Pre-Planning for Christmas

I’ve never been one to spend a quarter of the year planning ahead for Christmas, but after talking to Rose, who is planning ahead this year, and reading Simple Mom’s post about having a 12 Week Pre-Christmas Plan, I decided that this year I should plan ahead a little, if only because my due date is a week before Christmas and trying to pull Christmas together with a newborn (or being hugely pregnant if she’s late – when Hannah was due around Christmas I was sorely disappointed that there was no babe in our manger!) will be an additional challenge this year.

I like to keep Christmas simple, but it is my favorite holiday so by “simple” I don’t mean “spartan.” I love to decorate for Christmas, but I am one of those people who believe in taking the decorations DOWN on New Year’s Day, so in order to enjoy them fully I’m going to plan to get the decorating done Thanksgiving weekend (I’ll be 37 weeks pregnant on Thanksgiving, but let’s get real about my chances of having a baby 3 weeks early! And yes, I said that just to tempt fate!).

My favorite Christmas tradition is to center our family devotions around the Jesse Tree (check out my Jesse Tree blog if you don’t know what that is or want to know how to do it for your family), so I’ll plan to get that set up and organized Thanksgiving weekend too, so we can start December 1 with a minimum of scrambling.

I’ve been stockpiling gifts all year, but whenever I do that, I forget where I’ve cleverly hidden things, and come February I’ll find that perfect something I intended to give someone and be irritated. This year I’ll try to hunt everything down in advance, and wrap and tag things as I go. I’m thinking of making decorated cookies for some presents, although I’m going to try to remember that it’s a long process, as I learned the year I made decorated camel cookies (they turned out great but it did take forever and was like a three day process!). Some of our gifts may be creatively based around things from our CVS stockpile, and our White Elephant Gift Exchange presents may or may not include giant inflatable Sponge Bob Square Pants Santas or pooping reindeer candy dispensers. But probably they will be tasteful instead.

Other things I’m planning about include making meals and freezing them so I’ll have easy dinners on hand in December, deciding which books I want to order from the library in advance so we won’t spend all month waiting our turn for Toot and Puddle’s Christmas stories, and planning some fun crafts and activities for the kids.

How about you, readers? Do you plan in advance for Christmas? If so, do you have a set plan in place, or any sources of inspiration you’d recommend? After all, there are only 11 and a half weeks until Christmas! Are you singing Fa La La yet?

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