Wednesday 7 November 2018

Planning Ahead For The Christmas Season

Christmas should be a time of fun,  laughter,  togetherness,  relaxation ( to a point ),  good food and  celebrating of the birth of Jesus.  Unfortunately it's easy to feel overwhelmed with all the presents to purchase,  food to prepare and parties to attend in the lead up.

Making November your planning and doing month will give you peace of mind and a chance to put your feet up while others are running around in December.

Here's a list of  tasks to complete in November while you have the free time.

*  If you haven't already done so,  write out your Christmas list and budget for each person.

*  Check your present cupboard to see if you have any presents put aside.  Allocate the presents to your list.

*  If you are planning on a hand made Christmas,  make a list of gifts to make and start making.  Bath bombs,  shortbreads,  tote bags,  aprons ( bbq and kitchen ),  hanging hand towels,  knitted dish cloths and soaps are all fairly easy to make.  If you are going to make soap,  use the hot process so the soaps set in a couple of days, ready to wrap and give.

*  Check your wrapping box.  Do you need sticky tape,  tags,  paper,  card or ribbon ?

*  Write a few Christmas cards each day.  Send overseas cards by the end of November.

*  Make and freeze biscuit / cookie dough ready to bake last minute presents.  The dough is great to have on standby for ' take a plate ' functions.

*  Build up your stockpile of freezer meals or single portions in readiness for those crazy December days.

*  Plan your Christmas Day / Eve meals.  Start buying ingredients when you see them on sale ( especially lollies and chocolates ).

Menu plan to the best of your ability for December allowing for functions on the calendar.  This will help to put your mind at ease.  Remember,  a menu plan is not set in stone.  Swap meals around when things pop up.

*  Fill in your calendar when invitations arrive.  The rule in our house is - " If it's not on the calendar,  it's not happening ".

*  Pull out the Christmas tree and decorations.  Inspect for damage and plan to buy or replace before mid December.  In recent years,  retailers get rid of their Christmas stock well before the big day,.  If you are looking for decos on Christmas Eve,  you might be disappointed.

*  Most importantly,  start present shopping.  The quicker you get it done,  the more time you'll have to relax.

Get supplies ready

Check your decorations

Wrap as you buy

Stockpile meals

Do you use November to plan for Christmas ?

How do you keep the calm in your home ?


  1. Hello Wendy, thanks again for another great post, I really enjoy reading them every week. Thank you :)

  2. I needed to read this post today Wendy!
    Every year I promise myself I will be more organised, and every year I still find myself in the last minute rush and chaos!

    I’m just setting myself one goal this year to start getting organised, and that is to bake all my Christmas cakes before December (I give them as gifts) I need to get planning now!

    1. That's a great goal Cheryl.

      I'm feeling a little more organised this year with most presents purchased.

  3. Hi Wendy,
    As most of my presents have to be mailed I try to keep them light. I also try and have the presents posted off by the first week of December. One of the advantages of having moved to a new place is that we dont have the deep friendship connection and so we dont have the Christmas parties to attend. I am one of five siblings with each of us having two or more children. Once the children have left home we dont do the presents for them. We add them to the Christmas cards list. For the younger nephews and nieces a family gift card is given to take those children to the cinema. Remember that if you are posting gifts, the cost of the post can be more than the cost of the gifts and you need to budget for this. I save my gold coins over the year and use this to purchase the extra food items. We like to have a seafood luncheon on Christmas Day. The gold coins add up to quite a good amount and usually cover the costs associated with Christmas.

  4. I have already finished my Xmas shopping except for the food but I will do that at the beginning of December when I can use my Xmas club card.

  5. I love the cookie dough in the freezer idea, running down the freezer contents right now but will get that done as soon as there is room! Lots of great ideas thank you Wendy 🙂

  6. What a good post. I am not decorating this Christmas as we are going to daughters and I will spend that time making gifts and baking.

  7. Debby in Kansas, USA8 November 2018 at 06:11

    I shook up my entire Christmas schedule and moved things back to November and forward to February in the gifting and carding. This is my first year and it's officially underway. The success or failure will determine whether I continue on this path.

    I was a Christmas organizing guru in my 20's when I was single. And I did way more & gave way more. I was so disciplined!! I started 364 days beforehand and was done with the hard stuff by Oct. 31st every year. I travelled with a men's college basketball team and late Nov. & all of December, we were on the road A LOT. Plus, I had a regular full time job.
    I was also on a super tight budget because I lived alone and had a herd of pets. I hit the sales on Dec. 26th and got anything I needed for making gifts & wrapping them, including cards. For gift purchasing, I bought one or two every month, starting in late Dec. During my 2 wk. vacation in summer, I concentrated on finishing up any handmade gifts. I put them all in a closet. While dealing with trick or treaters on Halloween, I wrapped Christmas gifts!!! Done. If there was time, I addressed all my Christmas card envelopes, stamped them, etc. We always had a long flight over T'giving weekend in late Nov. so I took the air time and wrote out the insides of my cards, letters, etc. I sealed them all up and after arriving in the airport, I dropped them all in a mailbox. Done. With all the hard stuff done, all that was left was to enjoy December, parties, etc. I'd go see children perform at the mall or go to local plays. I was completely relaxed on a mall bench while everyone else was running around like crazy people on speed! I'd even take a day, invite over a couple of tween friends and bake a bunch of stuff so they had gifts for their families. All this while working 42 hrs. a week at my regular job, traveling with the team and working 3-4 games a week, & a 2 hr. RT commute. While I know that I was young and energetic, it was the attention to details that got me through it. A plan. And that's what I'm aiming for again. A new plan!! The old one just ain't working anymore!!

    As for this year, my suggestion is to take notes of what's working and what isn't. Factor in the possibility of getting sick & wrecking everything!! Then, see how your current plan works. All the ideas listed above are a great place to start right now. If I didn't already have a fancy new plan in place, I'd print that list out and GO!

  8. This is a really helpful post, Wendy. I have to get quite a few gifts into the post before we leave for holidays on 8th December. If I miss that deadline, I have to express post them and that's just too expensive! I have been making little things, like washcloths and felt ornaments and drawstring bags just as time allows. I will have to purchase a few things but the cost will not be huge. Meg:)

  9. Great list! My husband is currently unemployed, so money will be tight this holiday season. I've already made a list of things that we must have this holiday season (like a real tree and some homemade cookies) and have put money aside for them. Our ornaments from previous years are fine, so we don't need anything new there. And as for gifts - we have each other, and that's really all we need! I'm looking forward to a quiet, contemplative Christmas.


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