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    7 Ways to Make the Most of the Coming Weekend

    With Hanukkah just around the corner (it begins at sundown on Tuesday, Dec. 12) and Christmas a mere two weeks out, this is a good weekend to ship gifts, deck the halls, and make sure your chimney is clean before you light the Yule log. If your schedule is feeling packed and your to-do list is longer than ever, give yourself permission to pass on activities that just aren’t your cup of tea. And speaking of tea, the least you can do after wrestling with those tangled strands of Christmas lights is sit down with a warm cup and savor their glow.

    1. Host a holiday gathering. Set up a pretty bar cart or tray, make some appetizers and gather with friends, family or neighbors for a holiday fete. Or, if hosting a full-fledged holiday shindig is not your idea of a good time, keep things low-key with a holiday movie party, complete with popcorn and PJs.

    2. Have your chimney cleaned.
    If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to schedule a cleaning with a certified chimney cleaner before you light your first fire of the season. Creosote can build up in the chimney, increasing the risk of a house fire. If you have a gas fireplace, it’s still a good idea to have it checked for safety once a year or so.

    3. Start mailing and shipping Christmas cards and gifts. The sooner you’re able to send out holiday gifts, the less you’ll have to pay for postage, so it’s worth hustling! Double-check mailing addresses of friends and family before you send, to be sure you have the most current contact information. And don’t forget to update your (digital or paper) address book too.

    4. Put up outdoor lights and decorations. Put up your exterior decorations, yard lights and decor, so you can enjoy it throughout the season. Be careful putting up lights and decor along rooflines and high windows, and hire help if you feel you can’t safely put up the lights yourself.

    5. Deck the halls. Opinions vary widely on when to put up the Christmas tree, with some rushing out to the tree lot the day after Thanksgiving and others waiting until almost Christmas. If you’re somewhere in between, this is a good weekend to buy and trim your tree. Even if you don’t plan to decorate it yet, get out the boxes of lights and ornaments, test light strands and replace items as needed. Take it from someone who’s been there: It’s no fun rushing from store to store on Christmas Eve, looking for one more strand of white lights.

    6. Get ready for Hanukkah. Hanukkah begins on Tuesday, Dec. 12 — which means this is the final weekend to shop for gifts and prepare your home for the festivities. Stock up on candles and supplies, create a fun DIY project if you’re so inclined (like the hanging calendar shown here) and get ready to celebrate!

    7. Make way for winter coats. How is it that winter coats, scarves and gloves seem to multiply when you’re not looking? If your entryway is beginning to look a little overstuffed, start fresh with a hall closet cleanout. Have each member of the household choose one set of outerwear to keep near the door, and put the rest away in bedroom closets.

    As everyone puts the finishing touches on their homes this year, we wish you all a fun filled holiday season. All of us here at the Matt Harper Team wish you all the best Christmas season ever.

    We are available throughout the holidays to show property or assist you to prepare your home for sale. Feel free to contact us anytime.

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