Thursday, November 29, 2012

How Do You...Schedule Christmas Events Without Becoming Overwhelmed?

How do you... have fun in December without overscheduling?

In her e-book, Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas, Crystal Paine speaks of taking a few minutes as a family to create a Christmas Bucket List of the events or activities you deem priority during December.  We've been doing this for years but with a twist.  Each year in November, Brian and I have a "business meeting" to discuss the things we want to do as a family in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We do this without the kids.  After we've made plans and penciled in the calendar, we tell the kids and they cheer (literally) as we share what we've planned. 

Our priorities change from year to year. There are things we do every year because they are family tradition and important to all of us.  For example, Maddie and I  have a girls' day out to see a school performance of The Nutcracker  in early December, and as a family we always ride to the ocean to look at Christmas lights on the evening of the last day of school before break. Some things we try because we want the experience, but don't have plans to repeat every year.  These include going Christmas caroling and attending our town's Christmas parade.  Some things we do at home like decorate the tree and watch our favorite Christmas movies...and some we do away from home like have a baking day with my mom and sistersWe pay careful attention to the calendar when we're planning to ensure that we don't plan too much!  No one wants to run ragged at Christmas time!

We also make a conscious choice to guard the last days leading up to Christmas.  Two days before Christmas, we give the house a thorough, all-day, dust-the-crevices, wipe-down-the-refrigerator clean.  Once that is done, we relax and declare Christmas Eve a quiet day at home.  We do not accept invitations or leave the house, but spend the day together playing games and resting before the busy-ness of Christmas Day. 

How do you keep from overscheduling in December?  Let us know in the comments. 

Also, if you have a question for a future "How Do You...?" post, share that in the comments, too, or send me an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. We also create a Christmas season bucket list. In fact, we'll be talking more about it tomorrow as we finish up our 3 Tips for a Meaningful Christmas series.

    We love how we can create a plan that makes Christmas more meaningful as well as more enjoyable and less stressful!

  2. As our kids are still young and there aren't too many activities that we participate in we haven't had much trouble with this. I say be careful even with your time at home. Last year we hosted 5 events before Christmas and attended one other event. That's a lot, even though we were home and had fun. This year we are doing a few things, but even though we may be hosting several people we are trying to keep it a little lower keyed this year, like having friends over for dessert/coffee rather than a whole meal, etc.


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