Making a list, checking it twice

It’s getting closer to the big day! That’s right!

Dec 15!

And no, that’s not a typo!

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year. There’s something so magical about the lights, and the decor, and I love finding great gifts for everyone! But it’s often hard to enjoy all your decorations, or the parties or even the food because there is always so much to do!

Its hard to keep all of your tasks organized when there is a big event like Christmas coming up, especially with kids, and PA days, and extra curriculars and the possibility of actually hanging out with friends and family this year! *Fingers crossed.

Here are a few suggestions for your lists so you can have a magical, take it all in, kind of holiday season.

The gifts

Write down the names everyone and anyone that you need to buy gifts for. Think of neighbours, teachers, mail delivery folks, coaches, the crossing guard and obviously kids, spouse, and close loved ones. Try to be more thorough than you think you need to be! Try to write down beside their name what you think you might gift them. Even if you just think of a gift card. Just give yourself an idea. It feels so good to know you at least have an idea, let alone the actual gift! Then browse amazon or shop around and see how many names you can cross off. You can also buy for your pets! Also, don’t forget the time required to wrap the gifts – it always takes me longer than I anticipate.

The decor

Make a list of your must-do decor. The decor that means the most to you to get done. You could even divide the list into decor that the family helps with and the decor that is easier to do without others around – that way something like a family day decorating the tree doesn’t end up with only one person taking over… for efficiency sake. It’s an easy way to get everyone on the same page about expectations. You could add decor items that you want to try to make or buy to the list as well. You could even get kids involved by having them pick out ways they can help decorate – you may just need to be open minded about what it looks like when they are done!

The food

As I am shopping or browsing for gifts, I also keep my eyes open for any special treats, snacks or drinks. I love having a few special goodies that I can pull out for the kids or when friends come over. I also like to plan at least some of the meals we will be eating over the holidays. My goal is not to enter a store for at least a week before and a week after Christmas – its waaay too busy for my liking! I make ahead a couple things that are easy like quiche, spaghetti sauce, a couple of homemade pizzas, meatballs, and breakfast sandwiches. I like to have simple things on hand like a variety of fancy cheeses, some salami or other variety of snackable meat, yogurt, chips and salsa. So, make a list of foods you will definitely want to have, and another list for things you can make ahead. I usually also add special things for new years in my list, like fancy bubbly drinks and some party snacks – because, again, I just prefer to be snuggled with my family or hanging out with friends than waiting in line at the store.

The baking

On the topic of food, I like to have some baked goods on hand at this time of year. When it’s a non COVID year, I generally bring a dessert platter to the holiday parties. I usually pick out 8-10 of my favourite treats to make for the platters, and I will make some other things like scones or muffins. I have even been known to make our own gingerbread for houses, trains, and characters. Make sure you add any ingredients you may need for your baking or decorating to your grocery list! There’s nothing worse than running out or not having something you need!

The fun

This list is to track some of the holiday events you want to attend. You can also use it to write down any activities or crafts that you want to do, with or without kids! You can think of games to play or get creative with some festive things to do – like a gingerbread house decorating contest, or challenge friends or family to a bake off, or look up some fun minute to win it type games (if you can’t tell, they are my favourite type of games, they’re quick and easy!). Whatever you do, make it different from regular life. That’s how you can add a bit of magic to your time. Don’t forget to think about a date night for you and your partner too! Why not get some special snack food, or plan a fun date night activity (even if it has to happen at home after the kids go to bed).

It may seem like a lot to think about, but I promise it will help keep you organized, and help you enjoy the season too. If you can finish everything by the 15th of December, then you have a ton of time to just have some fun and relax – think a puzzle by the fire with some spiked eggnog! Sounds great thinking about it, right?

Here’s a bonus tip:

Why not also make a list for anything you need to get done in January. I like to make sure I have any birthday gifts purchased for January and February. Those birthdays used to creep up before I was ready for them.

Happy holiday prep!

Thanks for coming home!

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