Today's post is from guest writer, Deana Barnhart of www.momstheglue.blogspot.com
Holidays can be a mad rush for moms with small children. Rushing from one party to another, finding storage places for all of the new gifts, preparing special treats, wrapping presents, and entertaining guests can become so hectic that the joy of the season is often lost. On top of all of this activity is the worry that money will just not stretch far enough to purchase seasonal supplies and decorations for entertaining. Thankfully, a sense of humor, a bit of patience, and a little organization can keep your home running smoothly so that everyone, including Mom, can have a great time during holiday gatherings.
Whether cleaning or decorating, the holiday season calls for speed. When preparing for an onslaught of guests, these time and money saving tips might be helpful:
• Put a large decorative basket in each room adorned with a Christmas bow. When unexpected guests arrive or you have just a moment before having to leave for the next party, a quick run through each room will have the clutter out of sight in no time.
• Throw a festive tablecloth over wooden surfaces so dusting is unnecessary. Once quick shake of the cloth, and you are finished.
• Cover old couches with new slipcovers to hide stains and rips or to give a new festive appearance to worn upholstery. They will also serve to protect furnishings from accidental spills during holiday parties.
• Use items already in place, but add a decorative holiday touch. Put Christmas ornaments in flower pots; tie holiday ribbons around lamps, and use Christmas lights and candy canes in floral arrangements.
• Use cheap holiday placemats in every room to give a festive effect.
Children love to help and can add special holiday excitement to any home. The following ideas will keep the children busy and provide conversation pieces that your guests will adore:
• Gather some rocks, big and little; spray paint in silver, gold, or green. Give the little ones some water based paint and let them create Christmas masterpieces. Depending on their ages; you might let them cut out old scenes from Christmas cards and glue them onto the rocks. Arrange as a grouping with glittered pine cones and holly leaves.
• Bring in a small branch from a pine and place in a flower pot. Make sugar cookies in holiday shapes and string with ribbon to help the children make a Charlie Brown tree for their own rooms. They can also string popcorn or cranberries to make garlands for the tree and hang candy canes as well.
• Give each child a large Christmas sack after breakfast each morning. Set a timer for five minutes. Have a small gift waiting if they can fill up their bag with clutter before the timer goes off. Play holiday music to make this fun for everyone.
Let the magic of the season inspire your decorative efforts. Most of all, always take time to share plenty of hugs and kisses and remember to enjoy yourself as well!