December is busy. Thereʼs no way around it. With kids home from school, parties to attend, gifts to buy – its very easy to get so distracted and caught up in the rush that we miss out on what Christmas is really about. Here is a schedule that will help you simplify this Christmas season so that you can reflect on Godʼs many gifts to us and appreciate the time shared with friends and family.
January – October: Complete all Christmas gift buying. I know it seems crazy to think about Christmas shopping in September. But, if you can get your gift buying done well before the holiday rush begins, you will enjoy the Christmas season far more than if you were still rushing to mark gifts off your list. For more on gift giving tips see Time For Christmas Shopping.
1st Week of November: Fill out Christmas cards or write Christmas letters. Put them in their envelopes, seal the envelopes, place stamp and mailing labels on the envelopes. Set aside to mail later.
2nd Week of November: Begin wrapping gifts. You donʼt necessarily have to wrap all gifts this week, but focus on getting the bulk of your wrapping finished.
3rd Week of November: Plan your calendar. Pencil in family traditions or holiday parties that you donʼt want to miss.
4th Week of November: Enjoy Thanksgiving worry free.
1st Week of December: Drop Christmas cards in the mail. Decorate your house – including your tree (note: this can be done the weekend after Thanksgiving, allowing you to get a head start on baking).
2nd Week of December: Set aside some time to bake. Cookies can be baked and then frozen (good as new when they thaw) for holiday parties, childrenʼs school parties, Christmas gifts, or just a family treat. This week you should also make sure gifts to out of town friends and family get mailed.
Rest of December: Relax. Enjoy time with family. Reflect on the birth of our Savior. Savor the special moments spent with those around you.
For additional Holiday Organization tips, visit the Organizing Tools section for tips on making Christmas less stressful, easy gift giving, reducing holiday waste and surviving day after Christmas shopping trips.
Originally posted September 21, 2011.