by Jill P
Getting Ready for the Holidays In Kalamazoo
The holidays are one the busiest time of the year for our family. With Thanksgiving dinner over, it is time to get ready for the rest of the holidays. With all of the holiday items such as decorating the house, school Christmas programs and holiday shows, and the gift shopping marathon, we are just plain busy.
I’m a lover of lists. Holiday preparations are no exception, and I love to check items off my list as I get ready for holidays.
Below is my list of top 6 things to get ready for the holidays:
- Family Holiday Cards. Sometimes we make a special trip to the mall or Downtown Kalamazoo to take our Christmas picture. This year we will use one of our family pictures that we’ve taken during the year. I search online for coupon codes for holiday cards. I try to get my cards addressed, stamped and in the mail by December 15.
- Shop local. I love to shop local, and I believe in supporting small independently owned businesses. I make sure to spend extra time in our shops downtown Kalamazoo and shop at the Indoor Farmers’ Market for local food items. I look for quality, unique gifts for friends and family. KIA has a great Holiday Art Sale and the Kalamazoo Nature Center has a fun Buy Local Art & Gift Fair.
- Cookie baking. Something we look forward to every year is indulging in tasty holiday treats. But this is no ordinary baking afternoon! We create a list of about 6-8 types of cookies we want to bake. I shop for ingredients from a comprehensive list I create from the recipes, and then I clear all occupied counter and table space for our cookie blitz. Cookies make a great host/hostess gift, too!
- Decide on traditions. Holidays are full of traditions. Each November, we look at the traditions we did the year before, and decide if we want to keep doing them. We love riding on the Holly Jolly Trolly in Downtown Kalamazoo to get us in the Holiday spirit. Every Christmas Eve, we’ve ice skated at the Millennium Park Ice Skating Rink as one of our favorite Christmas traditions.
- Decorate! The weekend after Thanksgiving is reserved for “decking the halls” in our house. Having a young child, I try to make decorating a big event. We put on Christmas music and I give a few tasks just to my son (like setting up the nativity set and stringing lights down the stairway railing). While we decorate, I make a list of items we don’t have but I’d love to have. I look for these items on clearance the day after Christmas.
- Plan activities for Christmas Break! Yes, it is never too early to start planning for the two week hiatous from school. I start lining up playdates with friends that we haven’t seen in a while, sign my son up for winter camp, and plan a weekend getaway in Chicago. Stay tuned for a Christmas Break Checklist with 30 ideas to do with your kids in Kalamazoo over Christmas break.
What do you do to get ready for the Holiday Season? If you have any ideas to share, please share in the comments below.