I Swear I’ll Start Getting Ready For Christmas Earlier This Year!

 Christmas at the ‎⁨Schonbrunn Palace⁩, ⁨Vienna⁩, ⁨Austria⁩. This was one of my favorite Christmases exploring cities along the Danube River on a cruise. Christmas markets were everywhere!

Christmas at the ‎⁨Schonbrunn Palace⁩, ⁨Vienna⁩, ⁨Austria⁩. This was one of my favorite Christmases exploring cities along the Danube River on a cruise. Christmas markets were everywhere!

I love Christmas! I don’t go crazy at Christmas, but the crafty side of me wants to make food gifts and cards for friends and family on top of decorating our condo and possibly hosting a Christmas party. It’s really not that much, but every year finds me wishing I had a little more time to do it all.

My plan is always to keep things simple and enjoy quality and experience over substance. I might make super simple Christmas cards to send, but it’s the act of making them I enjoy the most. The same goes for any baking I do. And Christmas is always a time for some recipes that don’t get made the rest of the year.

There wasn’t much holiday celebration for me last year after the family changes before Thanksgiving. I took the time off from work and the slower pace of things to catch my breath and process what was going on, but I felt like I missed out on the holidays.

My goal this year is to reclaim the spirit and fun of Christmas I usually enjoy, but keep it simple. It’s quality over substance!

Although I haven’t actually begun any Christmas planning, the idea to begin has been percolating lately and I’m going to get started. What does this look like for me? Let me tell you.

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First off, I want to start working on that Christmas card list. I always think it’s going to be an easy task, but I get into it and realize I have some missing or old addresses to track down and then a decision on what kind of cards I want to send out. I always like to make my own if I can, but I’ve resorted to boxed cards on occasion to get something out in a time crunch. I’m hoping with early planning I’ll get to enjoy making my own this year.

An idea I’ve had for the last couple years is to get Christmas ornaments made using photos from our travels around the world. Retailers like Walgreens, Shutterfly and others advertise huge savings of 40%-50% off on photo products this time of year and I’m never ready. 

It’s hard to jump on a sale like that and find the time needed to upload your photos and use the online builders to make your gifts before the sale ends. Since these sites allow you to create products to purchase later, I’m going to start making my ornaments online now and then buy them when I see the big discounts hit. 

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The last time consuming task for Christmas prep is holiday baking. I always want to make cookies and often go overboard with multiple kinds. I think I’m going to stick with 1-3 this year and bake ahead so I can freeze them. I like to give cookies to friends and bring them to work, so doing the baking ahead of time will let me get the quantities I’ll need done on time.

And I think that will be it for my main Christmas goals. I’ll decorate our condo and maybe plan a small Christmas cocktail party, but for the most part, I’ll leave time to enjoy the season as it unfolds without feeling self-imposed stress over things I wanted to do, but maybe didn’t.

What’s your plan for enjoying the holidays without stressing yourself out? Do you have a go-to strategy to keep your task list reasonable and doable? Share your tips in the comments. You may inspire me or others to have an even EASIER holiday time next year.