September is a great time to start Christmas planning!
Each year, my goal is to have everything in place by Thanksgiving. This just works best for me. I love being able to sit with my family at our Thanksgiving table knowing I have everything in place to simply enjoy celebrating Jesus throughout the month of December.
This was NOT always the case. I spent many years buried in wrapping paper and cards to address all the way up to the days before Christmas. After realizing how getting started earlier totally transformed my Christmas, I have been determined to never go back.
When I first started my pre-planning, I would begin much earlier in the year, but over time I have been able to stream line my process. The important thing to remember is to follow the time frame that works best for you. If you haven’t ever pre-planned for Christmas before, let me encourage you to give it a try!
Below is the plan I like to follow. Feel free to make changes to fit your specific family’s needs. It is easy to modify. I hope this planning process will be a blessing to you and your family as well!
This week: Get Yourself Organized (details below)
First Half of September: Gifts and Glad Tidings
Second Half of September: Menu Plans
First Half of October: Prep to Deck the Halls
Second Half of October: Claim Your Calendar
November: Wrap it Up By Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving – Christmas: Enjoy peaceful, fun times celebrating Jesus with family and friends. (:
Step 1 – Get Yourself Organized
Make it your goal to have yourself organized by mid September. Here are some easy steps to make that happen…
- Get out your Christmas notebook. If you don’t already have one, any three ring binder, spiral notebook, composition book…will work. You just need a place to keep everything together and organized. I have a free printable download to help with this here and here.
- Talk to family members and get everyone thinking about what this year’s Christmas will look like. Do you have family that will be coming in from out of town? Will you be traveling? Will you be hosting?
- Start making a list of those you would like to do something special for this Christmas. Just list the names. If you have gift ideas or something special you would like to do come to mind as you are listing names, go ahead and list those as well. If you do stockings, make a list of those you will do a stocking for as well.
- Set your budget. Think about what you usually spend on each person and add it up to be sure your Christmas budget is realistic. Remember, regardless of what the marketing world would have us believe, celebrating Jesus has noting to do with having to have a pile of presents or going into debt.
- Pray your Christmas celebration will be all about celebrating Jesus Christ. To read more about this read my post titled Pretty Wise – Imagine that.