Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it (and I recommend you do), is the first of three steps of the planning stage. Our planning missions deal with time, money, and food. Because I value time over money and slightly more than food, we will begin there.

The first thing I want you to plan is to plan to not over-plan. Commit to not overfilling your schedule, overextending your family, and spreading yourself like butter scraped over too much bread. Make this commitment, and then remind yourself of it every single time you’re tempted to overbook your Christmas. (More on this next time.)

Twelve Weeks of a Simple Christmas Week 1: Plan Your Schedule



Now, time for the Christmas schedule planning.

Grab your calendar (or your calendar app) and write down (or type) the following:

  1. Where you will be for all the upcoming holidays and when. If you are traditionally at a certain person’s house or you stay home, this should be simple. If you rotate annually or have no set pattern, work on getting those details nailed down this week.
  2. Add in all the activities you choose to be a part of. Some you know right now, but others are still sketchy–write them down as soon as the invitations or notices come in, such as church programs or office parties. Call people for info if you need it. Do it!
  3. Write down all deadlines and requirements–shopping deadlines, card-mailing deadlines, shipping deadlines, cookie-baking for a school party, packing days…you know the drill.
  4. Schedule in downtime and family fun, or you won’t have it. Include your family in this. Ask them what they absolutely want to do this Christmas to ensure their favorite holiday fun is included. This is super important!

Need some ideas of what could be on your calendar? Consider these to get the ol’ hamster in the head running and the idea wheel turning:

  • Set a gift-buying deadline.
  • Schedule a family Christmas photo picture day. If it’s a pro session, call today and set it up. Today!
  • Set a card-mailing deadline if you do cards.
  • Set a wrapping deadline.
  • Set a shipping deadline well ahead of the USPS’ deadline.
  • Set a stocking stuffer shopping deadline.
  • Choose a decorating day.
  • Pick a gift wrapping day or deadline if you wrap as you go.
  • Set a deadline for any homemade gifts you’re making.
  • Do you bake? Set grocery shopping and baking deadlines.
  • Add your kids’ and spouse’s school and office Christmas functions.
  • Add club and church functions if you know about them.
  • Call nearby relatives and ask about their kids’ events.
  • Write in any set family events, like the New Year’s Eve party your aunt holds every year.
  • Schedule in family fun: movie night, Christmas light viewing, attending the live nativity, delivering cookies to shut-ins, Christmas caroling, craft day–whatever you want to do.

Simple! Now grab that calendar and get it done! You can do this! You can have a peaceful Christmas–start today. 

For more guidance in scheduling your Christmas without feeling stretched, buy my book, From Frazzled to Festive: Finding Joy and Meaning in a Simple Christmas.

Don't stress this Christmas!

Did you do it? Did you start your planning?

Holding myself accountable: Each week I will tell you what I have done to follow the missions. Since this is the first week, and there technically shouldn’t be pre-mission homework, I’m in the clear. Next week, however, is a different story!