Christmas Timeline: Razzle Dazzle Without Getting Frazzled

Santa hat With Christmas just around the corner, there are about ten thousand things that need to get done before Mr. Claus comes to visit. Very few of us are perfect planners, but being the ultimate holiday supermommy doesn’t have to be as far fetched as it may seem. Taking a few hours to sit down and plan the season’s events can alleviate a landslide of stress.

Three To Six Months Before Christmas

This is the time to outline your rough plan with your family. Decide where you will be spending the holidays, whether you plan to travel or entertain in the comfort of your own cozy home.

If you plan on traveling and you want to get the best possible deal on tickets, it’s essential to shop around and plan on purchasing them three to six months in advance.

Two Months Before Christmas

With the holidays fast approaching, small tasks can be overlooked and quickly turn into big hassles down the road. This makes two months the perfect time to start plugging plans and festivities into your calendar or planner. As you fill your calendar, you’ll be able to easily respond to invitations as they come up.

Two months prior is also a good time to start baking freezable cookies and bars. It may seem early, but when that calendar starts to fill up you’re going to wish you had. This is also the time to start updating your holiday card list, making sure you have added any new friends or family members and updated addresses.

It’s also recommended that you use this time to shop for cards and schedule a family portrait. Photographers book up fast, so give yourself plenty of leeway.

One Month Before Christmas

A month prior to Christmas, make a master gift list, budget, and start the shopping process. Don’t just start hap-haphazardly either, devote a concerted effort to knock as much of your gift-getting off the list as possible. This also applies to online shopping. With the rush of the holidays, many online retailers find themselves backed up with orders to ship, so you’ll want to make sure to give yourself ample time to receive the gifts, wrap them and ship them out again.

This is also the time to take an inventory of any decorations and dish ware needed for guests. You don’t want to be a table setting short, or scramble to find the angel that sits atop your tree.

Three Weeks Before Christmas

The 25th is only a blink away, and now is the time to mail your holiday cards, decorate and buy your tree! If you choose to grace your living room with a live tree, you don’t want to get one at the last minute, nor do you want it to seem crackled and stale by the time the main event comes around. This is also the time to finalize any holiday menus you might be a part of, order the turkey or ham, and begin shopping for non-perishables.

Two Days Before Christmas

Christmas Eve is the time to start cooking, make sure any perishable decorations or ingredients are purchased, recharge and re-up on batteries for children’s toys, and finish last minute wrapping. This is also the perfect time to get the table set and ready to use. If you haven’t already done so and plan on entertaining, do a deep clean of your house.

The Day Before Christmas

The day before Christmas should be devoted to finishing cooking and planning for an easy breezy Christmas Day. Take time with your family to enjoy the festivities and admire your beautifully decorated home, snack on your delicious cookies, and make some memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Dog Safe During Fireworks

Summer can be a scary time for dogs. There is the 4th of July holiday with all the fireworks. And then there are usually lots of thunder storms in the summer with the booming thunder. Not all dogs are sensitive to these loud noises. I have 4 dogs. One of them is deaf and another one doesn’t seem to care. The other 2 are terrified of the booms and will cower in fear, or worse, they will freak out.

So how do you keep your dog safe during fireworks? Here are my tips:

  • If it’s an outside dog, please consider bringing him in for the night.
  • If you have a crate for your dog, move it to an interior room in your house that doesn’t have any windows and put a few soft blankets in there.
  • If you will be out for the evening, you might want to put a t shirt in the crate too that you have worn so your dog has your smell in the crate for comfort.
  • Put a radio on with calming music to dilute the booming noises.
  • If you don’t have a crate, then put your dog in that interior room but be aware, if he freaks out, he might scratch the door and damage it.
  • If you are home with your dog, comfort him by holding him close to you and speaking softly.
  • If you have time, call your veterinarian and see about getting some tranquilizers for your dog.
  • You can also get Anxiety Relief Drops. A friend of mine uses these for traveling with his dog with good results. My friend swears by these. They are good to keep around all year long for whenever you know your dog may be stressed out, like a trip to the groomer, traveling or 4th of July fireworks. Of course it’s too late to buy them for this 4th of July.
  • Some people have reported great success with the new calming vests.  The same friend I mentioned above got one for his dog from Amazon and he said it didn’t work for him so he returned it. But many people swear by it. It may be worth trying on your dog to see if it helps. Below is a picture and you can click on it or the link below to get more info about it:

Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment vest
Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment Vest

 

One other thing. Please keep your pet inside if you have sparklers or fireworks around. Or even if your neighbors have them. There have been so many tragic accidents with fireworks and pets, it’s just not worth the risk. This goes for any outdoor pet, not just dogs.

Have a fun, safe holiday!

Cathy

Ideas for 4th of July Celebrations

float Independence Day is just around the corner in the US! What are your plans for the 4th of July? Most of us will go to the beach or the park or have a cook out at home. And then of course fire works after dark, if your area has them. Do you want to make this year special and more memorable?

I’m all for keeping with your traditions. Traditions are important for binding families together.

But you can add some fun new things to your holiday to make it extra special.

Of course the easiest thing to do is decorate with red, white and blue. If you were going to have a picnic, instead of the usual plastic tablecloth and white paper plates, get everything in red, white and blue.

You can even have your food in some of these colors. Have you seen the sheet cakes that look like the flag? They have white frosting, with blueberries for the blue part, and red licorice sticks for the red stripes. So easy and so cute.

You can have a 4th of July costume party and have everyone dress as our founding fathers. Although if you live in a very hot area, costumes might be a little uncomfortable.

Since it is so hot this time of year, if you have a pool or are near a lake or beach, there are plenty of fun things to do on (and in) the water. One of the most fun things my kids used to do was to have a water balloon fight with their friends.

Speaking of kids, one of my favorite sites for things to do with your kids for Independence day is http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/fourth-of-july/ You can find games, coloring pages, even recipes for the 4th of July.

For the adults, make sure you have music playing, maybe play some Wii games, poker or board games. If you have an outdoor party that will go on through the evening, hang some of those tiny little white  Christmas lights around your deck or patio.

Whatever you do, try to find some ways to add some extra pizazz to it. Make it memorable. Start some new traditions.

How do you celebrate the 4th of July?

Cathy