It's December 3rd. Do you know where your lights, cards, and nativity scene are? I know, I know! The lights are on our decorated tree, the nativity scene is on the table beside the phone, and the cards are on my desk. But, they're addressed (yes, I do cheat and print labels on the computer!) and half are written.
Christmas is a wonderful season of giving and sharing, and most of all, of commemorating our Savior's birth. Somehow, though, these most important things get lost in the hustle and bustle of decorating, overspending on gifts for people we hardly know (as well as the ones we do know), and trying to get everyone to look happy for the annual family photo.
You know by now how much I LOVE lists, so it should not be a surprise that I think lists are a lifesaver especially at Christmas. However, the type of list I am going to suggest just might surprise you. Sit down with a blank piece of paper (or an open Word document, or your personal calendar/organizer) and write down all of the preparations you need to make for Christmas every year. Just make these general items, not specifics like "Buy red sweater for Aunt Mary." You may wish to keep the list easily accessible for a few days so you can add things as you think of them.
Then take a look at your list and put it in a general sequence that makes sense for you. I could just tell you that you have to make your gift and card lists in October, shop in November, and decorate the first of December, but that might not work for you. So, make your list work for you; don't work for your list.
After you've got your general, yearly list, make a copy of it (or store it on your computer). Then take a look at this year's calendar. Use whichever one you look at most frequently and pencil in the activities/preparations from your list onto your target date.
That's it! You've got your own, custom Christmas prep guide! While this is generally my method, I must be honest and tell you that I got the idea of writing this post from the Living on a Dime Newsletter. Marybeth Whalen also has a helpful Christmas checklist over at Hearts at Home.
Q4U: how do you organize your Christmas preparations?
(Repost - again! I promise I'll write some new stuff soon!)