“Christmas Planning Day” Tradition

I love it that Nordstroms won’t decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  I won’t decorate yet either but it’s time to put some planning in place for the upcoming extravaganza,

32 years ago for our first non-traveling Christmas, I created an annual ritual of a Christmas Planning Day (AKA  few hours) and I am happy to say today is the day!

I love Christmas but enjoy it so much more with a plan for action and celebration so I can keep my focus on the birth of Jesus.  Based on my years of coaching and workshops on this topic, I think most of you want a plan as well.

Here’s how it goes…

First step: Gather the planning supplies:

  • Blank calendars printed from the computer, one for the rest of November, and one for December.
  • My plastic box of Christmas files which include recipes, gift lists, receipts, past newsletters, Advent activities, inspirational articles and decorating ideas.
  • A stack of old-fashioned steno notebooks which is my main planning tool each year.  One page per person, event and activity.
  • The December Good Housekeeping magazine for fun ideas.
  • Christmas journals from past years.
  • An old article from 1979 which always inspires me.
  • A Christmas CD or Pandora station
  • Hot cocoa 🙂

Second step: Review the past few years of celebrations.  What worked, what didn’t and note questions I need to ask my husband, adult children, and friends about this year’s gifts/events.

Third step: Fantasize about all the magical things that could happen!

Fourth step: Do the planning

  • Begin to pencil in the calendars for what happens when.
  • Start each list in this year’s notebook including: to order, to make, to shop local, stocking stuffer ideas, etc.
  • Decide about services, projects, parties, performances.
  • Detail the steps in sending out a card.
  • Make a budget and review often.
  • Plan an item or two just for me such as attending a Lessons and Carols service or re-reading The Christmas Carol
  • Check for upcoming Holiday Specials on TV or favorites to add to my Netflix Queue.
  • Buy tickets for any upcoming events if it’s in the budget.

Last step:  Put it all away and enjoy Thanksgiving!

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