When the boys were young, we used a Countdown to Christmas calendar. It had a pocket for each day that held a strip of paper with an activity that would help us get ready for Christmas. Even though I haven't used that calendar for many years, I still like the concept of spreading out the holiday activities, and try to do one or two things every day to make the season less hectic.Today we joined together to decorate the house.
Over the years I've collected more decorations than we could possibly use, but that means that we can pick and choose what to put out. Every year the house looks a little bit different. Many of the knick knacks on the family room shelves come down, and get replaced with a holiday item. Same with the tops of the cabinets in the kitchen. Each item back a memory--some of the things belonged to my parents, some the kids have made, and some were presents from friends.
I used to do the whole job by myself; it took the better part of a day. A couple of years ago Hubby Tony started helping me, and we could knock it out in an evening. Today we had an additional helper-son Donald came for a visit, and we pressed him into service.
The first task was to get the boxes upstairs. They're stored in the back of a closet underneath the basement stairs. It took a few minutes to remove everything to get to them. After that it was an easy job to carry them to the living room. Then, without discussing it, each of us gravitated to a different section of the house to work.
Without prompting Donald tackled what I think is the hardest job, the foyer. It's two stories tall. The top section is bumped out, and includes a large window with a deep shelf under it, which usually holds a large silk plant. During the Christmas season I change the plant out for a row of silk poinsettias (laying flat, flowers outward) with their stems covered with swaths of plaid material. Even with a stepladder, I have trouble taking care of the project, but Donald is taller than me and did a great job
I took care of the kitchen, and Donald joined me when he finished his job. In addition to decorating the area above the cabinets, there are a lot of things that go in them. Everyday coffee mugs get replaced by Christmas ones, and some special snowflake plates added to the dinnerware cabinet. Serving platters and bowls are stored in the correct places.
Tony quarterbacked the family room. He got all the big ceramic items put on the shelves, then set out some winter-themed artwork. After that was done, he added little pieces to fill in the gaps until everything was perfectly arranged.
With three sets of hands, the job got done in about 90 minutes!