There is never enough time. I always want more hours in the day & more days in the year. Especially around Christmas. And summer, but we’ll stick with Christmas for now One way to make your Christmas calmer is to not schedule more than its possible to do. Here’s how to plan your calmer Christmas in just 35 minutes.
Here is my 35 minutes to a calmer Christmas:
0:00 – 5:00 — Find a Calendar
Dig out the planner you quit using in July, take down your wall calendar or print out a copy of this month’s calendar page. Check for super cute free planners on Pinterest (But remember to set your timer!)
05:00 – 10:00 — Add any appointments you have
Pretend this is any old month & not December. Add things like work, doctors appointments, school & sports schedules and the like. Is there any of it that can be rescheduled until January? If so, do it.
10:00 – 15:00 — Decide how busy you want to be
Pick a number of days per week that you need to be home to stay sane. In my home with small children, I try to limit it to 2 weeknights out & either Saturday OR Sunday. Any more than that & everyone gets a little crabby. Figure out how busy your family ENJOYS being & write that on the side of each week.
15:00 – 20:00 –Pick your non-negotiable outings
Add your outside-the-home non-negotiables to your calendar, keeping in mind your limit. Each year, we pick a weekend to visit my family. We also schedule a weekend to get a tree. We also celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception & since it’s a Holy Day of Obligation anyway, it’s in the non-negotiable category, too.
20:00 – 25:00 — Pick Your Favorite Outings
Since you have all your obligations entered on the calendar, think about other activities you’d like to do. Maybe you like to the Christmas pageant. Or maybe a charitable event or volunteer opportunity. Once you’ve figured out how many you can do, pencil them in.
25:00 – 30:00 — Make a short list of favorite “in” activities
In the years since I’ve had kids, I’ve come to realize that I can’t do EVERYTHING I want during Christmas–especially since they are so small. I can’t make all 15 kinds of cookies, and watch ALL the movies, plus make a gingerbread house from scratch, decorate the tree, do a Jesse tree, an advent calendar, wreath and all the other fun traditions people do. So, instead make a list of possibilities–about 8 – 10 items should do it. Combine things if possible–like Christmas cartoons & hot chocolate in pj’s night. Or decorating the tree & Christmas carols. Choose your very favorites and have the needed supplies on hand so when the energy & opportunity present themselves, you’re ready.
30:00-35:00. Make your list & check it twice
Go over your plan & double-check that you STILL didn’t plan too much. If you are in doubt, remove some events and/or activities. If something better comes along, vote on whether the family would rather do the new thing or the tradition. Sometimes you get a new tradition & sometimes a renewed love for old favorites.