We are a third of the way through our Twelve Weeks of a Simple Christmas missions, which means Christmas is that much closer! Are you keeping up? No? That’s okay. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just do what you can. Every little bit you do now makes you less frazzled down the road.

Today is one of my favorite missions–planning the food.  I like food. I like planning food. I don’t, however, like shopping. Enough about me.

Twelve Weeks of Simple Christmas - Week 4: Plan Your Meals

Here’s how to plan your holiday food:

1. Get out your calendar; get out your budget sheet; get out your gift list; get out two pieces of paper and a pencil…or whatever high-tech device you techies use for planning.

2. Assess which upcoming events you need food for…for which you need food. That includes Tricks-or-Treats if you feed little monsters at your door, Thanksgiving if you’re hosting or bringing a dish, Christmas parties you’re attending or hosting, the big holiday itself, and New Year’s. I have the bonus of three holiday birthdays in there.

3. Determine how many people will be attending events you’re hosting, whether you’re handling the entire feast or calling it a potluck, if you have overnight guests to feed, and what you are asked to bring to other people’s events. This will require some emails and phone calls.

4. Check your gift list for food gifts; don’t forget stockings!

5. Are you making cookies this year? List them and gather the recipes. Mmmmm…cookies…

6. Make a menu. Skip nothing. It’s awful to have a houseful of food at Christmas and find you have nothing to eat while waiting hours for the holiday meal–add some emergency PBJs or something to the plan.

7. Print or pin or otherwise save your recipes. I like to use a binder and keep my lists in there from year to year–it’s fun to look back, and it helps with planning.

8. Write out a shopping list for groceries–again, include everything.

9. Because you’ve started early, you have plenty of time to begin gathering non-perishables or freezable items as they go on sale. If you snag a few items a week, you won’t sabotage your budget. Keep the ingredients somewhere super secret, or put post-it notes on them threatening no gifts for anyone who eats your chocolate chips and French’s onions. That usually work…usually.

10. Again, record everything (easily done by crossing it off the list). You don’t want to end up with 12 bottles of vanilla and no flour…although vanilla does make a nice gift.

That’s it. Ten steps just to say write down your eats and go buy ’em.

Accountability Time

How are you doing on the missions so far? Did you plan out the rest of the year? Did you write a budget? Have you polished your gift list?

A little bit about me–I start strong and finish weak. I started all three missions and finished none. I hope I have a better report for you next week. On the bright side, all my children have been fed and loved on these past three weeks…and 18.5 years prior.

To break this trend (of not finishing what I’ve started…in case you thought I meant the trend of feeding my kids), I’m doing a task a day to get caught up. Care to hold me accountable? You can always email me or join me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (as The Travel Bags)…or you can join me as I procrastinate on Pinterest! (I did not just say that.)


Don't stress this Christmas!