Here in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving in October, and with Halloween come & gone, and Remembrance Day observed on November 11, we can now focus on getting ready for Christmas.
Last November, I wrote this post on how I am a formerly ‘late to the Christmas party’ person.
I used to leave things to the last minute and chronically under-estimate the time it would take to do things….so therefore, I was not enjoying Christmas at all. I found I was tired and stressed out.
I began to think that perhaps there was a better way to ‘do’ Christmas.
And there is.
And the SECRET is this:
*Give yourself deadlines.*
*Do only the things you enjoy. Let the rest go.*
Part of starting early is to use the month of November to do the ‘work’ of Christmas.
November is about for preparing for Christmas.
December is for enjoying Christmas.
I am going to share with you my list for November and the things that I like to do because they give me joy!
1. Christmas Cards-Deadline- December 1st.
I love, love, love sending & receiving Christmas cards. It’s one of my favourite things about Christmas.
Our Christmas cards include the annual Christmas photo of the kids and a brief Christmas letter to share our news as I still have many older family members who do not have computers.
I want to have my Christmas cards in the mail on December 1.
2. Christmas Baking-Starting November 19th.
I love putting on Christmas music and making myself busy in the kitchen whipping up treats to share with loved ones. Baking relaxes me and I like making old favourites along with trying out a few new things.
This is a cookie platter that I made up last year to share with friends.
I gave out 5 of these platters.
Next week will be ‘CHRISTMAS COOKIE’ week here at Echoes of Laughter. I can’t wait to share some treats with you and I also have a blogging friend joining in with me on the fun!
I am starting Christmas baking this week…beginning with the treats that freeze well.
3. December Daily Album for 2011-Deadline December 1st.
I started doing this 2 years ago and I love this project. It’s involves making a mini-scrapbook with a page for each day of December to record all the little things that make up the season.
I plan to have my mini album ready for December 1 so that I can just add a picture and little writing for each day.
4. Christmas Decorating-Deadline-Last 2 Weeks of November.
I love creating fresh tablescapes for the season. I plan to have the holiday decorating done by the end of this week…everything but the tree.
We will decorate the tree as a family the first week of December. We love to listen to Christmas carols while decorating the tree and then we have appetizers and watch ‘Elf”. It’s one of our fav Christmas traditions.
5. Shopping Complete-Deadline-December 1st.
I do not enjoy Christmas shopping in December with heavy traffic, full parking lots and long line-ups.
I know some people enjoy shopping in December because it puts them in the Christmas mood.
But I would rather be home baking!
My personal deadline to have my shopping completed and wrapped is December 1st.
For the last few years, I have had a ‘shopping date’ with a friend where we go shopping on a weekday while the kids are in school and we start early, shop, have lunch, and finish up.
For me, it’s a huge sigh of relief to have this done early!
By having the work done in November, December brings lots of time to spend with my family….cuddling up in warm flannel jammies, sipping hot choc, playing games and watching movies.
How about you? Will you join me in using November to get some things done?
What do you plan to tackle first?
Edited to Add: I have had some fantastic comments that this post is really helping people tackle Christmas in a more organized approach. My blogging friend Meg at ‘Nutmeg & Company’ made this list after reading my post.
This post is linked to these terrific parties:Design Dazzle
Share the Love!
I feel the same way! I love getting things out of the way early so that I can relax later and enjoy the holiday season. =)
Dining Delight says
Great post! I'm thinking us Canadians have it easy compared to our American friends! I can't imagine fitting in Thanksgiving in Nov along with the Christmas preps! I like your moto of getting ready in Nov so you can enjoy Dec and like to stick to it as well. (That plate of cookies looks so delish!)
Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says
Sounds like you've got a workable plan, Angie! I don't start my decorating until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Mainly because I do not go out on Black Friday ~ for anything, not even food shopping or to the bank. I do pick up things starting in September or October that I see if it makes me think it would be a good gift for someone. I'd like to say I get done in a good amount of time, but I am someone who always sees that "one more thing that would be perfect for" whoever it is.
The Cannary's says
I think all of your ideas are fab and right on the money. I so hate fighting Austin traffic to shop – so much of my shopping this year will be on-line. And I love to bake, too! That platter looks amazing!!
Marie Lester says
you have inspired me!!! I was just thinking the other day that I don't like how i 'do' Christmas that I don't enjoy it how I should be! Going to try and get more organized! Good luck!
Christine @ Stonehouse Living says
What a great plan you have…especially like the one where all your shopping is done and wrapped! I'm trying to do that too this year.
All the Best,
Uh … wow…. you are so organized! I will admit that I am always stressed out and unprepared for Christmas. Stuffing cards into envelopes to send out on the 21st, wrapping until 3 am on Christmas Eve… Your way sounds so much better.
I promise myself every year that I'll do better next year. Maybe this is the year? Get everything done in November? You've inspired me to give it a try!
Sandy aka Doris the Great says
This fellow Canadian is with you all the way. I follow much the same Nov/Dec routine as you do.
Sounds like a great plan!
Comeca Jones says
Doing cards first week after Thanksgiving and I will decorate the tree Thanksgiving day with my oldest son and friends that will join us.I'm planning new colors for my tree this year I'll pick up decor for this Saturday.
T riffic post and I am saving it for reference for the crazy weeks ahead!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!!! I just discovered it today and I am hooked!! Please start a Facebook page so that I can keep up more easily!!! Your blog really is great!
You really have it THAT together???
I read through it and understand that this is the way to enjoy the month of December.
I WANT it for myself, and I fantasize about doing this, but NEVER, ever have I even been close.
And now this year, with a little nippy pup running by my heals all day long that can not be left for a moment…
I see this dream of being prepared and enjoying December like you going down the drain.
And your Album, argh, I wish I did things like that. How nice to look back and compare years.
You rock, Angie – don't go changing!
I am so impressed. I need a lot of organization help. Thanks!
Trish and Bonnie @ Uncommon says
Thank you so much for inspiring me to sit down and get organized! You are helping so many of us out there!
We would love for you to share this at our Home for the Holidays link party!
More Than A Mom says
Thank goodness for an early Canadian Thanksgiving!! I don't know how our American friends do it with them so close together.
I got some great tips (and deadlines) from your post. I highlighted your tips with links to your blog and post. It will be published November 23rd @ 9PM.
Great plan!! this is what i try to do every year, but my husband is one of those people who leave everything till the last minute!!!
would love it if you could share this on my link party at http://www.serenityyou.blogspot.com
Oh my, after reading this it makes me really want to get my act together!
I'm happy I found your blog—seeing you're in Alberta makes me feel like I'm reading about a neighbour!
I'm going to read some more now…;)
Delightful Order says
Great Post! You've been featured today.
Thanks so much for linking to my Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party.
Hope to see you again this next Thursday!
I wish I could be you…wow! You are so organized and on top of things. I must not be organizing my time very well, because why can't I do as much as you? Ugh, yeah, I know I shouldn't compare, guess I'm having one of those days. Sorry, I don't normally leave such a downer of a comment. I am just in awe…You rock!
I am totally doing this next year!! Such great ideas . . . this past Christmas was so busy that I felt like I didn't get to enjoy it . . . but not next year! I will be ready! 🙂 Thanks so much!!