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12 Days to Christmas! Under-Tree Storage Box

The tree is trimmed, lights glowing. Packing away the storage boxes is easy, but what do you do with all those little bulbs and fuses? They wander the house, constantly underfoot--until you need one.

Keep holiday decor supplies close at hand with this simple, sneaky solution: an under-tree storage box. Select a pretty holiday gift box with a removable lid. Put all fuses, replacement light bulbs and extra ornament hooks inside the box, add a gift bow and slide it beneath the tree.

Next time you need to replace a light bulb or add a new ornament to the tree, grab the box. It'll hold--and hide--all the holiday supplies you need.

Control Christmas Clutter With An Under-Tree Storage Box

14 Days to Christmas! Update The Address Book

Christmas cards and holiday letters are spilling from the mailbox these days, so take note! Their arrival means it's time to update the address book.

Check cards and envelopes for address changes; update address books or contacts apps for those who have moved or changed telephone numbers.

Too busy? No problem! Toss envelopes into a file folder; when life slows down in January, it'll be easy to check return addresses against address book entries and update as needed.

16 Days to Christmas! Print Holiday Labels

Printable address labels are wonderful things, and never more so than during the holiday season.

Sure, they'll see to it that your Christmas cards get to the right address, but try these other uses for self-adhesive address labels during the holiday season:

  • Label baked goods for a professional touch. Seasonal clip art makes it pretty!
  • Home-printed gift tags for Christmas gifts will stay put in transit.
  • Party name tags or dinner party place cards are easy to create with labels.
  • Identify all those cords behind the Christmas tree: wrap a label around the cord, stick the ends together and mark which lights are which for easy reference.

    24 Days to Christmas! Check Your Progress

    Can it really be December 1st? With the turn of a calendar page, the season is upon us--and for most of us, our time is our scarcest holiday resource.

    The beginning of December is the perfect time to check your progress! Sit down with the family calendar and evaluate where you are with holiday preparations.

    How is gift-buying progressing? Are you nearly there ... or barely there? Make time to complete gift buying in the coming days.

    How is holiday baking coming along? Will you need to pare down the list or oursource the goodies?

    What about crafts projects or handmade gifts? If they're not completed, it's time to tuck the UFOs away for another year.

    Does the schedule include time for family and self-care? Block out a few afternoons or evenings for renewal--you'll head off last-minute frazzles and family meltdowns.

    Ready or not, here it comes: the holiday season! Are you ready?

    38 Days to Christmas! Check Bags And Containers

    What's a holiday cook's best friend? Disposable food storage containers--and their convenient cousins, zipper food storage bags.

    In the holiday kitchen, disposable containers hold baked goods for giving, keep leftovers in order and line up for mise-en-place duty during holiday cooking sessions. Lightweight and inexpensive, they nest neatly and travel well to new homes. Best of all, holiday themes and colors make a simple cookie gift more festive.

    Take a moment today to check stocks of food storage containers and zipper bags.

    Need more? Add them to the shopping list and be on the lookout for holiday-themed containers at sale prices in coming weeks.

    43 Days to Christmas! Plan Holiday Baking

    Attitudes to holiday baking fall into two general categories: you love it, or you hate it. Whether you're dreaming of the Christmas bakefest as early as July, or dreading it as the season approaches, you need a plan.

    A written holiday baking plan makes sense--and cents--of holiday baking chores. Knowing what you'll bake, how much you'll bake, and when you'll bake keeps the budget in line, and helps foster a realistic view of that scarcest of holiday commodities: your time.

    Finally, if you bake for kitchen gifts, a written plan can track gifts completed, frozen or sent.

    Rolling pins ready? Time for a baking plan:

    Holiday Baking Planner