The holiday season is like a two-part play: Act I, Thanksgiving; Act II, Christmas/New Year’s. You get a brief intermission after the first part, then it’s time to gear up and finish off the play. It’s especially tough when you’re the one hosting both holidays. Even if you’re not, there is still a lot to be done. And, if you’re like me, you’re really wishing the intermission could last a little longer.

Thanksgiving is Over

Most likely, you either hosted or went somewhere for Thanksgiving dinner. And, you probably prepared something. A turkey, a side dish, a pie. Something that involved multiple kitchen utensils and appliances. Now is the time to give those things a once over to make sure they’re still working and clean. The deep cleaning was likely done before the holiday, and will be needed again after part two, so just focus on getting rid of the obvious grease and grime on the stove and in the oven and microwave. Wipe down the refrigerator shelves, and throw away the leftovers that may have been pushed to the back.


If you were “lucky” enough to have guests stay with you, make sure you wash the sheets and towels. I’ve always cleaned these items after company, but never understood the need for so many washings when using them myself. That is, until I read about all of the dead skin cells that remain after using sheets and towels. Let’s just say, I launder them far more frequently these days.

Don’t forget to restock the toiletries and non-perishables. You may not be hosting guests again at Christmastime, but you will eventually. This way you’ll be prepared when that day comes.

It’s December

In addition to all of the holiday parties and get-togethers, this time of year also brings a change in weather. So before you get too busy with all of the other stuff, pull out all of the cold-weather gear: hats, gloves, boots. And, make sure the floors are clean and ready for all of the mud, snow, ice, salt and sand that may make their way in. It’s not the most esthetically pleasing site, but I also put an old towel by the door to wipe the dog’s paws and obvious puddles that form. You could always throw a few towels in a cute basket and make it look a little more decorative.


While cleaning the floors, make sure to sweep the corner where your tree will go and use the broom to knock down any cobwebs and dust gathering on ceiling fans and light fixtures. The holiday decorations will add light to higher up places and may have people looking at places they normally don’t.

Don’t forget about outside, too. While the lights look beautiful, they can brighten up the front door step. With more people ringing the doorbell this time of year, you don’t want them stepping on piles of dried leaves and reaching through cobwebs to knock on the door. And remember to keep a bag of salt handy to spread on icy patches that may form on your driveway and front walk.

Don’t Forget to Enjoy

The reality is, you will feel better if the refrigerator is clean and the cobwebs are taken down. But, if they’re not, it’s not the end of the world. The holidays can be ridiculously stressful. Cut yourself some slack. Bake cookies with the kids. Spend a day shopping with friends. Drive around and delight in all of the holiday decorations. Listen to some Christmas music. Act II will be over before you know it. Sit back and enjoy it a little.