10 Things to Do Ahead of Time
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, the holidays are fast approaching. You still have plenty of time to prepare. But only if you get started now. Instead of waiting until December 1st or even the 15th, why not plan ahead early and get some things out of the way? You may have a list that you follow every year, but if not, see our suggestions here. They'll help to get you started on a well-organized and joyous holiday.
• Prepare Your Gift List
If you're like many, you may have a closet of gifts already put away with friends' or family members' names on them. If not, make your gift list now. Collect catalogs if you like to order gifts, go to the local shopping center before the crowds arrive, or collect what you need if you make your own gifts. Make lists so you don't forget anyone important. If you have to send gifts to out-of-town friends or family, plan to do it early. Get those gifts first and send them off.
• Prepare Your Holiday Cards
You may not be in the mood to write out your holiday cards or annual letter yet, but you can spend an evening watching TV addressing the envelopes, pasting on return address labels, and adding stamps. Encourage your children to create their own cards to send to grandparents, cousins and friends.
• Do Some Housekeeping
If you live in colder climes, you've probably already gotten your home ready for the winter. But if not, now is the perfect time to face annual chores in and outside of the house. Hose off the front door and garage door of, clean windows, polish silver, chandeliers and light fixtures.
• Cook, Bake, and Freeze
This is a great time to prepare cookie dough, yummy soups, cookies, bars, or whole dinners. You won't eat them all now, but store them away in the freezer. You'll be ready in a jiffy when you need to put on a quick meal or provide goodies for a party. Find recipes here.
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||Salt Crystal Snowflake (Kids Can Do!)
Simple Gifts for Two to Six-Year Olds
Collect bathtime items and toys and put them in a mesh bag: fun soaps, shaving cream, and a shaver without a blade for pretending in the tub, goggles or a diving mask to wash hair tear-free, a doll with hair to shampoo, bubbles to blow, boats, sponges, and of course, a rubber ducky or two.
PONGS AND TONGS
Buy a bunch of colorful Ping-Pong balls, and a pair of salad tongs that little hands can manage. After your child opens the Pongs and Tongs game, show him or her how to play by putting the balls in a bowl of water and then picking them up with the tongs. It's a little like bobbing for apples.
Buy an inexpensive salad spinner or find a used one. Add some paper plates and a few bottles of tempera paint. After your child opens the gift, show him or her how to make a spin painting by putting a paper plate on the bottom of the spinner, adding a few tablespoons of different colors of paint, and giving it all a good spin.
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Learn how to make the pinecone firestarters that Jen talks about!
There are many sites on the Internet about making homemade soap & candles. The ones below aren't my cousin, Katie's, but at least they can help get you started!
For more holiday resources, go to Simple Holidays 102, Simple Holidays 103 or The Big O: Holidays.