I know that I am already very busy these first two weeks of December and I don’t have any children at home like many of you young moms. So my heart goes out to you.
I also wrote a book – the cover shown here – to help you figure out this season. Because it can really be hard to get everything done while trying to enjoy it all too.
1. Plan everything early. I actually set Dec. 1 (or the first week of December) as my goal. Why? Because then I can actually go to the parties or choir musicals or my child’s school program. When Thanksgiving is late in the month like this year, we really lose a week.
2. Plan your traditions and memories. The best way to do this is to just talk to your husband and children and literally ask them what they like to do during the holidays! I used to think I had to do all these things when really the children only wanted to do a few things. Remember, you don’t have to do everything.
3. Plan your workload. In other words, put on your calendar the best time for the family to get (or set up) the tree and when you have time to decorate the house. Again, please don’t feel that you have to do what your neighbors and family do! If you want a small tree then get a small tree. Between working and taking care of a family and home, decorating should not be a do or die activity.
4. Plan your buying. One of the best ideas is to shop all year long. That way you won’t have to run around this month shopping. You can also find good sales along the way and those special items if you are looking all year long. Another plus? You won’t have as much debt. In fact, if Christmas shopping puts you in debt, then you are buying too much. Maybe one year you could make your gifts. Scott and I make poppy seed bread as gifts for our neighbors, friends and hairdresser, etc.
5. Plan meals. Many of your nights may be busy with parties and gatherings. So now might be a good idea to look at your calendar and plan time to make soups or crock pot meals that can be used for multiple evenings. Also, plan when and where the holiday meals will be. But remember that you can modify traditions! I used to always cook a large Christmas Eve dinner but one year my daughter said, “Why don’t we just eat out after church service so we aren’t so rushed?” I thought they would miss the tradition of our home meal but this is one of those examples when it helps to ask the family what they want to do. Turned out I was so much less stressed and able to enjoy the service and the family by eating out.
6. Plan time for your family, friends, neighbors and the needy. Yes, that sounds like a long list! But part of the holidays is being with others. And I know that if I don’t plan, we won’t do. Is there a special family you want to make sure you see? Then call them up, make a plan and put it on the calendar. Can you have a neighbor get-together by caroling or having a tea to share the gospel? Is there a charity your family could give time to, either by sending money, food or helping personally?
7. Plan time for you! I know, most of you are thinking there is not enough time for anything so how could there be time for me? But, if we don’t take care of ourselves, then everyone will suffer. So take that bubble bath, take 30 minutes to read your book or call a friend. And do all you can to get enough sleep.
8. Plan time for the Guest of Honor. Yes, Christmas is about the birth of our and the world’s Savior. So give him time this season. Take time to pray. To worship Him. To sit down and look at your lighted Christmas tree and thank God for sending His Son to us. For without Christ our faith and life is nothing.
Advent – Preparing for Christmas
Another area that we can plan during the Christmas season is to participate in Advent which is preparing for Christmas. Advent is simply a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ.
Advent is not a biblical mandate, but a tradition implored among the Christian tradition to set our minds and hearts on the coming of Christ. We wait for the second coming of Christ just as the Jews awaited and longed for the arrival of the Messiah. It’s a time to worship, to pray and to mediate on God’s Word and to realize Christ gives us hope, peace, joy and love.
Manna from Heaven
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
If you are interested in a copy of my book “12 Steps to Having a More Organized Christmas and Holiday Season”, you can purchase one from: