October 8, 2015

12 Weeks of Christmas- Week One

The 12 Weeks of Christmas is a weekly series on Just Take Two Bites to help you prepare for a busy holiday season with as little stress as possible. This is a guide to assist you in planning all of your holiday traditions in advance so that you can have the most joyful holiday yet!

Can you believe that Christmas is a mere 12 weeks away?

 Let’s let that settle in for just a moment…

It seems like every single year, I say that I am going to carefully plan out what I need to do to get ready for Christmas so reduce the amount of chaos that occurs on the last few days before Christmas Eve.

While I have gotten much better than in years past (Christmas shopping on December 24th, anyone?) I have decided to embark on the 12 Weeks of Christmas countdown to help me with my planning, and I’d love to take you along with me!

By starting out early, together we will get our homes ready for the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year. My hope is that you and I can keep as much stress away from what should be the most exciting, happiest time of year. Instead, we will have our activities planned out, our gifts purchased and wrapped, and our freezers will be full of yummy Christmas goodies to enjoy.

So follow along and plan out your holiday season with me during the 12 Weeks of Christmas blog series here on Just Take Two Bites!

Week One: Develop a Game Plan

On week one, we will sit down and plan out everything we want to do in the weeks before the holiday season. This is the time to sit down with a sheet of paper and map out your master to-do list. Keep in mind that this is just a first draft of your guide. You may discover that there are a number of things you will need to add or remove in order to make your list more achievable.

My list looks something like this:

·      Plan holiday photo shoot
·      Make gift list
·      Look for new Christmas cookie recipes
·      Plan out service projects
·      Check Pinterest for craft projects to do with the children
·      Develop a Christmas menu
·      Shop
·      Decorate

These are only a few items on my list. By writing everything down, you will quickly be able to see whether or not you are planning too much. When you are making your master to-do list, keep in mind all of your regular everyday activities. Will such a large to-do list prevent you from living your daily life without stress?  Allow yourself to do just enough that the season is special while maintaining your overall stress level.

Make a Christmas Planning Binder

If you are super organized (or hope to be), you may want to develop a Christmas Planning Binder. Your binder can be as detailed or as simple as you would like. The goal is to have all of your planning and ideas in one place so that you can easily access them.

To keep your binder nice and organized, you can purchase some inexpensive dividers and label them with all the different categories based on your master to-do list. Some examples of categories may include:

·      Gift list
·      Menu and recipe ideas
·      Tradition ideas
·      Cookies
·      Event and activity information
·      Decorating ideas

Also place some page protectors in your binder to store recipes printed online or your to-do list. Your binder does not have to be anything fancy or overly expensive; it just needs to be functional. The goal is to be organized, not spend hours designing a binder.

So that’s week one! Are you excited for the holidays yet? I know I am! Come back next week for week 2 of our 12 Weeks of Christmas series where I will talk about our budgeting for the holiday season.

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