It’s mid-October and the Christmas advertising is already in daily rotation. I have seen Christmas decor at Target and Kohl’s on my recent shopping trips. I’m trying to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather and peak color in Missouri this month, and put the snowflakes and Christmas cookies to the side for now.
I have succumbed to the pull of Christmas this year, especially since I’ve been writing about Christmas since July. But I know my Christmas morning will more peaceful if I plan in advance, even in October.
The following is an excerpt from Day 21 of my book, Christmas Peace for Busy Moms, all about planning ahead for a peaceful holiday.
This year I have made a promise to myself to conquer procrastination with planning. Procrastination is a familiar, toxic companion of mine. It destroys my peace by upsetting me right before big events. But if I tackle one regular task and one holiday task daily, I can wipe out December procrastination.
This promise means I won’t get all my outdoor light displays up and the Christmas tree decorated on the same day, or maybe even the same weekend. Looks like it’s time for me to adjust my expectations again. I hope this plan will give me cleaner rooms with beautiful décor. Usually I have one or the other, but not both. This year my promise should help me stay on task.
I am searching for make-ahead recipes which freeze well, especially cookie dough. My peace will multiply if I only need to thaw dough out, slice or roll, and bake in busy December since I did all the prep and cleanup in November.
I plan to create a customized shopping guide before Black Friday begins. I will dedicate a page in my planner for gift ideas. I will mark gifts off as they are purchased so I don’t stress out about last-minute shopping, or make the mistake of buying too much.
I plan to wrap gifts as I buy them. Rather than using wrapping paper and tape, I will use tissue paper to cover the gifts with an attached gift receipt, then drop them into one designated gift bag per person. If I need more than one gift bag per person, I can easily adjust it later. I want to spend less time wrapping this year and more time enjoying peace with my family.
This year I plan to delegate more tasks to my children. They are able to help more at their current ages than in years past. They can do one task while I’m doing another. For example, I need to start asking them to put away clean dishes while I cook dinner every night, and vacuum on a regular basis. Teamwork will create a more peaceful December for all of us.
I’m thinking about cutting out peace-buster projects. What is your peace-busting project that needs to go? Christmas cards? Light displays? Cleaning up after a live tree? I’m thinking through what can go this year so I can experience more peace. If I miss it too much, I can always add it back in next year.
Questions for reflection:
How can a little Christmas planning now pay off in peace later?
In what ways can you conquer any pockets of Christmas procrastination?
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