Monday, October 24, 2016

Preparing For Christmas

Did you notice something last month when you were shopping?  Christmas has hit the stores already!  Now, I am not a big fan of this because Halloween has not made it's presence yet.  I do not know why stores keep shoving holidays on us way too soon.

However, I do not think it is too late to prepare for Christmas.  The holidays are a time of traditions, entertaining, family, friends, and so much festivity one can become frazzled rather easy.   I know it can also be very overwhelming, where to spend the holiday trying to be fair to both sides of the families, parties to attend, assisting with dinner or simply planning dinner, decorating, and shopping. In the past we would start to ask our children what they wanted for Christmas in the middle of October to make our list for what deals we were looking for on Black Friday.  Yes, I am one of those crazy shoppers and go out every year on Black Friday, but hey when you have six children, one grandson, twelve nephews and nieces, and six great nephews and nieces you look for deals.

About ten years ago, I realized I really needed list when it came to Christmas time.  I needed the organization to make it enjoyable for me.  This way I had time to slow down and enjoy everything myself instead of trying to make it memorable for everyone else.

Part of my organization is making list for the following:
  • Gifts
  • Cleaning
  • Dinner
  • Christmas Cards
  • Christmas Baking 
  • Keeping Traditions

For me the basics of any planning is to have something to keep all your plans in one place. It can be as simple as a journal, notebook, or a calendar.  There are also some very cute planners if you want to go all out and have your very own Christmas Planner.  Here are a few cute ones I have come across.
  • Organized Christmas: This little site has everything you can think of in one place, calendar, list, and dividers all are printable to add to your own binder.  This site also has so many ideas on how to help you to plan for every holiday just about.
  • Christmas Planner:  This is exactly that a site which breaks down planning into every detail you can think of.  They have printable pages as well. 
  • Christmas Planner...Make A Plan To Get Ready For Christmas:  This one is my favorite site I found.  I love how they broke it down and offer the printable pages as well.
Of course if you do not want to make your own Etsy has many cute ones you can purchase but you will want to do so sooner so you can start your planning.  As for me, I use what I carry every day now with me in my purse.

I always carry my planner/calendar (Keeps me organized with appointments and my hours I work since they differ every week and what weekend we have Taj.), my journal (to log my food intake), and another little journal (for shopping list).  Yeah, I don't know why I keep the shopping list journal it started at the beginning of the year.  I picked it up at the Dollar Tree because I would think of items we needed away from home and then forget when it came to shop.  I like using the journals because I have typically last year's planning in the journal with me.  (I guess that shows how poor I am tracking my food intake.)

This year we asked the children ideas for Christmas in September.  I wanted to start earlier since I now have to ship Christmas to Florida as well.  I will dedicate a few pages for Christmas Gift ideas.  We do have a budget and we watch for sales. 

I also try to make some gifts every year.  Every year I have several days that I have to use or will loose for vacation time.  Every year I think to myself I should carve out days just to make Christmas gifts instead of fitting it in.  This adds to the stress to the season and makes it less enjoyable for me.  I love making them but I just don't plan the time well to do it.  NOT this year, this year, I took three days off in a row next to a weekend to give me time just to work on making Christmas gifts.  I am loving this idea and plan to do it every year now.

Besides the list we have to figure out dates to travel to Des Moines to spend Christmas with my family.  This year I also have to send gifts to Florida to Joshua and McKenzie.  I am really relying on my planner.  I have everything written in my planner from the day I will bake Christmas goodies, when I will mail the gifts and goodies to Florida, when to start the cleaning, and when to send Christmas Cards. My Christmas Cards I do not make.  I just have never gotten into making my own cards.   I do love personable cards and I have recently found Paperless Post they offer many different styles for several holidays." Proceeds from the cards on this Holiday page benefit the (RED) charity to end AIDs.  What a wonderful gift to donate as well.  They also have email cards, which I know some people enjoy giving.  Oh, and if you are looking for invitations for your holiday parties, they have a selection there as well. 

One of the important preparations of Christmas is to keep our traditions old and new.  I try to chose a day and have the kids come over to assist with the baking or at least decorating the cookies.  This now includes our grandson as well.

Decorating our tree is another tradition, although we only have one living at home now.  Every Sunday we have our children over for dinner and typically shortly after Thanksgiving they come over and decorate the tree.

Last year I started a new tradition with my grandson.  Making ornaments.  Each year I want to make at least one new ornament for him to take home and to add to our tree.  This will also be scheduled in the planner as well as making a ginger bread house.  This year will be our third year making a ginger bread house/train.

Planning and preparing makes so much difference for me to be able to enjoy the moments and the Christmas Season.

All the planning and work is well worth it all to make these people happy.  My heart is full with the love I have for them and God.

Watch for my December posts.  I plan to share gifts I have made as well as new baking recipes.  All of my traditional recipes you can find in my recipe tab.  

How do you plan for Christmas?



  1. I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. Jim already wants to put the tree up, but I'm making him wait until after Christmas.

  2. I too am a planner girl. I couldn't live without mine. Okay. Maybe I could but it would be super hard. I am also shipping gifts and for some stupid reason on a regular delivery it takes mail 7 days to get from here to my kids so my shipping has to be done early which means my shopping has to be done early. It's a bit of a rush but so far so good on getting things to everyone on time.

  3. You are one of the most organized people I know! I love the teenage mutant ninja turtle ornaments. They are adorable!


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