Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Christmas Countdown

Last December 11th, I won the cute little Christmas decoration that you see here at a MOPS planning meeting. What did I have to do to win it? Well, nothing...and I mean that quite literally. Specifically, I won it for being the least prepared for Christmas out of the over 20 women on the MOPS Steering Team! It was nearly the middle of December and I had nothing done. No decorations. No gifts purchased OR planned. No cards written and mailed. No plans made for Christmas Eve. Nothing.

Typically, I am not a huge procrastinator. However, my family life is such that we celebrate Thanksgiving, my husband’s birthday, Christmas, and BOTH of my daughters’ birthdays in the span of two months. And of course, I’m usually the sole planner for all of those events. December started before I was ready for it...and I didn’t catch my breath until the end of January! I vowed that I wouldn’t, and couldn’t, allow this craziness to happen again.

So, why in the world am I writing about Christmas in October? Have I gone commercial like all the stores? Well, no. I’m going all ORGANIZATIONAL! This year, I've decided to plan ahead for my family’s holiday season. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be ready for the holidays before my husband’s birthday arrives! I hope that by doing so I’ll have a happier, less stressful holiday season and be able to enjoy my family more. Thanks to the online Christmas Countdown I’m not planning it alone. Written by Cynthia Ewer, the Christmas Countdown is a free six-week Organizing Plan. Beginning in the last week of October and ending the first weekend of December, the Christmas Countdown helps you complete your holiday planning and preparations early so that you can enjoy a stress-free and meaningful holiday with the ones you love. Each week has a specific theme to help you get organized and focus your planning (Get Organized, Reality Check, Gifts & Giving, Get Cooking, Decorate and Celebrate). During the Countdown, the website also provides daily inspirational messages on their site along with the day’s assignments and links to checklists. To help you get organized, the site also has more than 50 printable holiday planner forms to help you create your own Christmas Planner to streamline your holiday cleaning, cooking, gift buying and decorations.

If you notice the date, the countdown began on Sunday so it is time to get started! In this life with two kids, I do have a tendency to fall short of my great plans. However, this year I'll try my best to stick to this particular plan so that I can enjoy the holiday season and focus on the real meaning of it all.

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