Today we are talking about planning for Christmas.
I start planning for Christmas around now. We have a busy September and October with back to school, Q's birthday, Thanksgiving, E's birthday, and Halloween. I am not able to start focusing on Christmas until those things are out of the way. This year I actually turned my mind to it before Halloween but just briefly.
I plan everything out in a Google Doc so I can look at it from home and at the office. I've been working off of the same plan for the last couple of years so I don't need to reinvent the wheel, I just need to make revisions.
We have been doing roughly the same plan for our Christmas Party the past couple of years so I don't need to think too much about that yet. I have the food planned out already and I have a rough schedule for shopping for ingredients, baking, prepping the food, buying the alcohol, and tidying the house the week and day before. I will make some tweaks to this depending on my schedule but it has already been thought through once so I don't deviate much. I will need to place the order to rent the glasses soon and deliver our neighbour invitations this week.
The next thing to think about is getting some photos that will work for our Christmas card. We don't get professional photos done but we will just use our tripod and take a few shots to see what works. I like to get these done before December 1 so I have lots of time to send them out.
We will get our tree around the first weekend of December so we have lots of time to enjoy it and get the decorations out.
I have tried to set a budget for gifts this year so hopefully that means I can buy everything and be done without picking up a bunch of last minute things. Last year I did a good job of having everything wrapped well in advance of Christmas, and I'd like to do that again this year.
I also make a menu for the week of Christmas when we have guests. We need to fit in lobster, turkey dinner, fondue, oysters and appetizers, and maybe a night out at a restaurant or two. This year we will have Dave's parents and sister visiting. I like to make sure we have lots of food in the house so no one goes hungry and special foods that we only get around the holidays but also nothing too intricate that takes hours to make.
We have our visit with Santa booked at Sherway Gardens so putting together outfits, writing a letter, and printing off the photos go along with that event.
All of this stuff is written in my Google Doc and I check it daily to make tweaks and remind myself what needs to be done. I also make notes and reminders on my iPhone for certain events that come up.
My general goal is to have most things done by the time we have our party so then I have the week or two leading up to Christmas to just make food and enjoy the season. We have a couple of parties, the children's choir and symphony concert at church, and of course Advent and Christmas Eve services.