Photo by Anthony
As of tomorrow, there are 12 weeks until Christmas.
I know. Where has the year gone?
I love the holiday season, but like most people, it is a crazily busy time for our family. Year after year, I’m frustrated that this time of year I cherish so much feels exhausting by the time December 25 rolls around. I remember as a kid hearing adults say that they’re glad the holidays are over, so that life could get back to normal. And I would think, “They’re nuts! How boring can adults get?” But now, as an adult… I kind-of understand, sadly.
The holidays are meant to be fun, to be celebratory – they’re holidays, for Pete’s sake. But traditions and life and conflicting schedules can easily steamroll a family’s good intentions to have a simple holiday season. My conclusion – or at least theory – is that in order to truly soak up the festive season without wishing for its end, you’ve got to plan. Or more to the point, plan in a stress-free way, with plenty of time to care of the cumbersome details, so that the great stuff about the holiday season is truly great.
We keep our Christmases pretty simple, as you might guess. But they’re still just too exhausting, in my opinion.
This year, I’m running an experiment on my theory to see if it’s true. I’m going to take no more than a couple hours a week for 12 weeks, and plan just a bit for Christmas. My hope is that by the time December rolls around, when our schedule inevitably runneth over, most of the details are done, and we can actually revel in the joy of the season.
Once for the next 12 weeks, I’ll post my current week’s plan, and if you’d like, you can join me. Then the following week, I’ll share how it went, along with the next item on the docket. My general plan is this:
- Week 12: solidify our Christmas budget
- Week 11: inventory our holiday decor stuff; make notes on what to look for in stores on sale
- Week 10: organize our mailing address list for Christmas cards
- Week 9: research ways we can volunteer time and/or donate gifts as a family
- Week 8: gather supplies to create a Jesse Tree
- Week 7: design our cards, order stamps, and address envelopes
- Week 6: finish shopping for our gift list
- Week 5: get out the calendar and schedule dates and events
- Week 4: decorate for Christmas!
- Week 3: make food plans; freeze meals for the next few weeks
- Week 2: make and freeze cookie dough; prep food gifts
- Week 1: thoroughly clean, prepare for guests, or prepare to be a guest (aka traveling)
And since this is the twelfth week, on Friday I’ll share a few thoughts on budgeting for the holidays.
Have you even thought about the Christmas season yet? What’s the hardest thing for you to tackle? I’d love to hear whether you’ve made any plans.