Whether you have to work right up until the holidays, you were waiting until your kids are done with school to help, or you just like doing things at the last minute because it’s tradition, it is possible to be ready for the holidays if you take heed of our last-minute tips. While there are some preparations that you might need to forgo because of lack of time, you can decorate the house and have all of your cookies, gifts, and holiday meal preparations done in time for the big day if you delegate tasks, get some outside help, and prioritize tasks.
1. Use Items You Have On Hand to Decorate
DIY is all the rage in home décor now, so make holiday decorations with items you have on hand. You’ll create unique decorations that will be interesting to friends and family members, and you’ll save time and money by using what you already have at home.
For example, gather ornaments or bells that you’re not using on this year’s tree and toss them into a basket, bowl, or another container. For a more traditional look, add pine boughs you cut from your Christmas tree when fitting it into your tree stand to the container and place them among your ornaments. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors and sizes in the container.
Another option is to put ornaments in clear glass bottles, jars, hurricanes, or wine glasses. Small glass balls work well in bottles and larger glass balls look festive in hurricanes and wine glasses. For an elegant look, fill a few wine glasses with glass balls and turn them upside down on your table with a tea light candle on each base.
Some families decorate with photos from the past year, and DIY photo ornaments and decorations are a perfect project for kids to complete while you tackle another task. You can use photos, cardstock, and glitter to create gorgeous ornaments for your tree, a garland for your staircase, or window decorations. Some people get wooden craft blocks from a craft store, paint them with metallic paint, and glue black and white photos to them.
2. Simplify Baking and Cooking
Chances are, you have friends who made their cookies ahead of time and don’t have any left because their families ate all of them before the big day arrives. Even though it sounds time-consuming, it is a fantastic idea to host a last-minute cookie swap a few days before Christmas. You’ll only have to make one kind of cookie, but you’ll end up with several types from swapping with friends. And, if you make one type in a large batch, you’ll have all of your baking done in no time and only have to clean up one mess. One other tip is to use cookie mixes or refrigerated dough to cut down on your baking time.
As for the holiday meal, there are a few ways to pull everything together at the last minute. The first option is to find a good caterer or local deli that can supply you with a holiday ham and sides. The second option is to tackle the main dish yourself and ask your family members to bring the sides. The last option is to make a less traditional holiday meal that still packs a lot of flavor and comfort into the dish, such as fettuccine with quick ragu.
3. Ask for Help When You Need It
Part of the fun of the holidays is keeping up traditions and doing the activities that you most enjoy. Even if you’ve waited until the last minute to prepare, you still can do the tasks that are most pleasurable for you and delegate the others. For example, if you dread the thought of cleaning your home for the holidays, hire someone to do it for you. You don’t have to have a full-time cleaning person or housekeeper; you can hire someone for just one or two days to give yourself time to do other things.
If you have kids or younger relatives, enlist them to help with tasks. They’ll enjoy spending time together and having something to do while they’re on winter break from school, and you’ll enjoy knowing that they are having fun while finishing some of the holiday preparations for you. Kids are great at decorating trees and wrapping presents, organizing and cleaning up, and keeping your pets occupied while you’re getting ready for the holidays.
Your holidays can be happy even if you had to wait to the last minute to decorate, bake, wrap, and cook if you make DIY décor, keep things simple, and use the help of others.
Photos are pixabay public domain
Guest Author Bio
Aimee Lyons fancies herself as the DIY-Goddess. She loves crafting, refurbishing furniture, remodeling rooms and landscaping.
Visit her website: DIY Darlin