~~I know, I know, the 6 week countdown actually started last Thursday. Oops!! I have been so busy behind the scenes getting my planners ready to launch that I forgot to post this. I originally wrote this piece for the All Organized Magazine (find it in the apple newsstand) and I’ve been given permission to repost it here for you! I think it can still help even if we’re behind a few days.
The end of the year is full of excitement! The holidays are the ultimate climactic ending to the year. You can feel the energy grow once school is back in session. After September, the momentum of the holiday season starts to build. In October, you’ve got pumpkin patches, costume preparations, annual family pictures, pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treating.
Life’s normal responsibilities don’t pause during this busy time. If we barely stay caught up, always prepare last minute, and just survive from one event or task to another, the frenzy is overwhelming. It is hard to feel Holiday Joy when you are struggling. Don’t worry, because there is hope! With the right planning, we can get through the holidays without that frantic feeling!
As a professional organizer, I work with some of my clients to manage their schedules and manage their time. The same principle I teach them about approaching a large project or deadline holds true with holiday preparations. Take the large projects and break them into manageable pieces, spread out over time. I take the big events of the holidays and space them out on my calendar. I put specific “to dos” right on my calendar! Once I know it’s there, it is so freeing to just follow the schedule, knowing that I’ve already thought through the details and created a plan.
The six weeks before Christmas is the busiest time. The following is a plan that will help you have all the fun, without feeling all the frenzy.
Week 6: November 13-19
- Shop for Thanksgiving Non-Perishables
- Plan Christmas Gift List
- Order Christmas Cards
- Start/Continue Christmas Shopping
- Create Travel Packing List
Week 5: November 20-26
- Prepare for Guests and Clean House
- Start Turkey Thawing
- Shop for Perishables
- Prepare Table Setting and Place Cards
- Begin Food Preparations the Night Before
Week 4: November 27-December 3
- Nov 27 – Thanksgiving
- Take Down Harvest Decorations
- Put up Tree & Start Christmas Decorations
- Address Christmas Cards
- Mail Cards
- Write Letters to Santa
- Start Advent
- Finish Decorating and Put Away Boxes
Week 3: December 4-10
- Gift Wrapping Session
- Mail Gifts
Week 2: December 11-17
- Kids Christmas Shopping and/or gift making
- Gift Wrapping Session
- Gingerbread Houses
- Finish Christmas Shopping
- Plan Christmas Menu & Shop
Week 1: December 18-24th
- Prepare Friend Gifts
- Deliver Friend Gifts
- Make Christmas Goodies
- Finish Wrapping Presents
- Christmas Eve Traditions
Christmas: Thursday, December 25th
Your Christmas Tasks might be a little different from these, but I think this will help you get the idea. Take the big tasks of holiday prep and break them into pieces and spread them onto the calendar.
You will enjoy the Holidays so much more with a plan in place!