The most wonderful time of the year :D
But, is it?
Or does this sound more accurate?
It's a season of hour long wrapping sessions, endless to-do's to get everything ready, rushing to yet another Christmas/Holiday/Winter performance and dropping into your seat with an exhausted sigh after dropping your child backstage, 5 minutes late and getting one of 'those' looks from her teacher as you try to comb her hair with your fingers and rub the traces of spaghetti sauce off her face with your thumb. Then, there is more wrapping, last minute bake-a-thon's at 11pm and half assed gift purchases to replace that perfect, well thought out, meaningful handknit cardigan in your sister's favourite colour, that you only got 2/3 finished.
Christmas CAN be soooo Magical!
But it can be CRAP too... your to-do list can make you feel overloaded, stressed and just plain burned out by the time the holidays even get here, and instead of participating in all the festivities and having fun all you end up doing is hiding under the covers, watching Elf and eating all the chocolate that was supposed to be for aunt Martha!
Let me help you have a peaceful Christmas this year, so you can have the time to sit in the tree light with a good novel, some Christmas carols and a nip of Bailey's. There are only two ways we can do this. One, plan on not doing anything this Christmas. Which, yes, it may be peaceful, but it'll still be crap. Or you could do number two, plan on having a lovely Christmas this year.
Print off the free printables, then fill them out. Follow my process below and plan out your action steps to make Christmas magical.
DREAM CHRISTMAS PRINTABLE
if you would like a more versatile version, with different sizes and space on the left (or in the middle) for holes or stapling then I do have them in my etsy shop: Practically Perfect Christmas Planner
Practically Perfect Christmas Process
Sit down with a cup of your favourite holiday beverage (why not have that Bailey's now!) and write down every thing that you can think of that would make Christmas absolutely PERFECT! Include things like how you want your house decorated, the trips you want to take and the maid that will do the packing and wrapping for you. DREAM big. Don't hold back, write it all down, even the impossible magical reindeer ride. What activities, baking, crafting would you love to do this year? We aren't limiting ourselves here, we are dreaming. So if you've dreamed it, ever, write it down. We'll narrow things down later.
2. REALITY FILTER
Okay, now is the time to be realistic and apply that reality filter. Really be honest with yourself. What CAN happen this year? Take into consideration the ages of your family members, the number of family members involved (extended included), budget, time restraints, etc
BUT, the most important part is to add your PRIORITIES into the filter. If you really want to do something this year, but it really doesn't look do-able, how can you make this happen? What else can you delete from that 'have-to' list to make room for your special wish?
For me, my non-negociable is making my own Chrismtas cards. It takes an enormous amount of time and energy but I love challenging myself to out do last year's card. But most importantly the repetitive assembly line forces me to slow down and enjoy the processs. I listen to Christmas carols and often times I'm thinking of my mom while I work. She loved the whole Christmas season, her birthday was in December and she was usually listening to her carols in the kitchen before Halloween. It makes me want to try and enjoy the season the way that she did. To make room for my card making, I usually bump my december daily to the new year. I write down all the stories, collect the memorabilia in a cute folder, but I don't actually scrapbook it until January and during layout-a-day in February.
Really put your thinking cap on to see how you can alter your dream Christmas so that it can become reality. Okay, so maybe a maid to do the wrapping is not at all in the stars, but you could give an older child a few dollars to do it, or the neighbour teenager who is looking for some extra cash to buy gifts for her friends. We aren't looking for perfection, practically perfect will do just nicely :D
3. ACTION STEPS
Break down the things that are left ALL the way to their simplest action step and put each of those on your to do list. It's a lot less overwhelming to see one individual step of project at a time than the whole project itself. So don't write 'make Christmas cards' write out all the steps; buy supplies, cut papers, do the stamping, stuff envies etc etc
This may seem like a longer more exhausting list, but i'll make it easier on you as you set out to do these tasks and you'll know when you can check these items off. Or cross them off, I'm a cross-offer, do you check or cross off? ;)
Now, take some time to schedule each of the these tasks into your daily plan. Whether that be a specific hour in your planner or just added to day in your calendar or to a day's to-do list. Working backwards from your deadlines helps to know where to start the frst task for each project.
Don't skip this step, because it'll not only keep you on track, but also let you know if you can realistically fit it all in or if you need to go back to step 1 and reassess what is realistic and what is possible and maybe delete or move things to the new year.
Here's to a happy, relaxing holiday season!!
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