It’s almost the end of summer! Can you believe it? Time to get moving on Christmas. I know what you are thinking. Penny, it’s not even Halloween yet. Yes, I realize that we have quite a bit of time until Christmas. If you are wanting a hassle free relaxed holiday then now is the time to plan and implement a strategy.
I have not always had this mantra . I’m really a fly by the seat of my pants girl. Shocking , I know. After the other year’s fiasco of double pneumonia in which the Christmas tree never even got decorated, I am a believer. Do a little each week then before you know it , all is finished. I always have these grandiose ideas of what I want Christmas to look like in my family. Almost always, I run out of time to implement everything. This means I have to settle for good enough. It’s infuriating to me because I know that with a little pre planning I could have accomplished most if not all of it.
10 Ways We Are Getting Ready for Christmas
1. Christmas Cards
Ideally you bought these the day after Christmas last year when they were on clearance. Now is the time to start addressing a few at a time. My goal is to have these all done by Halloween. Didn’t get them last year? Never fear, Hobby Lobby has theirs out already plus other big box stores will have them out soon. Print your return labels and get stamps while you wait to find them.
2. Make appointment for Christmas photo
Do not delay. Call your photographer ASAP. Seriously , spots with a good photographer are limited. You want to get the appointment so you can coordinate outfits. I’m not the only person who does this , right? You can’t have one kid in pink while one kid is in lime green. You’ll end up on that family pictures gone horribly wrong meme. Never fear that your photographer is going to look at you crazy. If she doesn’t have spots lined up already, she will thank you for reminding her.
3. Make gift lists
I buy gifts from my family and from my parents since I am their financial person. This means I have double the lists. I already have in my purse a list of people for gift giving purposes. Next to their name is a gift suggestion. This is not their actual gift but something I have in mind just in case I see it on sale. I cross their name off the list as I pick up their gift. I also have a notebook at home with all the name with gifts . Nothing worse than not remembering who gets what. This is also great for those handmade gifts you intending on making.
4. Write down all the events you know so far on your calendar
The one month of the year that is always up to date is December. It is imperative for me to keep the calendar under control during this time. One event per day max . Logan needs down time built in to navigate all the events successfully. Madison has Nutcracker rehearsals and performances as well . It’s imperative that I write down a December event immediately. Keep this month under control at all costs. Now is not the time to say yes to every event.
5. Get a decorating game plan written down.
I seriously have a Christmas tree for every room. You read that correctly. Don’t you? I like to write down each theme and what is needed that is consumable every year. For the snowman bathroom, I need fake snow. Every year. I’ll need live tree branches for every tree but the snowman one. It’s also helpful to have a list of each room’s theme so when the cool decorations come out in July, you know what you are looking for. This same lists helps out at the end of Christmas sales where you score cheap decorations.
8. Start handmade items now.
Nothing worse than discovering you don't have enough time to finish the gift. Yes, I've had to give the gift then ask for it back to finish it. Talk about humbling. Don't let procrastination take over here. One caveat to this is to put the handmade items on a list in order of importance. I will end up with a list 100 items long. I start with the most important then when it's complete, I move on to the next one.
9. Make necessary travel plans.
You need time to prepare your child with autism for a change in scenery at a holiday or a new mode of transportation. If you are flying to Grandma's house for the first time instead of driving then he needs to know that. You need to read stories about flying. Watch videos about what happens on an airplane. Talk, talk, talk then talk some more about what to expect. His sensory system is already overloaded . Don't set your family up for failure before the holidays even start. Our kids thrive on routine and predictability. Try to keep chaos at bay.
10. Put all your lists and needed items in one spot.
I designate one spot in the office as a command station. I put my lists in binders or notebooks, They all go on the same shelf. I put all the wrapping paper in the closet then add needed items like tape to the purchase list. All the items needed to make a handmade present or item go in here as well. Christmas cards in various forms of readiness have a place. You get the picture. One area so as to not have to tear apart the house looking for it. Holidays are as stressful time already. Don't add to it by losing items.
This list is for me just as much as it is for you. If I don't do it then I'm one jumbled up mess. I get grouchy because I am a harried and frazzled.. There is no one to blame but myself. Nothing makes me grouchier. I promise you, if you implement just one idea ,it will make your life easier. I want my children to remember holidays as fun times. With a little preparation, I can accomplish just that. Now to not procrastinate about it.
Want to see some crafts I'm doing for Christmas 2016?