A Christmas Plan

9 Comments

No, I have not forgotten that it is January.

We have all heard the phrase about learning from past mistakes.  While they are not strictly mistakes, past events can be reviewed to see if it is possible to change things with a view to making life simpler and less stressful for ourselves.

Since it is a new year, what better to review than Christmas and the festive season?

My Christmas celebrations are very low-key compared to some.  However, comparison is not the issue here – streamlining the process and having time to enjoy the seasonal festivities is my aim.

Last year we went on holidays in October/November so I didn’t really focus seriously on any Christmas planning until mid-November.  There are also family birthdays at this time – one in November and one in early December.

Lazy Brownie Day is a concept I may have mentioned last year but it never quite got off the ground.  I believe the name comes from a book character, but regardless of the name, the concept is that the 25th of every month is dedicated to Christmas preparations.   While I may not always be able to do Christmas prep exactly on the 25th of the month due to work commitments, I will have a plan and review it each month.  This year I want to make sure that I do a little bit at a time and that there is no mad rush (physical or mental) at the end of the year.

Based on what I did in 2011 I have mapped out a basic idea of what I need to do each month to ensure that I am organised when it gets to December.  I have taken into consideration what worked, what didn’t and what I wanted to do that didn’t happen.

This is what it looks like:

January

  • Sort and file Christmas cards and letters
  • Make sure any contact details are updated in address book
  • Update Christmas card list
  • Set up complete contact list for 2012 e-cards

2012-01-04 01February

  • Make gift bags
  • Plan home-made gifts
  • Make list of gift recipients

2012-01-04 02March

  • Write Q1 review for 2012 Christmas letter
  • Work on home-made gifts

April

  • Work on home-made gifts

May

  • Work on home-made gifts

June

  • Write Q2 review for 2012 Christmas letter
  • Work on home-made gifts

July

  • Work on home-made gifts
  • Make Advent calendar

2012-01-04 03August

  • Complete home-made gifts
  • Check what other gifts to buy

September

  • Write Q3 review for 2012 Christmas letter
  • Buy any extra dried fruit/ingredients for cake
  • Make Christmas cake

October

  • Write Christmas cards
  • Select suitable photos for Christmas letter
  • Discuss plans for Christmas festivities/venues with extended family

November

  • Buy Christmas stamps
  • Make sure Advent calendar is complete and ready
  • Check times and location of carol service and displays of lights

December

Week 1

  • Put up and decorate the tree
  • Finalise menu for meals I am hosting over Christmas
  • Do major grocery shopping to last until after New Year

Week 2

  • Post cards
  • Take Miss O and Izz to carols and light displays

Week 3

  • Send Christmas e-cards/letters
  • Take Miss O and Izz to work Christmas party
  • Buy fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Relax and enjoy

Since Christmas 2011 is still reasonably fresh in mind, I hope I have covered most things.  There will be other small things I do throughout the year.

I am going to print this post and put it in a folder for reference and with the assistance of Lazy Brownie days I plan to have a smooth, non-stressful lead-up to Christmas 2012.

Do you have any particular timelines for Christmas preparations?

9 thoughts on “A Christmas Plan

  1. This year I was on holidays from 23 November right through until just a week before Christmas. Not only was I on holidays, I was away and NOT able to do anything about Christmas except make any list that I felt I needed. Which I chose not to!!! I like your preparations – especially the making of the gift bags, although the thought of doing Christmas in February is almost a bit much!!!

    I’ll think about this though, I’d like to make Christmas bags for gifts, much better than wrapping paper that simply gets chucked out. Although, perhaps the chooks would like bedding from shredded christmas paper next year… hmmmmm – a thought.

    I am certainly more organised this year home wise than I have ever been, thanks to a “control journal” that I did up for Ken for while I was away. I thought it was so useful I’ve done one for me for the first six months of the year. As I’m not to the stage where I even want to think about Christmas until at least July, I will put a note in my control journal to start working on some of these things then…..

    Thanks for the thoughts!

    • It is a slow progression to be more organised, isn’t it? I always used to think I would start Christmas about July but I found that it seemed to get lost in all the other stuff and by then I had forgotten about what worked and what didn’t, hence my decision to try to spread things out evenly over the year.

  2. I have found that a very good way to keep Christmas very low key is to live overseas. Mind you, we are really looking forward to Christmas 2012 so that we can see family and friends again.

  3. Although we are Christians, we don’t “do” Xmas at all. We celebrate the birth of Christ every time we take Communion. We celebrate the new year by giving kids and grandkids some cash. We celebrate birthdays and our anniversary to a degree. It was not always this way but now I am SO RELIEVED to cross all that craziness off my list and I feel totally relaxed about it. We get together with family throughout the year. I did send a card to our friends with a circular type letter and some personal messages added wishing them the Lord’s blessings for the New Year. (Ps. we don’t belong to a cult, just a personal decision).

    • It is good that we can all choose what form our celebrations will take and not be constantly driven by the consumer hype being pushed by the retailers. Well done on making your personal decision and sticking to it.

  4. Morning Fairy,
    I have a word document that I do up for a xmas planner each year. I can email you a copy if you would like to email me. You may like it as is, but as it is a word document you can modify it to your hearts content 🙂
    jkgeddes@bigpond.com
    Good on you re the Madeit shop. I have been thinking along an etsy or madeit shop for some time, just need to get myself sorted, it would be nice for me to earn enough to not have to return to work!
    Cheers,
    Kristy

  5. You sure sound enviably organised! I think I should take a leaf out of your book as who needs the stress of disorganisation. Could you please tell me what sort of homemade gifts are you planning on making?

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