Christmas Flower Decor

Tackling Christmas Traditions


There are a lot of traditions surrounding Christmas. A Christmas tree generally tops the list, with some people putting one up by Thanksgiving, but others waiting until just before Christmas. Gifts are, typically, surrounding the tree. Many people engage in over-eating…probably because of the tradition of over-cooking and baking of holiday treats. Although, like Thanksgiving, turkey is a traditional holiday main course in most American homes, others prefer to serve an ethnic fare in remembrance of their ancestry. It probably goes without saying that large family gatherings are also on the list of traditions. Thankfully, this year the COVID restrictions are not prohibiting or discouraging the gathering of friends and family. I could go on listing other traditions, but what I really want to do is encourage a new tradition…the Christmas To-Do List.

Yes, there is such a thing. For those of you who don’t know where to start, you can access a list without trying to think of everything yourself.  In fact, there are several such lists available. The lists don’t start with the day of, but rather the month before or focusing on the week leading up to Christmas. In some cases, you need to start preparations even before that by deciding who is hosting this year, who is being invited, what will be served, who will bring what, what time the feast will be, etc. Before you feel too intimidated to even start, let’s start with something basic. The list I want to talk to you about is the one that starts with getting your house ready.

If you have been the lucky one to be designated as the host, whether that means overnight guests or just guests on the day of Thanksgiving, there will undoubtedly be extra things you will need to put on your cleaning list. With overnight guests, you will want to freshen linens, dust and tidy spare rooms, maybe get air mattresses and sleeping bags for the kids, have games, cards, or puzzles ready for entertainment.

Regardless of the amount of time your guests will be staying, you will want to clean the fridge inside and out to get rid of those “science experiments” lurking in the back of the shelves and get ready for the leftovers to be stored. While you are at it, it might be a good time to pull the fridge out and clean behind and underneath it to improve the efficiency of your refrigerator.

You will need to decide whether you are using the good China, everyday dishes, or paper and plastic. Whatever your choice, you will need to make sure it is clean and/or well-stocked. If you are using tablecloths and napkins, you will need to be sure they are clean and ready to use as well.

Is your oven needing cleaning? If so, better get it done so the residue on the bottom doesn’t cause the smoke alarm to go off on Thanksgiving. If you are using an electric roaster or a smoker outside, you will need to inspect these as well to make sure they are ready to go.

If your laundry room is visible to guests, you will want to make sure that the dirty laundry isn’t spilling out all over and mounds of clean clothes aren’t overflowing the baskets on the top of the dryer. This will not be something you want to leave for the day of Thanksgiving, but with encouragement maybe the family will pitch in and get this job done.

The area your guests will gather will need to be clean and picked up. After all, you want to make a good impression on in-laws. That means you will want to make sure there aren’t toys, coins, popcorn, etc. between the cushions of the couch. Removing the cushions and doing a thorough vacuuming will solve this. It will also help remove cat or dog hair that has accumulated on the cushions, so your guests won’t be covered in fur when they stand up.

Another place to check will be the ceiling fan and furniture. You don’t want to turn on the ceiling fan and send dust flying that you forgot to wipe off, and you won’t want to fail the white glove test or have Grandma write her name in the dust on the tabletop you forgot to dust. This could be a good task to assign to the kids. Once the cleaning is done, you can decorate to make things feel festive.

Remember to plan that menu. Assign family members dishes to bring as their contribution. Believe it or not, most guests love to help by bringing something for the meal. As host, you can still control the menu by telling them what you want them to bring. You can ask if they have a special salad they like to make. Would they like to bring a hot dish or dessert?

Are you ready yet, or are you now too tired and ready to let someone else host this year? Keep the list manageable. Remember that you can call the professionals to help with a lot of the things on that to-do list. ACS – Affordable Cleaning Services helps with both residential and commercial cleaning. Whether it is Thanksgiving or some other time of year, they are trained and ready to help with the never-ending cleaning.

ACS has won the City’s Best Award two years in a row. They have been in business since 2012 and are members of the Iowa City Area Business Association. They have a staff that has been trained and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

In addition to residential cleaning in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, ACS does post-construction cleaning in the Iowa City area. They clean offices and hallways for area businesses. And all these services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. ACS provides free estimates and listens to what the client says in order to understand exactly what is wanted. So don’t bemoan the daunting Thanksgiving to-do list. Call ACS – Affordable Cleaning Services at 319.471.3880 to give you a hand.