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It may not be time to light the Yule log just yet, but Christmas is not that far away. And while most of us enjoy the holiday season, it seems there is just no getting around the hustle and bustle that those few weeks will bring. However, there is a way to reduce the amount of stress that the season can bring. By planning ahead and taking care of some of those holiday chores ahead of time, you can greatly reduce your “to-do” list once December rolls around. And less holiday stress means more time to enjoy the events and traditions that you love most about Christmas.

Spruce it Up

While many of us get into the spring cleaning season, fall is another good time to give the homestead a good once over. Now is a good time to get carpets and drapes cleaned, paint rooms that need a sprucing up, and polish silver. If your cleaning projects are completed before Thanksgiving, you will be able to hang the Christmas lights and tinsel in a sparkling home without worrying about those stains and spills. And while you’re in the cleaning mode, don’t forget to power wash your porch area so it’s ready to sport those light strands in style. You might also want to clean out a few closets and get unused items ready to donate – it’s the perfect time of year to share.

Take Inventory

Even though you are not ready to dig out decorations for show, you can do a quick run down of supplies that you might need for your decorating efforts this year. Perhaps some of your light strands stopped lighting, or a couple of ornaments got broken. Take this opportunity to make a list and check it twice of the supplies that you might need so that you will be ready to hit the stores at the first sign of a Christmas sale. You can also check over your table and baking supplies, to ensure that your table will be festive and your cookies will be ready to whip up.

Shop Away

Nothing can drain the Christmas spirit faster than a crowded shopping mall, so get the gift list taken care of now. Internet shopping has made it easy to satisfy everyone on your list from the comfort of your home office. So make a cup of Christmas cheer, snuggle into your coziest pajamas and shop till you drop! If you are really feeling ambitious, you can even get your wrapping done before the Thanksgiving turkey ever goes into the oven.

Planning ahead can ease much of the stress of the holidays, and make Christmas a much more enjoyable time of the year. Get those chores out of the way, and get ready to celebrate the season the way it was meant to be savored.