Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Simple Christmas Planning

Christmas 2009, time really does fly by
Did you realize there are less than 100 days until Christmas? While in reality that is still more than 1/4 of a year left until Christmas, time flies as they say, so it will be here before you know it. A little planning ahead of time can make the season much more blessed and less stressed. This is especially true if you want to make any of the gifts you are going to give.

Personally, I tend to start Christmas planning really, really early. I love Christmas, and I love making presents. Usually, I begin to plan what I want to make for Christmas in July after we celebrate Father's day, birthdays, and our anniversary. In looking for birthday ideas for Aaron and Nate, I usually have found a couple of ideas that I want to make but didn't have time to do for their birthdays. I then begin to think about the other people on our list and which gifts I want to make and which we want to purchase. I usually start a list with everyone's names and write down gift ideas as we think of them. Then I use this list to keep track of what we've made or bought and what still needs to be done. This gives my plenty of time to start working on presents slowly over the next months, instead of staying up all Christmas Eve trying to finish everything for everyone. This plan doesn't always happen perfectly, but at least it gets me thinking.

Christmas Eve 2009

Andrew was born exactly one week before the Christmas of 2009. That year we had to plan a simple Christmas. I really wanted to get everything done ahead of time that year. I spent my nesting energy making a few simple Christmas presents and treats ahead of time, so we could just rest and enjoy our time together as a little family on the actual holidays. We also had to scale way back on what we usually do for that particular Christmas, buying, making, and visiting. At the time, part of me did wish I could do more, but it was a simple and sweet holiday. It was good because it made us as a family focus on what was truly important. We didn't see all of our extended family right on those holidays, but found ways to connect and celebrate with them.

I think our families all know that we love and appreciate them regardless of how much (or little) we are able to buy, make, or see them at Christmastime. At least it is my prayer that we would be able to make sure everyone knows they are loved and cherished, regardless of anything else. Realizing we don't have to and can't do it all is freeing. We try to figure out what God would have us focus on for the celebration of the birth of His Son and ask for his help to do just that. If the rest of the long to-do list I've made for myself never gets done, I try not to be hard on myself. I know that I've done my best, and the rest is really just stuff after all.

If you are looking for inspiration for Christmas planning, I've come across some resources that might be helpful. I think they have some great ideas.

Life as Mom has a free Christmas planning ebook.

Life your way has a free ebook and Christmas planner. The are also doing a 101 days until Christmas series.

The Happy Housewife is doing a series of 100 days of handmade gifts for Christmas.

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