Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is around the corner and I can’t wait!

Ready or not, you have three months from today for the big holiday to arrive.

Three months to plan.  Three months to shop.  To wrap.  To ship.  To decorate.  To bake…

I know… it’s a little crazy to start thinking about Christmas when many are still having summer temperatures.  However, the holidays are SO much better in our home if I start planning now.

For years, I would totally get myself overwhelmed and inevitably have a meltdown that left me in tears at all that needed to get done.  And Tyson would try to encourage me by saying something like “we don’t need to do, or buy, or ship” or whatever it was that triggered the freakout, which would just start another round of tears and me wondering how I could’ve married such a man.

Truly… good times!

And then I started planning ahead.  I typically start by mid-October (if not before) with the goal of being finished by December 1st.  And whatever isn’t done by the 1st, I make sure is taken care of at the absolute latest by the Friday the kids are out for Christmas Break.  This has worked well for a few reasons:

  • Most of my family lives out of the area.  I have time to get their presents out to them without standing in a nightmare line at the post office.  I’m constantly late with birthday presents, but not with Christmas.
  • Planning ahead gives me the time to actually do fun things with my kids while they are home from school instead having them wonder why I’m having a nervous breakdown.
  • Portland has also had a few snowy Decembers that have left me so incredibly thankful that I didn’t need to leave the house to finish my shopping.
  • It doesn’t kill us financially.  Because I’m buying a little over a longer period of time, I watch for sales and it’s a lot easier to keep within our budget.

So as I’m enjoying apple picking and pumpkin carving, I’m keeping an eye out for cute wrapping paper and gift ideas.  I’m placing online orders and I may have freakishly already designed my Christmas cards… which is nice since last year I didn’t send any at all.

I know this approach isn’t for everyone.  Some have very fun traditions of going the week before or having a marathon day where they do it all.  So how do you handle the holidays? What are your favorite tips and tricks? Do you thrive on getting everything done in one day? Do you have at least one cry-fest during the month of December?  That was only me? Alrighty then…


  1. ScrapAndSalvage says:

    usually i love the build up and then am stressed and highly disappointed on the anticlimactic day. so, i should heed your advice and start planning ahead emotionally for the day of…thanks for the reminder 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      That’s a great point… I haven’t had as much of that anticlimactic disappointment in the last few years. I think there’s been sweeter, more memorable moments as the kids randomly want to make paper snowflakes or bake something and I can do it with them instead of running out to take care of something for the umpteenth time.

    • Danielle says:

      NO WAY!! That is SO cool! Christmas Vacation is on our “must see” list every year. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. My son has a t-shirt with their car and tree on it, but he would get a huge kick out of the jersey. Please post a pic… I’d love to see what you are doing for your card.

  2. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes says:

    Please Danielle. CHRISTMAS IS NOT COMING. Yet.
    Now I am all stressed out that I’m not on schedule.

    In all seriousness. This is excellent advice. Advice I give myself EVERY YEAR. And every year fail to heed.

    What I’ve done is scale back on the decorations. At our old house, I was like a crazy person with the garland/ribbon/lights. Then we moved here and I did the outside, but not inside—since inside was a dumpster, and there’s no point in decorating a dumpster.

    And now last year it wasn’t a dumpster, and I hardly did any decorations inside. A few, but nothing like the binges of previous years. It was SO MUCH EASIER TO CLEAN UP. Which is the worst part anyway.

    • Danielle says:

      We are pretty over the top with the decorations and it can get a little tedious putting it up and then taking it all down. It helps that there are four of us getting it done. And this year I’m looking forward to seeing what all my favorite bloggers come up with. 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      I’m just getting around to the fall decorating too. There’s so much great stuff this time of year… I love it! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. 🙂

  3. Pam says:

    Now I’m stressing out. I love to decorate and I should have a neighborhood party this year. I also have an Etsy shop for the first time and have been concentrating on that. I’m planning on being really busy…I hope. Not sure if any of the kids will make it this year since they all moved to new jobs. But we will definitely be having fun somewhere. Christmas vacation is our family favorite and we all have it memorized, Its not uncommon for my husband to hold the weed whacker up in the air if I want him to come in for dinner. He’s always” fixing the newel post” thank heavens. Where can I get one of those jerseys. He needs one. Well at least my fall decos are up and I bought one Christmas present for my daughter last weekend!

  4. Stacey says:

    Wait, isn’t it July? OH crap… where did the time go… My calendar says JULY! CHRISTMAS! Oh Danielle I’m really feeling like a total loser here. You have got it all together… so organized… so full of spirit (already!) I have to say that I’m impressed because I feel quite certain that you are NOT one of those crazy people who is running around like a chicken with their head cut off at Christmas. Sounds like you actually enjoy it … because you’re DONE SO EARLY! Good for you.

    It’s stressful. But I’m a Christmas loser! I said it twice now. It’s true. I do my Christmas shopping at the bank on December 23rd. (laughing) Sad, isn’t it. HA HA!
    I’m sure that makes you want to puke.

    I do put up my old silver aluminum tree from the 50’s. And I do love Christmas music and going to parties! I always make handmade cards for everyone. I imagine that having children makes the season so magical. I’ll just enjoy the holidays through you and your check is in the mail. (after the 23rd.) 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Oh man… I would so win “Employee of the Month” AND “Wife of the Year” if I could get my hands on one of those aluminum trees from the 50’s. Tyson would love one for his studio and they just don’t make them any more… I know, I’ve looked. However, I’m not at all surprised that you guys have such a cool tree.

      I wish I had it all together… I’m literally the worst when it comes to birthdays and I most definitely don’t make handmade cards for everyone. I bet yours are amazing! And I think that officially exempts you from the Christmas loser list. Sorry nice try, but you can’t make your cards by hand and be a loser… it’s in the Christmas handbook. 🙂

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