The last few Christmas’s have been a little crazy it seems. It seems like I just couldn’t get it together. This year I set a goal for myself:
Have it together by Nov. 1.
What does that mean?
For me it means, having my expectations for the Holidays written down.
I did just that. On Nov. 1st.
With the help of this:
My Holiday Planner.
I made this thing years ago.
I updated it a little this year.
It has every thought, idea, project, tradition, gift, address, recipe that just might be swimming around in my brain.
I realized that the way for me to cut the crazy was to get the crazy out of my head.
It has been helpful to get it all spelled out before the holidays actually start.
I would be happy to share my file for anyone who might be interested.
I also wanted to get all of my Christmas Projects done before Thanksgiving. I have just about succeeded in that.
I can’t wait to share what I have been working on.
Sharing Christmas gifts is a little tricky though. The people that I am giving too just happen to read this blog. I don’t know how I am going to go about it.
I do want to share a couple of other ideas.
I really wanted to have an advent calendar for my kids. I really wanted to uphold some of the fun holiday ideas that I have had written in my little planner. So… I combined the two.
I bought the kit for this here. The kids and I put it together one evening.
There is an ornament for each day.
Then I took little slips of paper and wrote down anything that I thought the kids might enjoy.
I glued a paper clip to the back of the ornament for the slip of paper to go.
I wanted to be able to switch these up each year.
Next, I looked at my calendar and laid out what would work best for which days of the week.
For example, cutting snowflakes out of paper is easy to do on a Tuesday evening. Going to see the lights at Garvin Gardens is not. We will save that for a Friday.
I also put appropriate tasks on Mondays that we could do for Family Home Evening.
I can’t wait to put this plan in to motion.
I am hoping to hang the ornaments on these branches. I will probably spray paint them silver for the Holidays, and add a few more to my vase with a pretty red ribbon.
Here is my full list of ideas:
Make snowmen out of play dough
Make a holiday treat
Read a Christmas book
Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
Do a gift of service
Have a fondue night
Write a Christmas story and draw a picture to go with it.
Make gingerbread cookies to hang on children’s tree.
Letters to Santa.
Make a treat for out neighbors.
Cut out snowflakes.
Drive around and look at the lights.
Call a family member.
Make Hot Chocolate or Apple Cider.
Play a game.
Read “The” Christmas Story
Do a service for someone in your immediate family.
Eat a Candy Cane
Have a snowball fight with toilet paper.
Look through your ornament book.(this is a special book that I make for each of my kids, more on this later.)
I also finally got around to making this little advent for myself. This is from a class that I took from this site. Can you tell how much I love Jessica Sprague? She is also teaching a free class at the end of the month. Don’t forget to sign up. Jessica’s classes are awesome.
My plan with this little project is to take 20 minutes for myself everyday to record the important memories that happen in the month of December. I will take a photo, and share a thought. This little advent gives me the prompts to do so.
Write about: The importance to you of your holiday tree.
Photo: Of your tree
Remember: Did you have rituals or traditions relating to your holiday tree?
I will use my 365 blog for the whole month of December to complete this little project.
One other thing we do at Christmas is try to keep it simple. We have expectations that we do not exceed. Our kids know what to expect, and that helps them not feel disappointment. It also helps our wallet.
We have written a letter to Santa asking him to only bring one gift.
The rest of the gifts come from us.
Each child gets:
Something to wear, something to read, something you want, and something you need.
This makes shopping very easy.
Did I mention that I am all done shopping?
I make sure to make a list of all of that in my handy dandy planner.
Then when I am out and about I can remember, “Isaac needs new jeans.”
Cross that off the list.
I am so excited this year.
I really want to focus on the memories, and traditions. I want to feel less pressure and stress.
I want to share a great holiday with my family.
Eight years ago when I made my planner, these are the objectives that I wrote down.
1. to spend joyful quality time with my family
2. to have an evenly spaced holiday
3. to have realistic expectations
4. to have reliable family traditions.
It is funny that those objectives remain the same to today.
We are getting there. I am working out the kinks, but we are getting there.
I truly believe that some of the greatest memories I have as a child happened during the month of December.
There is something so magical about it as a child.
My goal is to create the magic in our home.