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 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
This year there’s a good chance I might break my rule about not decorating for Christmas until December. Since we are not going anywhere or participating in our usual activities due to the pandemic, home has become more important than ever.
I may very well decide that we could use the cheeriness of Christmas decor a few weeks early this year. But in any case, a head start on Christmas makes the season so much easier and more enjoyable.
Here are some favorite resources to help you get ready for the holidays…
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!
This is a great resource for Christmas planning and the Retro Housewife has generously offered LWD readers a 15% discount!
You may have heard of The Cleaning Grand Plan. It began in the early 90s and was a week-by-week detailed cleaning plan. The original site shut down but it recently migrated to a new place on the web. It’s set up a bit differently but I think the general plan remains the same.
The Holiday Grand Plan is a companion program which:
“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. Here are some helpful links:
I’m a huge fan of Alison May’s Brocante Home site and her books and other resources are charming. This one is available on Kindle for only $2.99.
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 month 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 actually bought these back in July!
I always do a 2-4-page newsletter which I include with the cards and I’m going to start making notes for that. I may also 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 thinking about one or two homemade gift ideas for the holidays and will need to order supplies soon. Here’s a great list of ideas:
There are occasional bright spots in this year of a pandemic and one is that Amazon Prime Day was postponed. It was rescheduled to begin at midnight PST on Tuesday, October 13th and run for 48 hours, ending at 11:59 PST on Wednesday, October 14th. This is absolutely perfect timing for early Christmas shopping.
Finally, in order to make all of this planning a reality a good daily routine is vital. Getting my day off to a good start makes such a difference. My favorite resource for designing a morning routine is Crystal Paine’s course, Make Over Your Mornings.
If you could use some inspiration and accountability regarding routines and rituals, self development, productivity and more consider joining my Facebook group:
There are so many unknowns this year. Will it be safe to gather with friends and family? I think we are all learning to be flexible and creative. Here are some helpful things to consider:
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you try to get an early start preparing for the holidays? Do you think your celebrations will be different this year? 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 and how you plan to adapt to the current uncertainties.
*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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