I. Love. Christmas.
Family, good food, vacation time, Christmas traditions, good food, Christmas music, good food – it’s the makings of the most wonderful time of year!
Although sometimes it feels like Christmas is a blur, probably because I don’t plan out Christmas as well as I should. There’s always that activity or service idea that I say I want to do, but they actually don’t always happen. Christmas in the past has been stressful and even unpleasant with all the busy-ness at times.
Nevertheless, I am super excited for Christmas this year! Our family has grown and we have all come to really appreciate Christmas more. It’s also the one time of year our family is all together. I am absolutely determined to improve upon my planning skills and make this Christmas the best one yet!
Christmas should be focused on our families and the One whose birth we celebrate. This should include spending quality time with family, serving others and making it magical for our children with special traditions. We also look back at the year and determine how we can better ourselves for next year and follow the perfect example of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Here are some things you (and I) should do to make it the most stress-free, meaningful and wonderful Christmas yet!
Why plan for Christmas? Well, if you plan your gifts, parties, functions and activities better, you save time and money. Yes, it’s much better buying gifts on sale than paying full price. Or grabbing a last-minute gift that isn’t really useful or thoughtful. Sure, things don’t always go according to plans, but at the end of the day, things will have turned out better than with no plan at all.
The things that need to be planned are:
- Your Christmas Budget (if you have hardly any budget, that budget can stretch too, if you plan well)
- Gifts (for your kids, extended family, neighbors and teachers)
- Service Projects (these can be simple, small acts of kindness or bigger undertakings)
- Family Activities and Traditions
- Christmas Dinner
- Your December calendar
Now, please do not feel overwhelmed. A fantastic Christmas does not mean going huge and expensive and stressful. Planning a fantastic Christmas should include a good balance of the things that you and your family would enjoy. Don’t cram a hundred different things into your Christmas season that it actually becomes frantic, unpleasant and expensive. Also, remember to be flexible with your plans and not to become a pedantic Christmas elf.
To make things even easier, I have an absolutely free 2017 Christmas 2017 Planner printable. This is something that can help absolutely everyone to have the best Christmas ever. It includes a gift planning template, a service project planning template, a Christmas dinner meal planner, a shopping list, a December 2017 calendar and Christmas party planning template. You will need this – I know I will!
Christmas Starts in Your Home
Make a wonderful Christmas atmosphere by doing any of the following:
- Decorating inside and outside your home on the 1st of December (or whenever suits you)
- Playing Christmas music in the background while you work around your home
- Singing carols and playing Christmas songs on instruments as a family
- Doing Christmas crafts with your children or grandchildren (we love making our own Christmas crackers)
- Baking Christmas treats for all to enjoy or as a service activity to take to your neighbours or someone lonely
- Go see the Christmas lights up in your city
- Sending Christmas cards (via email or mail) to relatives and friends
- Having a Family Christmas photo-shoot
- Reading the Christmas story – you can read the Kings James version King James version here while acting out the nativity using basic props or puppets
- Changing your phone and tablet background to a Christmas theme (you can download a couple off the internet for free)
With regards to decorating: Make sure that you only decorate as much as is enjoyable – you don’t want to dread having to put up and then take down everything and it becomes a horrible job in the end. What’s the use of that? I think the key to making the decorating process enjoyable is to involve everyone in the family, play Christmas music in the background and to have Christmas treats to enjoy. All of Christmas-ness will permeate the walls of your home and the hearts of your family members!
Also, use the free Christmas 2017 Planner activity planning sheet to make a list of a few Christmas activities you want to do and plan when and how you will do it. Don’t be overly ambitious and have a hundred things on your list, because life happens.
Pinterest your Christmas!
There are so many fun Christmas ideas on Pinterest like cute crafts, delicious recipes and effective and inexpensive DIY decorations. So many ideas yet so little time. Go onto Pinterest for a few of minutes to help you find a couple of ideas that will help you make Christmas easier and better. Below are just a few I like!
Carry Christmas in Your Heart
There’s a lovely Christmas advent calendar called Light the World that you can download for free. How you use it is by taking the short scripture phrase allocated for each day in December and deciding what you will do to help you bring the spirit of Christmas into your life and those around you. What you decide to do could include your family, friends, neighbours, strangers or just yourself. I love it because it is so simple and you can choose what you are able to do, making it a personal and tailor-made Christmas advent calendar. If you are a busy person, just small activities will work for you. If you have a little more time on your hands you can do a full-scale service project. It’s really up to you. Use the service planning sheet in the Christmas 2017 Planner to plan your big or small service project for this Christmas.
May you and your family be blessed with the most happy and memorable Christmas ever! I hope we will focus on what matters: our family and the One whose birth we celebrate. May we also look back at this year and determine how we can better ourselves for next year as we follow the perfect example of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Feel free to subscribe to my blog and comment below with your cool ideas that has helped you to enjoy the Christmas season even more!