Christmas preparation traditions…

I don’t know if you’d call it a Christmas tradition really but every November I spend the third weekend preparing for Christmas – that’s this weekend for 2011.

I don’t do other things that weekend and get the kids out of the house as much as possible (my parents take them on the Saturday every year) so I can concentrate on my to do list:

  1. sort all the loose socks – pairs get put away and most others go in the rag bag or a charity bag

    Putting away books

    There’s a certain satisfaction having books lined up neatly 🙂

  2. empty the kitchen pantry and put things back neatly, noting what things can be used in the next week or so to clear more space. Anything not likely to be used gets put into a charity bag (often there’s a box at school around now to collect them)
  3. empty the fridge and freezer. Again, things go back in neatly after I review what’s there and plan the next week’s menu accordingly
  4. tidy the cupboards and shelves in the lounge room – putting people’s stuff back in their room and other things into the rubbish or charity bags. What’s left is put in neatly
  5. I sort my kids' books then toys, too. Pulling aside things they’ve grown out of (usually that means moving on to the next child) and removing broken things (to repair where feasible, throw out otherwise)
  6. If I have any time left (which I never do!), my plan is to sort through clothes drawers to remove anything to small or too worn.
Cleaning the house in November gives me mental and physical space to enjoy (and survive!) December!Click To Tweet
image of Santa, baubles and red stockings on a dark background

Even Santa has to deal with lost socks!

This really is about Christmas, not just a spring cleaning, as it gives me space for Christmas things (stocking up on food stuffs for Christmas events and places for new gifts to be stored after Christmas) and also gives me some mental space and energy to cope with December and the whirlwind it always becomes in our house. Of course, it also makes tidying the house easier during December when we have more visitors so that helps, too.


I don’t do normal housework for the weekend and only give the emptied cupboards and fridge a cursory clean as I go – I focus on the stuff rather than cleaning and find I can get through a lot.

I’m not a clean freak (at no other time of the year do I do housework stuff for more than an hour at a time!) but I find this really sets us up nicely for Christmas so thought I’d share the idea for others to use. And now I am psyched up, my glass of wine is finished so I’m off to find all loose socks in the house…


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11 Responses to Christmas preparation traditions…

  • Santa's Elf says:

    You are very wise, Mel – having things under control ahead of Christmas is a really good plan – I always used to have shopping done by 1 December but it’s got a bit harder with toddlers under foot. But you have inspired me to do some organising this week. I hope your sock hunting went well!

  • Jacinta says:

    I love the idea of sorting my kids’ books & toys before getting heaps more as gifts. And doing it now means unwanted things can be given to charities to help them give needy kids gifts. Love it love it love it. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!!!!!!!!

  • ACSAPA says:

    I definitely need to adopt this plan. The extent to which I get ready for Christmas is just starting my holiday shopping after Halloween. I never really thought about doing a thorough cleaning and donating useful items to charity , but that makes complete sense. Another good routine is checking the cupboards for expired flour and baking products and buying fresh ones so you can be ready to do your holiday baking. It’s gross when you’re trying to make Christmas cookies and you discover grain weevils living in your flour.

  • Magic Pixel says:

    Those are great ways to get life in order Mel. It’s almost Christmas and new year is approaching, getting everything from shelves to drawers to shoes to jars to everything but the foundation of a house in order is a great way to give the house a good clean up.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      It is a good foundation, isn’t it? And I still like the idea of being organised and fresh for both Christmas entertaining and relaxing, and for teh New Year.

  • pocs says:

    I have my crafting and shopping done before thanksgiving. I hate to scramble at the last minute. Decoration begins before thanksgiving also, but usually doesn’t wrap up until the first week of December. I try to stay on top of my regular chores, dur ing the holidays you never know what may pop up. My donations for charities are also handed in by December 1st. Touched with a bit of OCD as I mentioned before, I have a need to stay on top of things so I am prepared for the unexpected.

  • ChristiQ says:

    Here in the States, spring cleaning happens in April/May, but I also do fall cleaning in September/October. It’s a good way to get ready for all the holiday festivities. Cleaning out the closets and going through the kids toys are good preparations for Christmas presents. I just tell the kids if they want to keep everything, even toys they don’t play with or have outgrown, then that means they don’t need new ones.
    They’re ready to part with some old toys then. lol

  • benjaminsmom says:

    Great idea! I would love to try to implement this this year, but I am sceptical it would work. I find it hard to accomplish much of anything with the kids home and I doubt I could convince my inlaws to take them for 2 days. But it might be worth asking. It would be nice to have a clean slate to work with, bith for Christmas and the coming new year. Maybe if I start now I might beable to get a bit done each week leading to Christmas just while doing my regular cleaning and purging. I REALLY need to do the toys. They are so out of hand. Thanks for the tip!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      My house is full of toys, too, so I know this seems overwheleming. BUt sorting a few things each week will achieve a lot by Christmas – it’s 10 weeks tomorrow 🙂

      Maybe 15 minutes every second night when the kids are in bed (although I admit I’m often too tired to do that myself!) or while they’re busy with somethign else.

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