Christmas…. I know that we’re not even to Thanksgiving yet, but at our house we’re starting to think about Christmas. We’re not knee-deep in it, but we’re trying to plan ahead so that we can actually enjoy this Christmas season.
For the past few years, we’ve hurried through the season with little time to enjoy those special moments that turn into memories. We have ordered gifts at the last minute (and had to pay for overnight shipping! Ugh!), made only two kinds of cookies because that’s all we had time for, and sent out our Christmas cards two days before Christmas.
To be quite honest, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being rushed… tired of being frantic. This year we’re doing things differently. We’re getting it together now.
One of the biggest problems that I’ve pinpointed is that we’re not planning ahead. At all. I have some fabulous ideas for Christmas activities that seem to strike at 10 p.m. the night before we would be doing the activity. That usually doesn’t lead to a fun, relaxing time together. So just this past week we had a conversation about what kinds of things we want to do this December. We came up with our Want-To-Do-List for Christmas 2011. Here’s what’s on our list:
- Schedule a playdate with a friend over Christmas vacation from school.
- Drive through the Festival of Lights at Oglebay Park.
- See the Nutcracker Ballet (Our daughter is taking ballet this year, and she will LOVE this!).
- Decorate our tree earlier than usual so we can enjoy it longer.
- Make baked goods for our neighbors.
- Do a Jesse Tree for the month of December.
- Participate in two Christmas programs, one at church and one with our homeschool group.
- Make a crafty gift that our daughter can give to her parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts & uncles.
- Read Christmas books.
- Sing Christmas songs.
- Make a several handmade Christmas gifts.
None of those things is super stress-inducing by itself. But trying to pull off all of those activities if we start planning in December could mean that we don’t have the chance to enjoy them quite as much. In fact, I did some checking on the Nutcracker tickets and found out that we had some MAJOR scheduling conflicts that could not be avoided had we waited much longer to plan. Because we started planning ahead, we’ll be able to figure out a way to make the ballet happen.
Of course, we still need to take care of shopping, wrapping, cleaning, and other things that go along with Christmas. But my goal is to have all of that done before December, leaving us the whole month to enjoy our activities and each other.
What about you? Do you enjoy the hustle bustle of the season, or do you plan ahead for a chaos-free Christmas?
Jennifer is wife to Jason and mom to six-year-old Emma. She spends her time homeschooling, blogging, and doing blog design. If you want to enjoy this holiday season, you can join her in her pursuit of An Organized Christmas.