Failing to plan…..

October 13, 2011 in Home management

There are ten (yes, ten) weeks to Christmas and I don’t know a single person who isn’t saying “where did the year go?” My first reaction is one of panic, all I can think of is how much I have to do before the 25th of December rolls around. But after taking a deep breath, and a deeper sip of coffee, I can sit back and think about all the preparations with a bit more perspective.

Failing to plan is planning to fail and this especially true of preparing for Christmas. How many of you have found yourselves wading through the crowds of your local shopping mall on Christmas Eve, trying to buy those last few gifts or a turkey for the next day’s dinner? How many of you, halfway through the holidays and with a house full of guests, have run out of something essential like toilet paper? Gosh, I thought it was just me.

This year I have vowed to do things differently and my promise to myself (and indirectly to my family) is that when the holidays arrive, I will take my annual holiday too (well, as much as one can as a mother). I will not be frazzled, harassed or “strident” as my sister likes to say. I will be the epitome of calm and togetherness. I can dream, can’t I? No seriously, I need this year to different for my own sanity and here’s how I’m going to do it.

HAVE A PLAN

I know this seems like I’m stating the obvious but a documented plan is essential for making sure that everything floating around your brain makes it onto a piece of paper from where it can be incorporated into the greater scheme things – not forgotten only to be remembered when it’s too late. The more mundane reason is that Christmas planning isn’t something you can focus on to the exclusion of all else – there are careers, chores, children, family commitments and a myriad other things that still have to be attended to. Daily life goes on and planning needs to fit into our already packed schedules.

If you are one of those lucky people who have more time available then there are many resources available on the internet just for you. I have pulled elements from www.life.yourway.net for my purposes and I encourage you to take a look, there are some really lovely ideas for all things Christmas.

Personally, I have bought a small, hard cover notebook which I keep in my bag with sections marked out for gift ideas, travel arrangements, make-ahead meals and baking, activity ideas for the children and a general “to do” list. As I think of something I write it down and when I do my planning for the day or week, I pull out the notebook and incorporate those notes into my schedule.

START EARLY

If you have a plan it’s easy to see what can be done in advance. Online orders for gifts, purchasing of gift wrapping supplies, a fair amount of baking and of course writing Christmas cards can all be started now. I’ve even bought two gifts already because I saw them when shopping for something else but as I’ve been thinking about it, the idea was at the front of my head. If I didn’t have my list I probably would have forgotten until the week before Christmas which is not when I want to be traipsing around the malls – there are so many better things to be doing.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT

Sure, we’d all like to send out loads of homemade gifts, have a perfectly decorated Christmas tree and children singing carols sweetly but that is not how real life works. It’s never going to be perfect and it’s ok to put out a dish of Woolies mince pies when you have visitors for tea – after all spending quality time with loved ones is far more important than getting yourself into a tizz over home baked goods that didn’t materialise.

I’ve got a feeling that this theme is going to crop up quite regularly over the next few weeks. How are you making a head start on Christmas?

I’m planning to try a few new cookie recipes this week in the quest for the perfect Christmas biscuit and I look forward to sharing some ideas around that theme next time.

Happy planning and until next time, farewell.

WG

1 response to Failing to plan…..

  1. OMG. 10 weeks, good to know i’m not the only serial list maker. Now just to do the things on my list. Wise advice this week – do only what is essential or you could end up totally over wrought! I’ll try listen to this advice…..

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