Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Preparing For Christmas 2013

I think I may have told you a time or two that I LOVE Christmas time!  I love everything about it {well, except the commercialism of the holiday}!  I have loved Christmas time as long as I can remember!  To tell the truth, I've been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks already!

One of the reasons I've been listening to Christmas music is because I am already preparing my heart and mind for the holiday.  I start early and organize things to make my holiday as stress free as I can.  Several years ago, we had a crazy, chaotic Christmas that I vowed never to have that problem again.  So now I get busy in September or October and prepare for Christmas.  I know that makes it sound like we have a grand extravagant holiday {which we definitely don't!}, but really it's just because I want to focus on the real reason for Christmas~while still having the things we all love about the season each year.

So how do I do that??

Here's a few things I do to get ready for the holidays!
  • I start a gift list.  I try to get gifts throughout the year for the kids, but at this time of year I start thinking of others we might want to get gifts for.  This lists includes teachers {school, music, and Sunday School}, babysitters, or close friends.  I make a list of gift ideas and what I would need for those gifts.  This way I'm not scrambling to get a last minute gift, and I won't forget anyone, either!
  • Get the house ready for decorating.  We get our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I really don't want to spend the week of Thanksgiving getting the house ready for that when I'm already getting the turkey ready, so I plan ahead and prepare the house for the decorations ahead of time.  I usually do this the week before Thanksgiving so it is all ready. 
  • Stock up on holiday baking supplies.  We love to bake cookies, candies, and other treats at Christmas time.  We really enjoy taking those treats to neighbors and widowed family members.  I stock up on things like sugar, flour, powdered sugar, chocolate, eggs, butter, sprinkles, and more so when we want to start baking, we already have the ingredients.
  • Create our Christmas Card and annual letter.  I love sending {and receiving} photo cards at Christmas.  I either take a photo for the card, or start looking through our photos to start creating our Christmas card.  I am a bit selective {ok, ok, I am picky!} about the photo card, so I spend a lot of time trying out different cards to find that perfect card!  I also start our annual Christmas letter for family and friends.  I love writing them, but I admit to erasing and re~writing it over and over until I am satisfied with it.  So I start it now and then I have time to "tweek" it before it goes out with the cards.
  • Plan Christmas and Christmas Eve dinner.  We have a tradition on Christmas eve, and I pretty much make the same thing for Christmas dinner, but I start thinking about who is coming and what I will need.  This way I will have everything ahead of time and I can stay out of the grocery stores right before Christmas {have you ever been to the store right before Christmas?  It is crazy!}.
  • Plan for devotions and our family service.  We are going to do a Jesse tree this year for family devotions.  We also started {what I hope will be a tradition} a family Christmas Eve Worship last year.  I just want to make sure I have everything ready for both of these ahead of time so we all can enjoy them.
  • Focus on the real reason for the holiday!  That crazy, chaotic Christmas taught me that what I really want during this season is to focus on that tiny baby and what his birth means to me.  This is the time of year I just want to shut everything off {except the music of course!}, snuggle with my family in the glow of our tree, and savor every minute! 
Just a little planning ahead of time makes for a great Christmas!  I just realized that one of the kiddo's turned off the Christmas music~time to put it back on!!


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  1. Oh I love this post! I was just thinking today how I need to start thinking of what I need to do for the upcoming Holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As of now I have done NOTHING, lol but you have motivated my friend. Thank you.

  2. This sounds terrific! I'm an early prepper, too.
    Harvest Lane Cottage

  3. I cannot even believe that the season is just around the corner. I am usually much better at planning, but have done no prep since our move. Thank you for inspiring me to get busy!

  4. Jess,
    I also love Christmas! Thanks for the reminders to organize early.Your site is so bright and cheery!
    I'm Lyn visiting from CMB fellowship friday.
    You've got a great thing going here, keep up the good work!
    God Bless

  5. I enjoy planning for Christmas holidays and celebrations too! I begin at the end of October and have a to-do list each week, spreading things out so we get to enjoy the season in December. You given me some great ideas, thanks!

  6. I don't like Christmas to be chaotic either and I really should take your hint and start already!!

  7. Stocking up on baking supplies sounds like a great idea to me. I also write my cards in November because here in Costa Rica the postal system enforces a special extra fee toward a children's charity during December. Not that I wouldn't be happy to pay it, but since most of my cards go overseas, it gets expensive. I generally end up mailing out Christmas cards the last week in Nov. Also a huge fan of Christmas music. I can't wait for K-Love's Christmas station to go up on their homepage. Love!

    1. YES! YES!! Me, too!! Thanks for stopping over!!


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