Christmas is coming! Or so I’m told every time I leave the house lately. People are already getting panicked about only this many days until Christmas! I, however, do not panic or fuss about the holidays. I create a plan, stick to it and enjoy myself. Without this I would find the holidays to stressful too bother with.
Creating schedules for the different holidays tasks helps keep stress at bay. Some people limit Christmas decorating simple. One tree, a few knickknacks, maybe a holiday themed tea towel or two. To those people I say, sit down, relax, have a snack. The rest of us are about to get silly. Please forgive us and, for your own safety, stand back.
The problem with Christmas decorations, I find, is that they reproduces when no one is looking. You buy a few things one year, a few more another year, you add a string of garland, a new snowman cookie jar and suddenly your basement looks like an elf threw up. We know we should buy more at the after Christmas sales because we have enough but let’s be honest, ignoring a 75% off tag on something shiny isn’t gonna happen.
If your Christmas decorating tends toward the more extravagant, I recommend attacking it in stages. We have no fewer than five Christmas trees up in our home every December and the thought of doing them all on the same day makes me want to cry. I also do a rather time consuming ornaments and ribbon contraption on the bannister going to our second floor – a project I cannot seem to accomplish in under an hour. I’ve got to have a schedule to get it all done without getting mad and quitting Christmas altogether. I try to keep it all within the same week or ten days so that my house isn’t in a strange state of perpetual transformation. Here’s a look at my decorating schedule for this year:
November 15th: Christmas wreath on front door
November 28th: Shelf above door decorated – 3 trees, 1 reindeer, 1 snowman, fake gifts festively decorated
December 3rd: Children’s tree put up in family room
December 4th: Main tree put up in living room
Smaller decorations: brought out over the week of November 28-December 4th.
My Christmas door wreath went up 2 days beyond schedule because I was finding it hard to make the transition with the weather still feeling so autumnal. Yesterday, however, things turned decidedly wintery and the changing of the wreaths finally took place. I also grabbed a couple of little holiday thingamabobs to put out around the house at the same time. Nothing major, nothing overtly Christmasy. I do not like to go overboard in November.
You may have noticed the mention of a ‘Children’s Tree’ on the schedule and yes, we have a tree just for the kids. Rather than create conflict by wanting to have only a pretty designer tree we decided to buy an additional – albeit smaller – tree for the kids to decorate as they like. Their tree goes in the family room where they spend the most time while the main tree goes in the front window. The kids are thrilled to have their own tree and I’m happy to not have Spiderman and Hello Kitty hanging off of my color coordinated tree. It works out well for everyone and I love having both trees to enjoy.
By breaking down the decorating process into manageable chunks you will be able to plan ahead and factor in other holiday jobs according to your overall schedule. By being proactive you can reduce holiday stress and enjoy yourself more and that’s what the season is supposed to be all about.
Coming soon: Stress Free Holiday Baking