Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blogmas: Day 19-- Preparing for the 25th

Of all the holidays celebrated in the West, Christmas offers ample opportunities for failure with little hope for redemption.  With every major retailer closed on the 25th, small inconveniences become major disasters: if you have run out of butter, salt, or (worse) wine; if your child is having a meltdown because their new toy needs a 9-Volt battery that you do not have; or if you have forgotten to buy a gift for your least favorite sibling, you know the Christmas struggle.  If you plan ahead, however, your Christmas can be bomb without going nuclear (see what I did there?). 

Triple check all of your holiday meal components.  Look for every ingredient in every dish you are making; locate every item and physically check to make sure you have enough to get through Christmas and Boxing Day.  Remember: items like salt and butter run out quickly and they will be two of the central ingredients used to season your turkey. 

Check your prescription medications and make sure that they have been recently refilled; also, stow your prescriptions in a private place, out of the reach of sketchy relatives.  Many medical offices will be closed through the weekend and you may not be able to get the refills you need in a timely fashion.  Also, everyone has that uncle; keep your prescriptions and your valuables tucked away in a private and secure place until your relatives are waddling back to their respective homes.  Just saying . . .

Make sure your first aid kit is stocked.  Accidents happen.  Accidents frequently happen when your dad tries to jimmy together your nephew’s new bike with a butter knife. 

Make sure that you have enough booze to make it through the weekend.  You should always drink responsibly and ration your alcohol consumption throughout the holidays.  I recommend having at least one bottle per relative you cannot stand in your vino reserves.

Take an inventory of your presents.  Write a list of all the people you should have gotten presents for this year by the evening of the 23rd (today!).  Go to your solstice bush or your present hiding place and cross off people’s names as you locate their corresponding gift(s).  If you have inadvertently left someone out, create a gift buying plan for Christmas Eve.

Do your dirty laundry before airing your dirty laundry.  You don’t want a mountain of clothes or bed linens overwhelming you during an already stressful time of the year.  Also, you would be surprised at how relaxing a nice set of clear sheets can be after a long, stressful day.

Pre-bake your pies and sweets.  Because Christmas Day will be a busy affair, you should try to get as much of your baking done before “game day.”  You are less likely to forget about the cherry pie or sugar cookies in the oven on Christmas Eve than you are on Christmas Day . . . when children and screaming and your adult relatives are perfecting the familial equivalent of the neg.  It’s better to microwave day old pie than to set your kitchen on fire. 

Pre-roast your turkey.  If you brine your turkey, prep your bird tonight and roast it about two to three hours tomorrow.  If you’re not a brining kind of person, prepare your bird tomorrow and roast it for a couple of hours tomorrow.  Pre-roasting your turkey reduces the amount of time you will be in the kitchen on Christmas and it gives you more time to focus on not screwing up your side dishes. 

Schedule your last minute wrapping.  Fit your last minute wrapping around your other pre-Chrimbo chores.  I like to begin my wrapping with the larger gifts because I feel more accomplished for having wrapped them.  Go with the good feeling, I say!

Do you have any last minute holiday planning advice?  Share your helpful hints in the comments.

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