My home is NOT Christmas-ready but my goal is to have it done soon. I want to keep Jesus first through the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, and baking season.
In order to keep Jesus first, my goal is to get as much done in the first week of December.
I want to relax the last week before Christmas instead of frantically running around.
I’m sure that is what you would like too. If you are like me, you are running behind where the planning experts would say you should be as we enter the first week of December.
So, stick with me as I share some tips and honestly share where I am ‘at’ as we start December and have only 25 days until Christmas!!
Sit Down and Make a Plan
The first thing to do is to sit down and make a plan.
I want you to sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and start making a plan that will keep stress and overwhelm to a minimum this Christmas. I’ll join you since I have some planning to do too!!
I don’t care if it is in a scratch pad, your planner, or somewhere on your computer. Just make a plan!!
- Christmas brain dump. First, have a brainstorming period for about 15 minutes and get all those stressed overwhelmed thoughts out of your head of what you want to do, have to do, parties, and events that must occur before Christmas.
- Think about those ideas that you spilled out in your brain dump. Choose the ones that you really think you can do. Scratch off the rest. Yes, just scratch them off.
- Get out your phone, calendar, or planner and enter the events including any important details. I enter the date, time, address, who is going, etc. into my phone and update it when necessary. If you have children, color coding the events are helpful. That will work in your planner or wall calendar. Some calendar apps will let you color code your family members.
- Now take things like shopping, baking, gift wrapping, and schedule it into your day. It helps to see it visually and will ensure that you leave blocks of time for each activity you need to accomplish.
Things to DO to Make Your Home Christmas-Ready
I want to be helpful to you and give you something to walk away with to make December be less stressful.
Stress over the holidays comes from having too much to do in too little time.
There is nothing like having a time crunch.
I am never prepared for Christmas shopping until Thanksgiving has passed!
The cooking involved in Thanksgiving is huge for me and I can’t think clearly until the dishes and food are all cleared off the table.
Once December is here, I am feeling the excitement of the crunch.
How about you? Maybe you are more prepared than me?
- Start by cleaning your home. I don’t mean deep cleaning, that is for fall or in the spring. Just vacuum, wash floors, and if you have time dust (I didn’t dust :P). Picking up the clutter is a good thing to do all year round but if your house needs decluttering December isn’t the month to do it! GASP!! Just swoop it all into a closet (and don’t tell anyone I said that!). We’ll get to decluttering in January.
- Decorate – Just get those bags and boxes of decorations down from the attic or closet where you store them. I don’t have an over-abundance of decorations and that is helpful in keeping the stress away. Take a visual inventory of what you have and whether you will need Christmas lights. It is always a disappointment to children to get the tree up and then need to make an emergency run to the store for lights. Ask me how I know!! I like to get all the decorations up and then put up the tree.
- Put up your Christmas tree – Do you do a fake or fresh tree? I do fresh (after growing up with fake and having a fake for many married years) I am just loving it. We have had fresh Christmas ‘bushes’ because we were broke and spent more money the years that we had it. This year I am going cheap. Just because.
- Gift shopping – Make a list of all the people who you will need to shop for. I like to get a few extra inexpensive gifts just in case. We have had totally hand-crafted Christmases when we were completely broke when I first quit my job and our combined salary was cut in half. If you are making your gifts, you will need extra time. Whatever you are doing . . . GET STARTED so you don’t stress and will be Christmas-Ready!!
- Shopping for baking supplies – I have a binder for all the recipes that I make for the holidays. It includes all the cookies I love to make (not that I don’t add a few new ones). Make a list of ingredients and keep it in your binder (you DO have a Holiday Binder, don’t you?!) so when you are ready for Christmas baking, all you have to do is grab your list and run out the door to the store. No stress!!
- Gift wrapping – Start early. Wrap soon after each shopping trip if you can. Keeping up with wrapping will give you a good nights sleep on Christmas Eve. Again, I know you are wondering how I know!! I have never gotten this tip down. Don’t worry, I dole out advice that I don’t take myself.
- Mailing gifts – Do you have to mail gifts? Don’t wait until they are late! Don’t wait until you have to overnight the packages to get them to your loved ones by Christmas. I have to mail gifts to some of my children this year and so this is a major incentive to get started early.
Now that your hot chocolate is sipped clear to the bottom of the mug, are you ready to start getting Christmas-Ready? By the end of the first week in December, I hope to put a HUGE dent in my preparations for getting my home ready for Christmas.
There are those uber-organized women who have their shopping done by the end of December but they miss all the excitement, wouldn’t you think?!
How about YOU? What are you including in your plans? Do you typically get a little stressed and overwhelmed?