The thing about Christmas is that it happens just once a year and because of that everyone feels a desperate need to get “all” of it right. I mentioned in our GiveAway on Sunday that we spend the month of November doing all our Christmas preparation, it works for us!!!
I think as a culture we get bogged down in the enormity of Christmas not because we feel we have to “do it all” but rather we feel expected to “do it all.” Everyone is trying to make Christmas more meaningful and add more and more activities to their already packed schedule in order to achieve this. We have found that by removing unnecessary obligations and the ridiculous expectations that Christmas can be a really fun celebration.
I like to keep December free for spontaneity. I know planned spontaneity does sound a bit mad – but if you don’t give yourself chunks of time for friends to drop by, trips to the beach (remember it is mid-summer here) and so on then you will never have time for the fun – trust me on this there will always be a another thing that must be done – schedule in the fun. Else you could end up starting your new year totally frazzled and burnt out.
In order to keep things fun and stress free we break our Christmas preparation up into the four weeks of November and three of the weekends… the last weekend we keep for a quick spring clean and getting things in order for a month without anything but the most basic chores.
Here is our November Planning in a Nutshell:
- Operation Christmas Box: We always begin with this it gets us into the spirit of Christmas.
- Christmas Cards: We like to send real live cards to friends, I know we can just send email on the day, but nothing beats a real live letter!
- Plotting and Planning Gifts: We have a list of folk we make gifts for and I have gathered ideas on a page at the back of my journal for them. We just need to brainstorm what we need and gather our materials for them.
- Creating Gifts: Homemade gifts don’t have to be hideous (!) but they do take time and effort… they just can’t be done at the last minute.
- Gifts Packaging: There is nothing worse than wanting to relax with friends that drop in the night before Christmas and you haven’t begun packaging gifts – I really try and get it all done before December and then I just don’t think about it again!
- Calendar Planning: This can quickly get out of hand if you don’t have your priorities organized, at least in your head, beforehand… You can find yourself totally committed to obligations and no time left for family fun without even blinking an eye. I pop all our Advent activities onto the calendar as well so that they don’t get lost.
- House Scrub: The last step is easy, we do a general clean-out throughout the month of November and I gather up things to donate: whipping through clothes, bookshelves, toys – just a “fifteen minutes a day” purge. You would be so amazed at how quickly you can declutter a house in a month of fifteen minutes a day.
I will blog about each of these steps as they arise and if you need to know now and can’t wait for this years update then take a trip down memory lane and have a look at our Christmas Round-Up from last year.
This Post is part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom.
I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.