Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cleaning

Wow, I seem to have a lot of posts about cleaning lately.  'Tis the season?

Karen from The Art of Doing Stuff issued her annual Christmas Pledge again this year.  The idea is to basically have everything for Christmas (with the exception of most of the baking) done by the first of December.  This way, you can spend the month of December relaxing instead of panicking and freaking out.  It's a fantastic idea, and I sort of tried to this year, but I couldn't completely get behind it.  Here's why:

Thanksgiving was so late in November this year, and we don't get our tree until after Thanksgiving.  Wrapping presents isn't going to happen until the tree is up, either.  I'm also not going to decorate my house for Christmas before Thanksgiving, although since we live in Michigan it does make sense to hang outside lights early, even if we don't turn them on until December.  Plus, I was making so many decorations for the first time this year.  So, that basically left me with cramming all my decorating into 2 days, one of which was spent hanging out with family.

So, while I think it was a great idea, this year, I didn't really take Karen's Christmas Pledge.  I did take the one that I've taken for many years now, though, and that is the unspoken one I have with myself.

For as long as I can remember, I've started my Christmas list in September.  This is not the "What I Want For Christmas" list that so many kids call their Christmas list.  My Christmas list is what I'm getting (or more likely, making) for other people.  If there are things I'm making, I like to start in fall, in case it takes me longer than expected (i.e. if I have a lot of knitting or crocheting projects).  And even before that, as early as January, I keep my eyes open for gifts for those hard-to-buy-for people.

Why do I do this?  Because stressing out isn't part of my Christmas tradition and I don't want it to be.  I like to enjoy Christmas.  Part of this enjoyment is decorating, crafting, making gifts, wrapping gifts, and baking.  But another part of it is being able to sit back and relax in the light of our Christmas tree.

So yesterday, after I handed out most of our Cookie List baskets and realized that almost all our presents are wrapped, I realized that I'm pretty much done.  One more batch of bread to bake, truffles to concoct for Christmas parties, and a few presents to wrap - but that's all.  And I wondered what I was going to do with myself this week.

And now we get to the point about cleaning.  We're certainly going to have relatives over - we have a few coming into town who haven't seen our house yet.  But my mother-in-law also suggested that maybe the whole family might come over to our house one day next week after the Christmas parties die down.  And hospitable me loves that idea, but self-conscious me remembers that I haven't dusted in literally months (I hate dusting!) and that - if I'm being perfectly honest - my bathroom hasn't been cleaned with something other than a Clorox wipe for about 3 weeks.  Not that Clorox wipes aren't fantastic, but it's time to deep clean.

I think normally this type of cleaning is called Spring Cleaning, but I'm going to call it Christmas Cleaning.  It is a little bit different from Spring Cleaning in that I don't actually need to deep clean, so long as it looks deep-cleaned.  :)  In some situations (i.e. the toilet, the floors, etc.), looking clean and being clean will be the same thing.  But in other situations (i.e. drawers that we can close, etc.), these will be very different.

I divided my house into Zones and ranked them in order of importance of getting Christmas Cleaned.  (Because I'm a nerd like that.)  I'll start with the most important and hopefully get all the way to the end.

And so, I leave you now to start on Zone 1: my bathroom.

Love and A Toilet Brush,
Leah Joy

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