4. Trick or Treat

Halloween is fun holiday for kids and adults.  This is one of my favorite holidays!!  It probably started out that way since my birthday is the 30th so its easy to combine the two.  For all looking to not clean out your wallet this makes it easy and inexpensive to find decorations and supplies.  As a child a costume was an extension of playing dress up; as an adult this is a great way to get in the mood for the other upcoming holidays. I try to do deep clean for holidays in time for this one.  It allows me to kick back and celebrate on Halloween itself and not stress about getting everything done.  I know this seems really early to start but, as someone who has worked long holiday retail hours I find it easier to fit work, home, and family time into an often hectic and exhausting time of the year.  I tend to keep my costumes easy and generally from regular items in my fall closet.  A black long skirt paired a tunic style top with marbled pattern and whimsical sleeves are perfect for my witch hat.  Add my favorite boots and accessorize with a cute witch hat and I’m ready to give out poison apples.  A red halter in chiffon add horns and a little Gothic costume jewelry and I can be a little evil,  One of my next versatile purchases will be a long wool peacoat and lacy top to become a pirate.

My mom is a really good cake decorator


3.  Getting ready for Family Gatherings
This doesn’t sound like much but my grandmother told me years ago that the best motivation to do some of those things we put off.  I use it as reason to wash all guest room bedding and anything towards the back of the linen closet.  Clean out the front hall closet again so you have place for extra coats.  Bring holiday décor into garage or other workspace.  Some have even started fantasy and spooky Halloween decoration in yard and porch.  Children love the displays and many adults smile a little more when they see them.  I start scenting the house with cinnamon and spice.  I add apples and cloves as we move closer to Thanksgiving.  

This is also  the time to do any deep clean the freezer, reorganize the pantry, make sure my work desk is neat, and my craft supplies that I might need are not buried in the bottom of the closet.  I like to make check-lists and assign completion dates to keep on schedule.  Also handy to see what’s next and sometimes start early.  This can be true life and wallet saver if something unforeseeable comes up like cold or flu.

2.  Holiday Decorating  
Starting with simple fall décor easily translates to both Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Bring some of nature indoors to spruce up your displays.  Have the children help find things like pine cones, unbroken oak leaves, and pine needles.  A quick bake in the oven a 200 degreesfor about an hour will insure no creepy’s crawling out into the house.  I love to raid the dollar tree for fake fruit and battery candles, especially tea lights.  Spread in baskets on table centerpiece, a leafy wreath in fall colors on the door.  Easily replace the witch who hit the front door with a harvest bounty.  Add the comfy chairs and add a fire pit for warmth as the weather turns cold.  Lanterns with candles are great here too.  
Pick places where they can easily be added to or switched out for Christmas around the corner.  I usually set a goal of getting the house Christmas Decorated just after Thanksgiving.

Melted Snowmen

1.  Relax Early

Between retail hours , family visit, shopping lists, and several parties to attend it’s easy to fall behind.  Address Christmas cards early.  I have found that while lots of people who work in retail hate the holidays, being organized and decorating my home allows me to be more patient with shoppers, bosses, and other employees.  I play my own collection of holiday music and enjoy my private holiday display so it’s easier to take those early mornings and late nights, all with a deep well of holiday cheer that helps me get through some of the longest and most stressful days without having a stress meltdown.  My husband is a musician so I get my own private concerts too.  Take a relaxing bubble bath, spike the cocoa, just make sure you take some time to yourself to recharge.