The world seems to be divided into two groups – those who don’t want to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving and those who start humming Christmas carols in July. I lean toward the first group. I like my holidays one at a time. However, the reality is that if I wait until after Thanksgiving to start getting ready for Christmas there’s a good chance I may end up *directing traffic in my nightgown somewhere around December 20th. I’d rather not add that to the collection of stories people tell about me so this year I am focusing on getting a head start on Christmas NOW.
Let’s take a look at some resources which can help us make a plan for the holidays.
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Getting a Head Start on Christmas
1. The FlyLady
Many years ago, back in the days before social media, Yahoo Groups were a big source of information and social interaction online. I won’t admit how many groups I was in but one of them was The FlyLady’s mentor group. That was back in 2000 and well before she started her website. It was also the year she created a plan to help people prepare for the holidays. She refers to her regular household notebook/planner as a “control journal” so her Christmas planner is called the Holiday Control Journal:
It’s a free 25 page download which includes pages for gift lists, grocery lists, recipes, family traditions, decorating checklists and more. The FlyLady starts this journal by encouraging the reader to play a little game in which you pretend that you are leaving December 1st for a three-week cruise. In order to enjoy your vacation you’ll need to have all your holiday prep done before that date.
I can’t say I’ve ever followed this plan 100% but perhaps this will be the year!
“combines holiday prep, home organizing and cleaning components. Each week, the Plan focuses on one room or area. Beginning just as the summer ends, you’ll work week-by-week to declutter, clean and organize each room in your home.
Along the way, the HGP tackles holiday preparations, too. Whether it’s gifts, decor or holiday meals, you’ll be organized and ready for the holidays before they arrive.”
There is a downloadable calendar and oodles of holiday planning pages which you can download for free. There is also a mailing list as well as a Facebook page:
This final resource isn’t free but at only $5 it’s a charming choice for Christmas planning. Not only does it include the usual lists for gifts, cards, groceries, etc., in true Brocante Home fashion there are also several delightful additions to encourage you to make your home and the holiday season warm and cosy.
Many years ago I designated a 3 inch binder as my Christmas planner. It is still full of pages I printed years ago, including all three of the resources I have mentioned above. Some are filled out and some are blank.
My goal this coming week is to update my planner. I’ll print new copies of the pages which I’ve filled out in the past. And because pretty is better, I’m going to insert Christmas scrapbooking paper in the front cover of the binder and put some Christmas stickers in the inside pocket so I can use them to decorate some of the pages.
One thing I’ve already done is purchase my Christmas cards and matching address labels. I always do a 4-page newsletter which I include with the cards and I’ve even started making notes for that. I’m going to do some type of Life With Dee Christmas card exchange this year so keep an eye out for more information about that in the near future.
I’m also going to decide on one or two homemade gift ideas for the holidays and start picking up supplies soon. Here’s a great list of ideas:
Finally, in order to make all of this planning a reality a good daily routine is vital. I’m currently working through Crystal Paine’s course, Make Over Your Mornings. Again. In order to add some accountability and make it more fun I’ve started a Facebook group:
If you’d like to join you are most welcome. We’ve already started but you can join in at any time. Later on we’ll be doing other courses in the group, all with a focus on time management, productivity and personal development. I’ll be sharing articles, books, blog posts and other resources which I think the group will find helpful and I encourage group members to do likewise. I hope you’ll check it out!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you try to get an early start preparing for the holidays? And while my personal focus is on Christmas I know there are other winter holidays. If you celebrate something other than Christmas I’d love to hear about your traditions. Leave me a comment.
*I have borrowed that delightful description from Crazy Aunt Purl. She no longer blogs which is a damn shame because she is hilarious.
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