Christmas is one of the most beautiful and special times of the year, but sometimes preparing for Christmas can seem downright chaotic! Which is the opposite of the season’s spirit and meaning. This year I wanted the Advent and Christmas season to be fun, relaxed, and joyful instead of crazy and stressful.
It’s super easy to get swept away in all the shopping and decorating and gift wrapping that I often find I don’t have time to truly enjoy the season. (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with this problem?!) I know some of my favorite parts are the beautiful Advent Sundays in church leading up to Christmas, or taking special time to pray as a family, or talking to the kids about the meaning of Christmas. But half the time my mind is somewhere else during these things, trying to manage the material details of the celebrations and parties and juggling lists in my head.
This year I decided to change that by making a few helpful printables to help our family prepare for the Christmas celebrations. Having everything written down and accounted for takes a load off my mind and helps me to truly be present in the beautiful Advent and Christmas season. Not to mention hopefully everything will get done on time. No last minute stressing or frantic shopping!
It has been super helpful to see all the to-dos to get ready for Christmas on one page. While I was at it, I also made a few more printables for the other two big things that need organizing this season- dinner and gifts.
I wasn’t sure how much of a difference this would make, since I’ve never tried to organize the holidays beforehand. (It all goes back to this being the first year I’ve attempted to put on our own holiday celebrations in addition to the bigger family parties!) But it’s helped so much more than I thought it would. I already feel more prepared to celebrate Advent and Christmas well this year!
Christmas Planning Checklist
End of November
- Put activities and events on the calendar
- Make travel arrangements
- Make a budget for Christmas spending
- Take out Christmas decorations and examine them (List anything you need to fill in holes/replace old or broken decorations)
- Make list of people you will be buying gifts for (List gift ideas to make or buy)
- Take a family photo for Christmas cards
- Start shopping for or making gifts
- Buy wrapping paper
- Buy Christmas cards and stamps
- Make an advent calendar
- Set up your advent wreath
Three Weeks Before
- Gather mailing addresses
- Write and send Christmas cards
- Start planning Christmas dinner (Put in order for turkey or ham, and review recipes and make a grocery list)
- Plan and shop for Christmas outfits for the family (church, parties, etc.)
- Have kids write a letter to Santa
- Make a playlist of Christmas music
- Wrap gifts as you buy/make them
- Set up your nativity scene (save Baby Jesus for Christmas day!)
- Donate to local charity
Two Weeks Before
- Buy a Christmas tree and decorate it
- Put up Christmas lights outside the house
- Decorate inside house
- Wrap gifts as you buy/make them
- Mail any out-of-town gifts
- Deep clean house
- Drive through neighborhood and admire Christmas lights
One Week Before
- Go grocery shopping for non-perishable Christmas dinner items
- Finish any last minute shopping or wrapping
- Tidy the house
- Prep for overnight guests
- Start making sides/desserts for Christmas dinner
- Bake cookies for Santa
- Make Christmas dinner
- Enjoy the day!
FREE Christmas Planning Printables
Yay! Free printables! The first set is the Christmas planning checklist and gift list, and the second one is the menu planner and grocery list. I hope they will help you tame the Christmas chaos so you can enjoy the really important parts of Advent and Christmas!
Happy planning ya’ll! 🙂