I made a trip into Walmart, a couple of days ago, and immediately noticed that the “seasonal” shelves, at the front of the store (filled with costumes and bagged candy a week before) were now chock full of Christmas “stuff.” It would appear that the retail stores are ready for Christmas shoppers! Three separate toy sale catalogs arrived in the mail last week too, so you can be assured that the shelves are full.



Here’s how I’m doing: I’ve completed a small percentage of  my shopping, with the goal of buying two or three gifts each week.  Last week I ordered one gift online, and another one was delivered in the mail. I’m feeling the need to pick it up a little to keep on track and get my gift purchasing completed without stressing.

The Clean Kitchen Habit : making sure to clean your kitchen counters and shine your sink, before bed each night, is coming along slowly for me. My husband was in the hospital last week for several days, after emergency surgery, and my house is a little out of order, as he continues recovering at home. I’ve determined that if I don’t get the task done before bed, I’ll  catch up in the morning, once I’ve had  an opportunity to rest. Hopefully you’ve been working on your new habit also- to keep your kitchen counters and sink clean each night before bed.


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Here are my suggestions for this week, to help you go gently into Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m doing it along with you:

Is it time to clean your oven?  If you have a self cleaning oven, like mine, plan a day when you can open windows, turn exhaust fans on high, or  be away from home for a couple of hours,to deal with the fumes from the cleaning process.  If you are looking for an easy, natural ways to clean the oven without fumes, this might be a good method to try.

Plan a few minutes to take out your notebook (see week one tips) and determine if you need to add anyone else to your gift list. Make a note of those gifts you have already purchased, and those you plan to get this week. Don’t forget to store the receipts in the envelope you attached to that notebook. If it works better for you,  use your “memo” “or my notepad” or “note pad” on your cell phone to keep your list handy. Be sure to save those receipts.

Are there any gifts that you need to ship overseas or send to an APO or FPO address? Some packages may take a month or more to arrive, so be sure to get those put together to send as soon as possible. 


If you live in a cold climate, like I do, you’ll want to make sure and get your outdoor lighting done on the next warmish day.  We had our first snowfall November 5th, and are glad that the outdoor lighting is pretty much completed for us.

The sales on baking supplies are in full swing and frozen turkeys, along with sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pretty much all the ingredients for your side dishes are on the shelves and already may be on sale, ready for you to buy on your next trip to the supermarket. Ten days to two weeks before Thanksgiving are when you will find the very best prices for turkeys. 

If you have a few minutes this week, plan your menu for Thanksgiving dinner.  Make a list of the items you need to buy and those side dishes that others will be bringing. Keep your list, on either paper or cell phone, handy: to assist as you shop.

You’ll also find fall decor on clearance.  If you need a little something to help decorate your Thanksgiving table, this is definitely a great time to find some bargains.  Several years ago I found fall flower arrangements at Michael’s for 90% off. Take a few minutes to plan  your table centerpiece.

You are well on your way to having an organized relaxing Thanksgiving!

Marjie Briggs is a Consumer Scientist / Home Economist who regularly shares the best things to buy each month or season, as well as organizational tips.



Ten Week Countdown to a Relaxed, Organized Christmas – WEEK FOUR TIPS

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