by Marilyn Moll, co-author of The 12 Week Holiday Planner
For many of us, planning Christmas festivities such as shopping, cooking, baking, gift making, and hospitality can automatically cause a great degree of anxiety. We at The Urban Homemaker don't advocate complicated or expensive holiday celebrations, and wish to encourage your family to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season. To do so while making preparations for the upcoming holidays, this twelve-week simplified timetable could be used as a checklist and is designed to be flexible in order to assist you.
Remember, the timetable is merely a suggestion; rearrange, add, or delete activities from the schedule to meet the needs of your family.
The full version of the timetable is available in an ebook written by Sheri Graham. It is filled with recipes, tips, crafts, decorations, charts, devotionals, and much more. The full 170 page The 12 Week Holiday Planner ebook is available in PDF (free sample download available at the site).
Week #1 - List Week
September 30 - October 6
Make your lists of gift recipients, Christmas cards, menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, goodies to share or to give, favorite meals to prepare ahead, decorations needed, and gifts to make.
Week #2 - Browse Week
Develop and record ideas for gifts and decorations. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What would our ideal Christmas be like?
- What activities are particularly important to our family at Christmas?
- How much emphasis do our Christmas activities place on the spiritual side of Christmas?
Week #3 - Supplies Week
After inventorying supplies on hand, purchase non-perishables needed for holiday baking, supplies needed for gift making, film, batteries, gift wrapping, and Christmas cards as needed.
Week #4 - Baking Week
Set aside the time needed to complete holiday goodie making. Make lists of toys, books, and clothes that children would enjoy and keep the list handy for telling family members who ask what they would like.
Week #5 - Gift Making Week
October 28 - November 3
Focus your energies on completing gifts to be made, setting aside gifts that aren't coming together, and writing a Christmas letter. Find family photos suitable for inclusion with Christmas cards.
Week #6 - Shopping Week
Decorate your home for Thanksgiving and focus on gift buying for prepared list. Wrap and label packages as you go. Set aside needed shipping boxes.
Week #7 - Shopping Week #2
Complete as much shopping as possible. Take advantage of many items that are on sale before Thanksgiving! Check Thanksgiving menus and grocery lists: purchase any additional, needed supplies.
Week #8 - Thanksgiving Week
Use this week to prepare Thanksgiving dishes, pies, homemade rolls: enjoy the holiday with your family.
Week #9 - Mailing Week
November 25 - December 1
Complete package wrapping for gifts to be shipped. Complete addressing and mailing of Christmas correspondence.
Week #10 - Meal Making and Decorating Week
Prepare some favorite meals and other baked goods for the hectic days ahead. Decorate. Involve children in memory making!
Week #11 - Final Shopping/Wrapping Week
Complete last minute details and enjoy holiday parties, concerts, and family activities.
Weeks #12/13 - Celebrate!
Enjoy the Holidays with Family and Friends! Take time to drive the neighborhoods to enjoy holiday lighting displays. Enjoy family traditions and special meals.
Enjoy, and please let us know how it works out. We would love to have your feedback!
Original Article ©2004 The Urban Homemaker, "Old fashioned skills for contemporary people"; Used by permission