Are you ready to begin Christmas planning yet? If so, I want to tell you about a couple of great resources you can use (one of which is free!) to make the process both fun and less overwhelming.
If you're not ready to begin Christmas preparations yet, and instead think I'm completely off my rocker to even be suggesting the idea, I'd love to convince you that no, I'm not quite as crazy as you first thought!
Did you know that September 16th marks 100 days until Christmas?
That means sooner than you may realize fall and winter holidays will be upon us, beginning with Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas.
You may still be reeling from back to school time, but the calendar doesn't care. It just keeps marching along.
Even though the holidays are supposed to be a joyful time many people feel overwhelmed and stressed out by them. I can relate!
There have been years that I didn't want to even think of everything I had to do for these supposedly joyous occasions that seemed like a pain in the neck instead, since I didn't seem to have enough time to get it all done.
As I've traveled along my journey toward organization, I've come to realize that planning my holidays allows me to take them back from commercialism, and all the extra demands the world puts on these special family occasions.
Instead, when I plan and prepare thoughtfully and mindfully I can replace the stress with joy and fun, choosing to do as little or as much as I want with my time and resources.
Planning and preparation put me back in control and allow me time to experience the joy of the season, and also pass that joy along to my kids and the rest of my family.
But planning is often a lot easier to talk about than to do. That's why I'm sharing two resources with you below that make it easy to plan and prepare for the holidays.
Many of you may know, but in case some of you don't, I don't just write this website, but instead I have a couple of others too, and one of the sister sites to this one is called Household Management 101.
For the third year on that site I'll be running my 13 week Stress Free Holidays series. This series launches this year, for free, on October 5th, and it is designed to give you tasks each week to do to get your home and family ready for the holdidays in a stress free and joyous way.
I'm still working on changing some things around on the series for this year, since Thanksgiving is coming a week earlier than in previous years, which means I've got to shuffle some things around a bit. Plus, this year I'll be sending out the missions on Friday, to allow you the weekend to work on them since many people suggested weekends worked better for them. However, it will all be ready by the launch date.
Therefore, I would encourage anyone interested to go ahead and sign up for the free emails to receive each week of the series, which helps you plan for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and also to clean up from each of them as well.
100 Days To Christmas Ebook
[Click here to purchase for $5]
The second resource I recommend, which also makes Christmas planning easy, is the 100 Days to Christmas ebook, written by Jennifer Tankersley, the owner of one of my favorite organizing resources (that I use myself), List Plan It.
In many ways her ebook is quite complementary to my 13 week series, it just starts sooner.
Jennifer provided me with a copy of the 2012 version of the ebook to review, and I have to say I absolutely loved it.
While my series starts 12 weeks before Christmas (and lasts one week afterward), meaning it begins this year on October 5th, hers starts 100 days before Christmas, which falls on September 16th.
Each day for 100 days she has a task or activity for you to complete to get your holidays planned, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
In addition, when you buy the ebook for $5 she also gives you access to 25 downloadable holiday printables and planning pages, most of which you can type into on your computer before printing out, from List Plan It.
The printables, on their own, are worth the price, and you get an ebook with 100 days of missions to complete to boot!
As I mentioned above, if you want to buy just the ebook it costs $5, and you get access to the 25 printables I mentioned. However, Jennifer has also given you a way to get the ebook for free!
If you purchase a yearly subscription to List Plan It, of either the $20/year print membership or the $30/year downloadable membership (which I personally bought and use) you can add the ebook to your shopping cart, and use the coupon code "100DAYS" at checkout to get the book free!
So, to sum up, Christmas planning can make your holidays fun and enjoyable, so I totally recommend it, and want to remind you it is getting close to time to actually start the preparation process.
If you want some guidance in the planning and execution process I recommmend both these resources for you to help you on your way.
It may seem a bit early to say, but I'll say it anyway, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
FTC Disclosure: I was provided with a free review copy of 100 Days to Christmas, but the opinions expressed about it are my own, and have not been influenced by List Plan It. Further, I am an affiliate for the company (and a customer and user myself), and therefore if you purchase a membership through me, or the ebook through my link, I will receive a small commission. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.