a mess I make!!! That room is STILL a giant mess! I've GOT to figure out a better system of storage. I think a big problem is that I have a lot of things I don't use right now because 1/2 of our house (the downstairs) is still not finished. We are just now getting to a place where we are working on finishing those rooms so we can inhabit them. So when I pull out decor to use I'm shuffling around things I can't. I'm going to schedule some time to go through EVERYTHING, donate what I can't use and do something, something!!! to better organize the rest!!!

    SIDE NOTE: Just tried to go to HGP site on the web and it looks like it is down :( eeek!

    Things I will add to plan next year:

    I've plugged in several little tasks under the Holiday Prep categories for this coming year. Several are going to be one time tasks for this year only and I've noted them as such. Others I just need to remember. Each new tasks has been popped into the tasks for the week I think it makes sense calendar wise (I'm doing this on my Word document I resave and tweak each year).

    - Purchase nice sweater or shirt for DS to wear when getting photo with Santa (I suspect this year might be the last one! Waaaah!)

    - Purchase two pairs of Christmas/Winter PJs; DS needs one pair to wear to school early in Dec since they always have a pajama day and another pair will be for his PJ Elves box (another thing that this may be the last year for!)

    - Ordering return address labels for use when mailing Christmas cards

    - Purchasing LED lights for decorating. This is a 2018 only task. I've plugged in buying white lights just before I'll need them to decorate for Fall and then we plan to replace our outside lights too. Those I want to get late October so we can put them up by mid-November. I've plugged the estimated costs into my budget spreadsheet too.
  4. Ahorsesoul

    Ahorsesoul Santa's Elves

    Excellent notes and plan AJ.
    AuntJamelle likes this.
  5. tanya

    tanya Well-Known Member

    With the Santa photo I have found it is all in the approach you take. Luke is almost 13 and is still happy to have one done every year. It is just part of a day out that we have every year. We use the day to go into the city to check out the window displays of the major stores, look through their Christmas stuff etc... It DOES cost me a fancy lunch somewhere and usually a bit of time in the Microsoft store while he checks out the latest games BUT I figure that is worth it as a trade off for a Santa photo plus we get to sit down together and chat. Not sure if he will change his mind as he gets older but for the foreseeable future he is happy to do it. Santa is very good at working with teens!

    Same with the PJ's- although now he is older- I just do a pair of men's Christmas sleep shorts. Its Summer here so they work. They come with our Elf - he leaves them as part of his arrival. But he also leaves a wanted movie, and Christmas cookies or other food treat. Sometimes movie tickets or a Starbucks voucher- Luke would do anything for Starbucks- I can take it or leave it!

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