A Christmas Plan

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No, I have not forgotten that it is January.

We have all heard the phrase about learning from past mistakes.  While they are not strictly mistakes, past events can be reviewed to see if it is possible to change things with a view to making life simpler and less stressful for ourselves.

Since it is a new year, what better to review than Christmas and the festive season?

My Christmas celebrations are very low-key compared to some.  However, comparison is not the issue here – streamlining the process and having time to enjoy the seasonal festivities is my aim.

Last year we went on holidays in October/November so I didn’t really focus seriously on any Christmas planning until mid-November.  There are also family birthdays at this time – one in November and one in early December.

Lazy Brownie Day is a concept I may have mentioned last year but it never quite got off the ground.  I believe the name comes from a book character, but regardless of the name, the concept is that the 25th of every month is dedicated to Christmas preparations.   While I may not always be able to do Christmas prep exactly on the 25th of the month due to work commitments, I will have a plan and review it each month.  This year I want to make sure that I do a little bit at a time and that there is no mad rush (physical or mental) at the end of the year.

Based on what I did in 2011 I have mapped out a basic idea of what I need to do each month to ensure that I am organised when it gets to December.  I have taken into consideration what worked, what didn’t and what I wanted to do that didn’t happen.

This is what it looks like:

January

  • Sort and file Christmas cards and letters
  • Make sure any contact details are updated in address book
  • Update Christmas card list
  • Set up complete contact list for 2012 e-cards

2012-01-04 01February

  • Make gift bags
  • Plan home-made gifts
  • Make list of gift recipients

2012-01-04 02March

  • Write Q1 review for 2012 Christmas letter
  • Work on home-made gifts

April

  • Work on home-made gifts

May

  • Work on home-made gifts

June

  • Write Q2 review for 2012 Christmas letter
  • Work on home-made gifts

July

  • Work on home-made gifts
  • Make Advent calendar

2012-01-04 03August

  • Complete home-made gifts
  • Check what other gifts to buy

September

  • Write Q3 review for 2012 Christmas letter
  • Buy any extra dried fruit/ingredients for cake
  • Make Christmas cake

October

  • Write Christmas cards
  • Select suitable photos for Christmas letter
  • Discuss plans for Christmas festivities/venues with extended family

November

  • Buy Christmas stamps
  • Make sure Advent calendar is complete and ready
  • Check times and location of carol service and displays of lights

December

Week 1

  • Put up and decorate the tree
  • Finalise menu for meals I am hosting over Christmas
  • Do major grocery shopping to last until after New Year

Week 2

  • Post cards
  • Take Miss O and Izz to carols and light displays

Week 3

  • Send Christmas e-cards/letters
  • Take Miss O and Izz to work Christmas party
  • Buy fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Relax and enjoy

Since Christmas 2011 is still reasonably fresh in mind, I hope I have covered most things.  There will be other small things I do throughout the year.

I am going to print this post and put it in a folder for reference and with the assistance of Lazy Brownie days I plan to have a smooth, non-stressful lead-up to Christmas 2012.

Do you have any particular timelines for Christmas preparations?