31 Days to Christmas! Set The Thanksgiving Table

Dashing around at the last minute, chanting, "Where's the serving spoon, where's the serving spoon?" is a holiday tradition that can stand to be forgotten. Cut chaos on the big day: set the table early!

If you're hosting Thankgiving dinner, set the table a day or two ahead. Place a small sticky note inside serving dishes to remind you (or your helpers) what goes where.

You'll have time to shine up a tarnished platter or rout out missing serving pieces--in blessed privacy.

32 Days to Christmas! Double Up On Side Dishes

When cooking for the Thanksgiving feast, plan to double or triple amounts for any freezer-friendly dishes, and tuck the extras into the freezer for later use.

Good freezer candidates include unbaked pie shells, unbaked pies, unbaked stuffing and--surprise!--mashed potatoes.

Doubling up when you cook for Thanksgiving will ease the kitchen load in the weeks ahead! Cook once, feast twice ... for an organized holiday season. 

34 Days to Christmas! Clean The Entryway

Whether it's the front porch or foyer, apartment door or entryway, the holiday season will bring new scrutiny to the entry area of your home. Remove clutter, clean and organize the portal to your household today.

Check the front door, cleaning and polishing knob, knocker and any windows. Check the state of the welcome mat; is it time for cleaning or replacement? Check outdoor lights and replace any burned-out bulbs.

Declutter doorway storage areas so outdoor shoes, umbrellas or keys find an efficient, attractive home.

Hang a wreath for a seasonal touch. Be ready to open the door to a wonderful holiday season!

39 Days to Christmas! Stock Up On Freezer Meals

A stockpile of frozen dinners is a seasonal stress-buster during the month of December. This week, add a few ready-to-cook meals to the freezer to prepare for the busy weeks ahead.

Whether you try traditional once-a-month cooking methods, buy pre-made meals at the warehouse store, or pay a visit to freezer cooking franchise, setting aside a stock of easy family dinners will cut stress during the Christmas season. 

40 Days to Christmas! Tackle The Freezer

Now's the time, in the calm before the holiday meals begin: clean out the freezer!

Supermarkets will soon offer loss leaders on holiday staples, from pie to whipped topping, dinner rolls to desserts. Tossing expired frozen food--or resolving to eat up freezer dishes that are nearing their expiration point--will create room in the budget and the freezer to stock up on staples for holiday meals.

Make-ahead baked goods and holiday freezer meals need room, too. Clean out the freezer to create a home for holiday goodies to come!

Keep track of freezer contents to stay on-track for happy holidays. A simple freezer inventory form means you'll know at a glance what's hidden in Moby DIck's cold innards. Print one today, to organize your frozen assets:

Printable Freezer Inventory Form

42 Days to Christmas! Tabletop Check

Thanksgiving morning is no time to discover stains on the tablecloth, unpack tarnished flatware or to recall that last season saw the shattering of your favorite turkey platter. (That darn dog!) Prepare to set a pretty table with a pre-season tabletop check.

Inventory and inspect table linens, napkins, serving pieces, holiday china and serving pieces. Do you need to purchase replacements? Prices are best several weeks before the season, when housewares stores advertise tabletop goods at sale prices. Add any replacements to the seasonal shopping list.

Will you need to polish silver? Add the chore to the calendar, or delegate to an energetic child in need of spending money. Launder linens and plan centerpieces and candles for an elegant table without the last-minute stress.

Track your findings on a free inventory planner page: Holiday Tabletop Checklist

47 Days to Christmas! Inventory The Pantry

Attention bargain shoppers! The year's lowest prices on pantry staples will be seen in at the supermarket during the weeks to come. Do you know what you'll need to stock the pantry for the holiday season?

Today, make a quick pantry inventory. Sort and organize stored foods, and make out a shopping list for baking supplies, mixers, snacks and other holiday needs. Make a list of non-perishable items, and be alert to grocery store discounts in the days ahead.

Knowing what you have--and buying only what you need at discount prices--is the fast track to holiday food savings.

Free Printable Pantry Inventory Form

Need a shopping list? Print one here: Free Printable Shopping List