Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sparkling Holidays


- Do you have a pileup of plastic bags in the kitchen that need to go be recycled?

- If you have a Christmas tree up, check to see if it needs water, and vacuum around it really quickly if needed. We've been tracking needles onto my entryway, so I need to sweep that too.

- Plan your weekend. Make appointments, plan to get together with family, get dinner reservations, purchase movie tickets, plan menus, etc.

- Tidy up really quickly. Wipe down kitchen sink and counters, declutter dining table, vacuum living room, remove clutter, refold throws, fluff pillows, bring escaped dishes back into the kitchen and put in dishwasher.

- Quickly check over your emergency power outage supplies. Do you have a working flashlight with working batteries in every major room of your home? (Firefighters recommend you don't light your houses with candles during power outages but.. Do you have candles and matches nearby too just in case?) If you have a fireplace, do you have an easy starter log, dry firewood, kindling and matches accessible?

- Does your home smell nice today? Mine doesn't (it smells a bit musty from being shut up due to the cold) except for my Christmas tree. Fix any sources of bad smells (kitchen trash needs to go out?) and treat yourself to seasonal aromatherapy. Burn incense, put fragrant oils in your tealight infuser, light a candle in the room you're in, boil cinnamon and oranges on your stove, or spray a home fragrance spray. Winter scents include pine, oranges, cloves, cinnamon, eggnog, peppermint, cranberry, berry, rosemary and frankincense. Set your bread machine, if you have one, to bake bread overnight so you are woken to the smell of fresh bread.


Choose two shelves of glassware (Goblets, crystal, wine glasses, anything you might use to entertain with) that look dusty. This might mean a curio cabinet or your kitchen cupboards. I particularly have to embark upon this project because I have an entire buffet of dusty Pier 1 holiday goblets I'm going to need in upcoming weeks. My basic everyday wine glasses get used and washed frequently and so aren't dusty, but our fancier "company" glasses are not in ready-to-go shape. The shelves they sit on are horribly dusty, too.

Remove the glassware and hand wash it; dry the glassware; wipe and dry the shelves. Replace the goblets in an orderly or attractive fashion, putting the glasses you expect to use the least often towards the back of the shelf. Take a quick visual inventory - do you have any sets that need another goblet or two added? Did you break any glasses in the last year that need to be replaced? Is there anything with chips in it that needs to be thrown away and replaced? Add any Must-haves and I-Wants to your shopping list to look over next time you're in your favorite home or kitchen store.

Treat yourself when you're done by putting a special drink (whether it be soda, wine, a cocktail or a sparkling cider) into one of your most gorgeous glasses, and sip it slowly while relaxing in your comfiest chair.

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