Planning to Savour the Holidays

stumbled upon photo by: Alexandre Duret-Lutz

It's October already! In the beginning of the year I penciled in goals for each month in my planner. For this month I wrote Christmas preparations (and, of course, my darling daughter's birthday (that'll be a separate post)). I noted this reminder for myself because last year I was overwhelmed and stressed out from late preparations. So this year I'm giving myself enough time to prepare so that I can savour the season and fully enjoy the holidays.

stumbled upon photo by: Anthony

My Pre-Christmas Checklist

a checklist will help keep us on track of our Christmas preparations and help keep things as simple as possible for a joyful Christmas season. This way when Chrismas time comes we can focus and enjoy the reason for the season.

1.) Family photo for Christmas cards

When? - Set Up a time for a photoshoot. Taking into consideration all family members individual busy schedules.

Having 6 members in our family (not counting my mom, who may be celebrating Christmas in Manila this year), with two of our children now adults with busy schedules of their own, it's getting harder and harder to schedule a photoshoot. This year I really need to plan ahead in hopes of having a complete family photo as oppose to the individual collage photos I had to make do with last year (thank goodness I have a great photog BFF).

Where? - Start thinking of a place for the photoshoot. I am deciding between: home? indoor? outdoor? beach?

2.) Family Newsletter

In the last two years, our family newsletters are made available online saving on paper, ink and time. Our newsletter website address is noted on the Christmas cards we send out.

3.) Cards

Hand made cards are not only very satisfying to make, it is a great budget idea for today's trying economic times. I plan to set weekly goals as to how many cards I need to make per week based on how many cards I plan to send out by my deadline.

4.) Gifts

In light of our present economic times, finances dictate for creative gift giving this year.
Stay tuned for my creative gift giving ideas. In the past years I organized my gift list in a spreadsheet. At a glance I can see what I gave to whom in what year. The system allows for easy gift shopping or gift making and avoids the possibility of duplicate presents.

5.) Decorating

I am simply grateful I already have all I need in this department. I normally start putting up our holiday decorations right after thanksgiving. I collected holiday decor over the years by buying most of them after Christmas.

For those of you who still need some holiday decor, I suggest to make note of what you still need so you can start looking for sale items. Or better yet, try to wait and shop for them during the big after Christmas sale.

6.) Entertaining/Family Time

I am not normally a "baking" mom but this year I plan to have a cookie baking day and creative gift making time with my darling daughter (hopefully I can involve the boys too). It would be a great family time to discuss the true meaning of the wonderful holiday season.

Hopefully when Christmas time comes I can actually revel in the joy of the season.

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