Lessons from Christmas Past
Fall festivities and Thanksgiving require their own preparations and time allotments, so beginning Christmas planning in early autumn is always a wise move.
Wise Christmas elves remember holiday budgeting is most effective when included in their annual budget discussions and is made part of their savings plans for the year.
Learning from Christmas past is one way elves grow in wisdom. As you go through the holiday season, or after the powdered sugar settles, take notes as part of your planning for Christmas future and include them with a ‘master plan’ template for the years ahead.
Makin’ a List
Autumn Christmas List suggestions to start the snowball rolling:
- Jesus is the Reason for the Season (make Him the centerpiece of your planning)
- Develop a Master Plan Template (to reuse yearly)
- Determine specifics for THIS Christmas (total budget, in-town/travel, caveats, etc.)
- Pencil preliminary plan on printable calendar (Oct-New Year celebration)
- Breakdown budget (ministry donations, holiday offerings, cards, postage, gifts, wrapping supplies, special meals, extra dishes/paper products, holiday clothing, baking & storage/wrap supplies, travel, holiday décor, unexpected, etc.)
- Update personal and business contacts
- Take family photos for Christmas cards
- Buy or order Christmas cards and begin addressing envelopes
- Determine dates for mailing Christmas cards and placing special holiday phone calls
- Determine dates for gifts that need to be mailed
- Place specialty food orders (turkey/ham, breads, desserts, etc.)
- Determine dates to deep clean your home
- Schedule in seasonal yard work and home maintenance
- Determine and schedule in seasonal activities and special events
- Ensure time in schedule for routine housekeeping
- Determine dates you need your teenagers available and make certain they’ve arranged their work/social schedule accordingly
- Working backwards, determine specific days/times for items that have to be scheduled in last days of preparations (pick up special order and fresh foods/produce, determine who is going to pick up Grandma and when, assemble serving dishes/utensils, set table, etc.)
- It bears repeating here and be sure to tell others too… Jesus IS the Reason for the Season
Checkin’ It Twice
Go back through everything again with a fine-tooth comb and realistic eye. Ensure your plan is sound, anticipates surprises, and won’t allow the ‘Oh, I’ll remember that’ type item to be forgotten.
If you added new traditions or recipes to your repertoire, be sure you’ve eliminated some of lesser importance -unless you ended up with extra time and money on your wise-elf hands last year.
Be certain to have sufficient margins of open time throughout your days. Your vehicle will need fuel and you’ll need to fill your own tank occasionally too.
Make wise adjustments to lists and schedules now and thank your wise-elf self later.
For a little Christmas frankness and a few more suggestions…