Christmas is a time for joy, laughter, and spending time with loved ones. But let's be honest, it can also be a stressful and overwhelming time of year. From gift buying to planning meals and navigating family dynamics, the holiday season can quickly turn into a nightmare. Don't worry though, we've got you covered! This Christmas survival guide will help you navigate the chaos and make the most of this festive season.

Meal Planning for Christmas Dinner

Preparing for a memorable Christmas dinner can seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning, it can be a stress-free experience. Here are some detailed tips to make your meal planning easier and more enjoyable:

  • Plan ahead: Decide on your menu early and start stocking up on non-perishable items. This will save you from last-minute trips to the grocery store.
  • Consider potluck style: Don't feel like you have to take on all the cooking yourself. Ask family and friends to bring a dish or two to help lighten the load.
  • Keep it simple: You don't have to cook a fancy, elaborate meal to impress your guests. Stick to dishes that are easy to prepare and that you know will turn out well.
  • Don't be afraid of leftovers: Use leftover turkey or ham for sandwiches or incorporate them into other meals like soups or casseroles. This will save you from having to cook every day during the busy holiday season.

By following these tips and adding your personal touch, you can create a memorable Christmas dinner that brings joy, warmth, and deliciousness to your loved ones. Happy planning, and bon appétit!

Drinks for Christmas

Christmas is a time for a fun variety of drinks. There are so many different options available everyone is certain to find something they can enjoy.


  • Seasonal - Winter spice beers and gingerbread ales are always a hit during the holiday season, adding a touch of warmth and flavor to the celebrations. 
  • Light - It's also a good idea to have some light beer options for those who prefer milder flavors amidst the festive indulgence. 
  • Non-Alcoholic - Consider offering non-alcoholic beer options, as they have become increasingly popular. Many brands like Guinness, Corona, and Heineken offer non-alcoholic versions that can be enjoyed by everyone.


  • White - A crisp white wine like Chardonnay or Riesling pairs well with holiday dishes and adds a touch of elegance to the celebrations. 
  • Red - A full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz complements the richness of Christmas foods. Its bold flavors and smooth tannins make it a crowd-pleaser.


  • Holiday Theme - Surprise your guests with a signature Christmas cocktail, which can be served in a festive punch bowl to spread the cheer. Consider trying a Christmas Punch with cranberry juice, sparkling wine, and a splash of orange liqueur, garnished with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.
  • Classics - You can always stick to classic cocktails like Eggnog or Mulled Wine. These timeless drinks are beloved during the holiday season and evoke a sense of nostalgia. For Eggnog, combine milk, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. For Mulled Wine, simmer red wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest for a warm and aromatic treat.


  • Hot Chocolate - A delightful treat to warm up the little ones, don't forget to top it with whipped cream and festive sprinkles.
  • Mocktails - Create festive mocktails for the kids using sparkling water, fruit juices, and garnishes like cranberries or mint leaves. They will feel included in the holiday cheer!
  • Sparkling Juice - Stock up on various flavors of sparkling juice to make the kids feel special and offer them a fun and fizzy alternative to alcoholic beverages.
  • Apple Cider - This seasonal drink is perfect for the holidays, offering a comforting and spiced flavor that everyone can enjoy.

 What to Watch for Christmas

Christmas is a time for family, food, presents, and of course, a million different things to watch. Here are some choices that always bring the holiday cheer.


Christmas movies are a cherished tradition that helps set the festive mood and bring the magic of the holiday season to life. They offer a delightful blend of laughter, joy, sentimentality, and the spirit of giving, embodying the essence of Christmas. Whether it's a heartwarming classic or a hilarious comedy, these films have a unique way of spreading holiday cheer and creating memorable moments.

  • Home Alone 1 & 2: Hilarious and heartwarming movies about a young boy's misadventures when left behind during Christmas vacation.
  • Elf: A cheerful and funny film about a human raised by elves who goes to New York City to find his real father.
  • A Christmas Story:  A nostalgic and humorous look at a young boy's quest to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: A classic tale that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas and the impact one person can have on others.
  • White Christmas: A musical extravaganza set during the holiday season, filled with beautiful songs and heartwarming moments.
  • Jingle All The Way: A comedy that follows a father's quest to find the hottest Christmas toy for his son, leading to hilarious and chaotic situations.
  • The Santa Clause: A movie that tells the story of a man who accidentally becomes Santa Claus.
  • A Christmas Carol: A timeless tale about the transformation of a greedy businessman through encounters with three spirits.
  • Love Actually: A romantic comedy that weaves together multiple love stories during the holiday season.
  • The Grinch: A Dr. Seuss classic about the Grinch who tries to steal Christmas but ultimately learns the true meaning of the season.
  • Miracle on 34th Street: A heartwarming story of a young girl who believes in Santa Claus and a man who claims to be the real Santa.
  • Hallmark/Lifetime Movies: Big city girl goes back to her hometown to find a flannel clad hunk is the talk of the town. Wonder what is going to happen?


  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: This stop-motion classic tells the tale of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing nose who uses his unique trait to guide Santa's sleigh.
  • Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town: In this charming special, the origins of Santa Claus are revealed, featuring a young Kris Kringle determined to deliver toys to the children of Sombertown.
  • The Little Drummer Boy: This musical special follows a bitter young boy who finds hope and redemption through a chance encounter with the baby Jesus.
  • Frosty the Snowman: A magical snowman comes to life and takes the children on an unforgettable adventure, imparting lessons of love, friendship, and the joy of giving.
  • The Year Without a Santa Claus: When Santa decides to take a year off, two elves set out to create a Christmas miracle.
  • Jack Frost: This heartwarming special focuses on Jack Frost, the winter sprite, and his quest to become human.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: This beloved animated classic explores the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his friends.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas:  Based on the Dr. Seuss book, this film follows the grumpy Grinch as he tries to ruin Christmas for the cheerful citizens of Whoville.


  • Christmas Episodes - Get cozy with a cup of hot cocoa and immerse yourself in the heartwarming tales of love, friendship, and holiday cheer. Every sitcom has their fair share of Christmas episodes to get you into the Christmas Spirit. Who can forget the hilarious mishaps and heartwarming moments in the Christmas episodes of Friends and The Office? Some of my personal favorites also include How I Met Your Mother, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, and Psych. There is nothing better than seeing your favorite characters around the holidays.
  • Sports - If sports are more your family's style, there's a full slate of NFL games on Christmas Eve plus an additional 3 games on Christmas Day. But, you will need a variety of channels to watch them. The games are on FOX, CBS, NBC, and even Nickelodeon for a more child friendly broadcast, so be sure to have a cable subscription, someone's cable log-in information, Hulu Live, or YouTube TV so you don’t miss any of the action. The NBA has 5 games you can watch all day, with the first starting at 11 AM and the last one not tipping off until 9:30 PM. For these games you need ESPN and ABC access.

Christmas Crafts

Crafts have always played a significant role in Christmas celebrations, bringing joy and creativity to this cherished holiday. From handmade decorations adorning the festive table to heartfelt, homemade cards expressing holiday wishes, the artistry and personal touch of crafts add an extra layer of warmth and meaning to the celebrations.

  • Ornament Making - Get into the holiday spirit by making your own ornaments! From traditional designs to unique and personalized creations, ornament making is a fun activity for the whole family. Use materials like felt, beads, and ribbons to create beautiful decorations for your Christmas tree.
  • Wreaths - A Christmas wreath is a timeless decoration that adds a touch of holiday spirit to any room. You can make your own DIY wreath using items like pine branches, berries, and ornaments. Get creative and design a wreath that reflects your unique style.
  • Stockings - Personalized stockings are a classic Christmas tradition. Use fabric, felt, and embroidery to create stockings for each family member. Decorate them with names, holiday motifs, or even add a touch of sparkle with sequins or glitter.
  • Gingerbread Houses - Building and decorating gingerbread houses is a beloved Christmas activity. Gather your family or friends and let your creativity run wild as you design and decorate your gingerbread masterpiece. Don't forget to use colorful candies, icing, and other edible decorations!
  • Christmas Cards - Spread holiday cheer by making your own Christmas cards. Get crafty with paper, glue, and festive embellishments to create unique and heartfelt cards to send to your loved ones. Handmade cards are sure to bring smiles to their faces.
  • Paper Snowflakes - Looking for a fun and festive activity for kids and adults? Make your own paper snowflakes! All you need is white paper, scissors, and creativity. Fold the paper into a square, then a triangle. Cut shapes from the edges, unfold, and voila! It's an adorable and inexpensive way to add Christmas cheer to your home. 

You can find all your crafting supplies at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Get ready to unleash your creativity and make this Christmas season even more special with DIY crafts!

Christmas Music

While making crafts and decorating your home, you need something to listen to. These are just a few of the many Christmas songs that can add a festive touch to your holiday season. No matter what your preferred genre or style, there is a Christmas song out there for everyone.

  • "Jingle Bells" - An all-time classic, Jingle Bells never fails to bring about the holiday spirit. It's a fun, lively tune that children and adults alike can sing along to.
  • "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby - This song invokes a sense of nostalgia with its dreamy lyrics about snowfall and holiday cheer. It’s an iconic track that has become synonymous with Christmas.
  • "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey - This catchy tune has become a modern classic. Its upbeat tempo and Mariah Carey's soulful voice make it an irresistible addition to any Christmas playlist.
  • "Silent Night" - This serene and peaceful carol is perfect for the quiet moments of Christmas, bringing a sense of calm and reflection.
  • "Last Christmas" by Wham! - A holiday heartbreak anthem, this song adds a touch of 80s pop to the festive season.
  • "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" - An exciting tune for the little ones, building anticipation for Santa's arrival. It’s a fun way to get children involved in the holiday festivities.
  • "Feliz Navidad" by José Feliciano - This bilingual song adds a touch of Latin flair to your Christmas celebrations, with its cheerful melody and inclusive message.
  • “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee - This song brings a sense of energy and liveliness to any holiday gathering, making it impossible not to dance along.
  • “It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé - The smooth vocals of Michael Bublé will transport you to a cozy, winter wonderland with this charming song.
  • “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat King Cole - This classic tune by Nat King Cole is a must-have on any Christmas playlist. Its warm and romantic lyrics perfectly capture the essence of the holiday season.
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland - Originally sung by Judy Garland in the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis," this heartwarming song reminds us to cherish our loved ones during the holidays.
  • “Dominic the Donkey” by Lou Monte - A joyful and silly song that will have everyone laughing and singing along. It's a lighthearted addition to any Christmas playlist.
  • “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms - This upbeat and catchy tune is perfect for getting into the holiday spirit and spreading some cheer.
  • “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by N*SYNC - This pop classic from the 90s is a must-have for any Christmas playlist. It's guaranteed to get you dancing and singing along.
  • “Do They Know It's Christmas?” by Band Aid - A powerful and meaningful song that reminds us to be grateful for what we have and to help those in need during the holiday season.

These are just a few of the many Christmas songs that can add a festive touch to your holiday season. No matter what your preferred genre or style, there is a Christmas song out there for everyone.

Christmas Decorations

Beautiful decorations are absolutely necessary to set the perfect tone for a festive and cozy home during Christmas. From sparkling lights, to delightful ornaments and whimsical holiday-inspired accents, every detail contributes to creating a truly enchanting atmosphere for this special season.

Christmas Tree

  • One of the most iconic Christmas decorations is the classic Christmas tree. Adorned with lights, ornaments, and a tree topper, it becomes the centerpiece of holiday cheer in any home.

Festive Wreaths and Garland

  • Make your home even more welcoming with festive wreaths and garland. Hang them on your front door, staircase, or mantel to add a touch of holiday spirit to your space.

Elf on the Shelf

  • Why not invite a mischievous little visitor into your home this Christmas season with Elf on the Shelf? This playful tradition keeps the kids entertained and encourages good behavior as they believe the elf reports their actions to Santa each night!

Cozy Throws and Pillows

  • Christmas is the perfect time to bring out those cozy throws and pillows. Add some festive patterns and colors to your living room or bedroom to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Don't Forget About Christmas Sweaters!

  • Christmas is the perfect time to break out those festive sweaters and show off your holiday fashion. You can even have a fun contest among family members for who has the most Christmas spirit. It's a great way to add some laughter and lightheartedness to the holiday.

Easy Ways to Order Decorations

  • If you're short on time or prefer not to go out shopping, there are plenty of options for ordering Christmas decorations online. Websites like Etsy, Amazon, Target, and Walmart offer a wide variety of festive decorations that can be delivered right to your doorstep. You can even support small businesses by purchasing from independent sellers on these platforms.

Gift Ideas

When it comes to gift-giving, Christmas 2023 is all about thoughtfulness and personal touches. Here's our list of the Top Ten Christmas Gifts for 2023:

  1. Personalized Jewelry: Nothing says thoughtful like a piece of jewelry tailored specifically to the recipient's taste.
  2. Wellness Subscription Boxes: A perfect gift for those who enjoy self-care and wellness.
  3. Smart Home Devices: For tech enthusiasts, a new smart home device can be an exciting addition to their home.
  4. Online Course Subscriptions: For lifelong learners, access to online courses in their interests could be the perfect gift.
  5. Sustainable Gifts: From reusable shopping bags to sustainable skincare products, eco-friendly gifts are a hit.
  6. DIY Craft Kits: For those who love to create, a DIY craft kit would provide hours of fun.
  7. Gourmet Food Hampers: A basket of gourmet goodies is a perennial favorite.
  8. Books by Favorite Authors: For bookworms, nothing beats a new book by their favorite author.
  9. Luxury Bedding: Give the gift of a good night's sleep with high thread count bedding or plush pillows.
  10. Experience Gifts: From hot air balloon rides to cooking classes, an experience gift creates unforgettable memories.

Remember, the best gifts come from the heart, and it's the thought that counts. Happy gift-giving!

Cleaning Before Christmas

Christmas is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate, often over a delicious meal. But before the festivities begin, it's important to make sure your home is clean and ready for guests. Here are some cleaning priorities to consider before Christmas.


Before you can start cleaning, you have to get all of your tools together. Here is a list of everything you will need:

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to learn some basic cleaning processes:

  • Always clean via a circle. Dust everything around the outside. When done with the outside, work your way in and take care of anything in the center of the room.
  • Always clean from the top down, brushing anything onto the floor.
  • Leave the floors till the very end.
  • Vacuum and mop (if applicable) when everything else has been taken care of.

When tackling a tough room that has stains such as a bathroom or kitchen, you must spray these spots first with your general cleaner. This will allow them time to soak and make them much easier to scrub, saving you from exerting too much energy.

Family Room/Main Gathering Area

Get ready to create lasting memories in the family room, the heart of your home. Start by giving those cozy couches, cushions, and chairs some love - they deserve a refresh! Next, wipe down tables, remotes, and TV screens to ensure they sparkle. Don't forget to give the floors a good vacuuming to banish any dirt or debris.

Main Bathroom

The main bathroom will be in high demand, so let's make it shine! Give those toilets, sinks, mirrors, and tubs a thorough cleaning. Pay special attention to the floors and rugs - a little scrubbing or vacuuming will do wonders!


The kitchen is where the Christmas magic happens, so let's make it sparkle! Start by cleaning the oven and stove, the heroes of meal preparation. Wipe down cabinets to banish any grease or grime. Oh, and don't forget about the fridge - let's keep it organized and fresh for those delicious leftovers. And of course, wash those dishes, including your special China and glasses. And hey, don't forget to give the microwave a good cleaning too - it'll be a lifesaver for reheating leftovers!

Dining Room

Elevate your Christmas feast in a clean and inviting dining room. Give those tables a wipe down and wash those tablecloths - let's remove any dust or food particles. Oh, and don't neglect those chairs - they deserve a little TLC too!


Ensure your overnight guests feel truly at home by providing clean and cozy bedrooms. Dust those dressers and desks, wipe down windows and shades, and make sure the fan is free of any pesky dust. And of course, fresh sheets and towels will make your guests feel pampered and welcomed!

Front Door/Porch

Make a grand entrance this Christmas! Clear away any trash or debris from the porch and sweep away dirt or leaves. And don't forget to give the front door a nice wipe-down - let's make it shine!

Now you're all set to have a memorable Christmas celebration with a clean and inviting home!

Hire a Professional Cleaning Service for Christmas

Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning your entire house before Christmas? No worries, we've got you covered!

Consider hiring Fresh Tech Maid, the professional cleaning service that will take care of all your cleaning needs.

With our chemical-free cleanings, you won't have to worry about any harsh chemical smells lingering on the big day. Instead the smells of gingerbread and pine will fill the air. Let the best house cleaning service in Chicago put your mind at ease, so you can focus on what truly matters - quality time with family and friends (and presents)!

Book your Pre-Christmas cleaning today! Don't miss out on a sparkling clean home for the holidays!

The holiday season is a special time for family, and that's truly wonderful! However, we can't deny that it can also be overwhelming at times. But fear not! This guide is here to lend a helping hand and make things a little easier for you.