November To-Do List: Get Ready for the Holidays!
With Thanksgiving looming and the winter holidays right around the corner, it’s easy to succumb to panic. Don’t do it! Instead, use this pre-holiday time as motivation to accomplish what you can and forget about the rest.
If you haven’t already, hammer down your holiday travel plans. Make the necessary calls to family and friends to figure out the logistics. It’s more important than ever this year, especially if flying because airlines are likely to continue to struggle with pandemic staffing problems and major delays.
On a related note, set a date early in the month to knock out most of your holiday shopping. It’s early, but pandemic-related supply chain issues might leave procrastinators empty-handed if you wait until December to shop.
If you’re a reluctant chef, turn on your oven and check that it’s working and heating to the proper temperature. If necessary, schedule maintenance ASAP. Appliance repair companies are inundated with service calls this time of year from once-a-year cooks.
Do a major culling of your pantry and chuck all those outdated spices and baking supplies. Replenish only what you’ll need for your holiday cooking and baking. Consider buying from a shop that offers bulk spices so you can measure out only the needed amount. You’ll save money and avoid waste next year.
Early in the month, make a concerted effort to cook from the groceries you already have on hand, which will make room in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry for all your holiday ingredients and leftovers.
Purchase containers for your guests to carry home leftovers. They’ll love you for your generosity and you’ll be spared from weeks of leftovers! Dollar stores have great inexpensive options. For a more sustainable option, use empty glass jars or other previously used food containers you have on hand.
Rake the last of the leaves in your yard. If the task seems too daunting, make a party of it. Invite friends and family over to help, promising them hot cocoa or a shared meal afterward.
Do a final winter prep of your outdoor spaces, storing rugs, cushions, toys and anything else that might be damaged by winter weather.
Do a favor for your feathered friends and fill your bird feeders. They’ll be grateful as it gets colder and natural food supplies dwindle. As a bonus, you’ll get to admire their beauty from inside.
Be kind to yourself. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take the time to indulge in your favorite beverage, light a candle or sit by your fireplace. Make a date with a friend. Enjoy your family. Your sanity trumps a to-do list any time of year.