I almost forgot: one good thing did come out of…
We had an early Thanksgiving with Rob’s parents last weekend, so I’m feeling ahead of schedule for the holidays so far this year. Forget “Spring Cleaning” – I want to use our free weekend after Thanksgiving to launch into a full room-by-room cleaning spree before Christmas entertaining season begins. It’s usually just about this time that I come down with a cold (or, what has has actually happened, we take on an 8-year old nephew as a last minute houseguest for the week) and write off the whole plan. But, onward with optimism!
Bathroom – As my grandmother always noted, the bathroom is the one place you really need to clean before a party. It’s the only place where you guests have bright lighting and time on their own. Do a quick clean out of your medicine cabinet and shower. Need to pick up fresh hand towels or a shower curtain? How about adding some seasonal hand soap?
Kitchen – You’re going to need room in your refrigerator for big platters and ham – time to toss out out old jars and adjust shelves to get ready for prime-time. Do a fast cabinet inventory: enough coffee cups for the brunch? Champagne flutes for the cocktail party? A roasting pan big enough for your ham? Avoid stress by stocking up now on essentials like extra coffee, crackers, nuts and hostess gifts that you know you’re going to need.
Office – Christmas cards are probably (hopefully) ordered by now – so make sure you have the pens and stamps you’ll need to get them mailed out quickly once the cards arrive. The USPS does a great job with online ordering. Start asking for updated mailing addresses from friends who have moved.
Bedroom – Check that your favorite clothes for holiday parties are clean, ironed, don’t need mending and generally ready for the season. Where are your evening purses hiding? Polish jewelry and leather goods. Stock up on fresh tights.
Guest Room – How are your guest linens holding up? Do you need to add a lamp to the guest room? Clear out any clutter accumulated from the summer and freshen up your guest set-up (even if that means just checking that your air mattress doesn’t have leaks). Give everything a good wash.
Dining Room – Polish and condition wood furniture. Take a look at your table linens and serving platters – so you have everything you need? How about the supply of candles and candlesticks? This is also a great time to polish silver that may have gotten tarnished over the summer so you don’t have to worry about it right before your parties.
Living Room – Clean out any ashes from the fireplace, stock up on wood or duralogs. Wash or replace worn out carpets. Re-arrange furniture to be ready for your Christmas tree. Give wood furniture a good oil cleaning. Toss out old magazines and gather up coasters that have roamed. Bring out early holiday decorations to start making things festive.
Front Door – Wipe down your front door – ours gets SO dusty in just a few weeks. Brush off your welcome mat. Add a wreath. You’re ready for December!