Making Christmas Merry | Start an activity/social plan NOW.

by Kristen on October 24, 2012 · 10 comments

in Christmas

I know it’s still just October, but if you have trouble keeping your December calendar under control, October is not too early to start thinking about this.

I like to print out a paper calendar because I’m super old-school that way, but if you like to use an electronic calendar, go for it. The method doesn’t matter that much!

A few items I like to include on my calendar:

The main celebration(s)

This is the most important thing I plan ahead of time, mostly because it can get complicated with a relatively large extended family and also because we need to figure out what days Mr. FG can get time off of work for the celebrations.

I typically find that nailing down our celebration plans in advance works best because people tend to be more flexible at this point. If you wait until the beginning of December to talk about this, your options might be more limited (unless you AND everyone you celebrate with are super-relaxed, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of people!)

Do remember that it’s ok not to see everyone you know, but also remember not to love simplicity more than you love people.

Non-negotiable events

Church and school events fall under this heading. And I only mention that you should add them because you need a framework for adding:

Negotiable but high-priority Christmas activities

Remember when I talked about making a Christmas priority list? This is the point at which you should add some of those things into your calendar.

Because goals like being at home more, making cookies, or visiting a nursing home can easily get crowded out by other more urgent (but not necessarily more important) activities.

So, you need to be intentional about making space for the things that are important to you. If you really want to devote an evening to making cookies with your family, write it on the calendar, and don’t let something else push it out of the way. Treat it like you treat non-negotiable events, such as the school play.

Having these things on your calendar ahead of time will simplify your decision-making process as more events and activity invitations come down the pike, and will help to ensure that the urgent things don’t get in the way of high-priority things.

_____________________________

How do you keep your December calendar under control? And how do you make space for high-priority activities?

_____________________________
Previous posts in this series:

Introduction

Think more about serving and less about impressing.

Make a priority list.

It’s ok to have an imperfect Christmas. And it’s ok to say no.

3 ways to lower children’s Christmas present expectations

5 Ways to Spend Less Time Christmas Shopping

On Compromise, Unselfishness, and Not Falling Out of the Boat on the Other Side

_____________________________

Joshua’s 365 post: An awesome gift

Leave a Comment

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Economies of kale October 24, 2012 at 7:38 am

We have the basics planned out for my side of the family, but we need to get on to planning with Mr Omnivore’s family (we are going to celebrate a week before with them). My side of the family is a lot more complicated because there’s about 45 of us, whereas there are only six of us on his side, so they are more flexible.

I like the idea of planning activities that are important to you and not letting them get bumped out. I’ll file that away for when we have kids :)

Reply

2 Kristen October 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Ooh! 45 IS a lot.

Reply

3 Karen October 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

We have an advent that is made up of our things to do. For instance one day the girls will open the card that says make cookies, or decorate the tree, or visit friends and family…etc. I can keep organized and they get excited too!

Reply

4 AFS October 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

May I suggest that you move nursing home visits to any other month than December?
Residents get inundated with and overwhelmed by visitors from schools, choirs, youth groups etc. in December but are forgotten the other 11 months.

Reply

5 Kristen October 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Yes, this is true-my friend and I have put together a non-Christmas set of music to bring to nursing homes throughout the year as well.

Reply

6 Karen October 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I also start planning way in advance; I’ve already started putting events on my December calendar in late September. I’m a working mom with two kids, so I only really have the weekends free. I need to start thinking about making Christmas presents this week!

Reply

7 Kris October 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

This is great unless you have family members who prefers to fly by the seat of their pants … then planning gets frustrating. Sigh.

Reply

8 Nicole October 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I absolutly agree! I abhor the ‘meh – whatever’ attitude in my husbands family… I love having a plan!

Reply

9 Kat October 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I think the key really is being intentional about these things. Because there are tons of things I would love to do, but unless I schedule it, write it down, or commit to it in some other way it probably won’t happen the way I’d like for it to. Thanks for all the great Christmas posts. I’m really enjoying them.

Reply

10 Maggie@SquarePennies October 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

We “press the Easy Button” as much as possible. I always make notes after the holiday as to which activities were really worth it or not. I include any ideas I have at that time for simplifying things the following year. It’s too hard to remember without notes. It saves me from making too many foods that don’t get eaten as well. I note which times were best for what and which schedules worked best. It’s amazing how much that helps!

Another way to keep costs under control is to use last year’s holiday budget as a guide. I try to come in lower on each category. It’s a challenge that I enjoy and helps hold down costs.

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: