Starting Christmas Preparations
Christmas Preparation Essentials
Preparing for Christmas can be a humongous task. Apparently, it can't be done in one bite, even if it were made of chocolate cake! Elephant-sized tasks can simply be taken one bite at a time, and, also, Christmas projects must be planned, split up, and prepared for—one step at a time.
Christmas projects and festivities require some direction and boundaries if you do not want them to run your whole life. Most of us do not have the luxury of dedicating all our spare time on November and December to Christmas activities. All the things you like to do can impart pressure if you don't rule your wants into a manageable agenda. Seizing this can bring about an ambiance of unity, attracting your family closer together. Christmas is not sprung on us at the eleventh hour. The date is constantly the same. We know there are 365 days between Christmases, and still we find ourselves making yearly statements like, "I can't believe it's almost Christmastime again!" Let's face it, when Halloween is over, there are just seven weeks left and the pressure is on! At this point you'll need to make some decisions as to your intent in celebrating Christmas. ... Is it to get the family together? . . . To impress others? ... To have fun? ... To step-up spirituality? ... Or just to endure the season? Your priorities reflect these goals, and getting control of Christmas would help you accomplish them.
If you read this article on November 15th or later, the time for preplanning is past, but it will be explained how to appraise where you are in terms of time, money, and skill, and how to cut back to a reasonable burden for your circumstances, and all the same have the fun of spontaneity, friendships, and giving.
Some individuals find Christmas shopping unendurable; they hate the rush and crowds. If you're one of these folks, you might be better off shopping from a catalog or buying one gift per month during the year and stashing them. Others love the impulsiveness of Christmas shopping and enjoy the sales promos. Their best preplanning style might be to set up a Christmas savings account. It helps to gather some gift ideas during the year, even if you do not shop until the week before Christmas, and this practice doesn't cost anything in the least. No matter when you start to shop, or whether you designate it to someone else, it would help to make a list prior to shopping.
Christmas can be projected as early as January when it's still fresh in your mind. Apparently, making a few provisional decisions in January can put you ahead come November. By setting up goals early in the year, you can capitalize on sales and hidden moments of time. For instance, if you know that you prefer to make clothespin ornaments next year (because you saw some cute ones at the fair last year and ordered a sample), you can buy the clothespins at the discount store when they are bountiful. When you know you wish to give Aunt Sylvia's family an afghan for next Christmas, you will be able to buy the yarn at the January sales and work on it every time you sit down to watch TV. On December 26th we all have good purposes for next year. Some of us carry through; others don't. It does not make us right or wrong, but it does impact our available options. When you have order in your home and other parts of your life, you'll have more time for Christmas projects. But who does? Think it is now November, and neither is the mending caught up nor the fall housecleaning finished. You could still have a pleasant season, but you would not have as much free time during the pre-Christmas weeks.
Yes, there's more to Christmas than the tree and a turkey. Just like a large elephant, Christmas can drown us. What can you do to cope? Evidently, Christmas can't be ruled out from your calendar or from your life, nor would you truly want it to be. The answer is to split up this elephant into big chunks, then into bite-sized pieces. To view a clear picture of the whole season, make several types of lists. Create an overall plan by fixing interim goals and deadlines, all the while keeping abreast with your normal routine. You'll want to cut the Christmas elephant into pieces by organizing gift shopping, housework, baking and food preparation, activities for kids, decorating, service projects, and memorable traditions.
After every Christmas, stop long enough to evaluate, review, and arrive at tentative plans for next year. As you use better management rules, you could have a successful season that builds friendships, breeds compassionate service, brings peace and friendship, and lingers with tender memories.