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Christmas Countdown: A week-by-week guide to minimize stress as the big day approaches
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Christmas Countdown: A week-by-week guide to minimize stress as the big day approaches

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There’s still a month left until Christmas, but it’s a good idea to stay on top of your to-do list. This will help you reduce your stress in the weeks to come. Here are a few things to get out of the way.

Four weeks out

Arrangements are underway

  • Purchase as many gifts as possible to avoid crowds and popular items going out of stock
  • Pick up any additional decorations you need to round out your collection or suit your party’s theme
  • Decorate your home, including putting together an artificial
  • tree or a miniature Christmas village
  • Set up lights and other out­door ornaments before the weather gets too cold
  • Help your children write their letters to Santa Claus
  • Write and mail your holiday cards, although you can send out virtual cards later
  • Cook any dishes that can be frozen such as cheese logs and cookies
  • Sort through items that you can donate to charity
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Three weeks out

Preparations continue

  • Time flies, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Before you curl up in front of the fireplace or put on a holiday movie, there are a few important tasks you should see to.
  • Choose holiday party outfits for the whole family, and make a quick run to the store if needed
  • Confirm how many guests are coming, and create a seating arrangement to accommodate everyone
  • Buy non-perishable food for the party such as chips, nuts and canned goods, and stock up on alcohol for the adults and drinks for the kids
  • Pick up any gifts that still need to be purchased
  • Wrap your presents or, to save yourself some time and support a good cause, have an organization take care of your gift wrapping as part of a fundraiser

Two weeks out

A few tasks remain

  • Christmas is just around the corner! This week, you’ll need to focus on the little details that will make the holiday magnificent and memorable for everyone. Here’s what should be on your checklist.
  • Plan activities and games to entertain guests of all ages such as karaoke and cards
  • Clean your home from top to bottom, and prepare the guest room if you expect to have visitors stay overnight
  • Choose what type of music you’d like to listen to throughout the evening, and create a playlist
  • Purchase a real tree from a local vendor and decorate it (remember to set it up away from heat sources and water it regularly)
  • Check to make sure you have enough cutlery, glasses, napkins and other dinnerware for all your guests, and buy or borrow items if needed

One week out

Time for the final touches

  • Christmas is upon us and excitement is in the air. All that remains are a few final chores that need to get done before your guests arrive.
  • Clear out space in the entranceway for your guests’ boots and coats
  • Finish buying the fresh ingredients you’ll need for your holiday meal
  • Stock your bathrooms with extra toilet paper and fresh hand towels
  • Strategically place boxes of facial tissues and small bottles of hand sanitizer around the house
  • Walk through each room to make sure nothing’s in the way or blocking an emergency exit
  • Put hazardous objects like lighters, cleaning products and medications out of the reach of children
  • Shovel and de-ice your front steps and walk­way, and consider putting down anti-slip mats so your guests don’t fall

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