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How to Plan for a Holly, Jolly Christmas

Are y'all thinking of Christmas yet?

I'm participating in a group blogging project in which some of my favorite blogging buddies are sharing "12 Ways of Christmas". From wrapping to mantle decor, cooking to traditions, outreach to frugal giving, we are all sharing our 12 cents (hehe - Get it? 12?!) on how to get through the holidays with flair.

As for me, I'm sharing how you can plan ahead to make sure you have a holly, jolly Christmas!

  • Start planning right now!

If you wait until the last minute to start sewing those annual Christmas pajamas, you'll be such a stressed out, tired Mama on Christmas eve, you might forget to put an important ingredient in a Christmas pie, and really, what's jolly about that??

  • Buy early.

I have heard rumors about mothers being forced to sew doggie pajamas (see photo above) instead of Christmas pajamas when they waited too long to buy the Christmas flannel and then found it was all sold out.

  • Unless you're buying Christmas decor.

Every Christmas, each of my children get a dated Christmas ornament. My plan is for each of them to have an entire collection to take with them when they leave home. I always buy these immediately after Christmas because they are always on sale then. It is great fun each year to unwrap their ornaments from years past and reminisce about the years gone by.

  • Keep it simple. Don't plan too much.

Trust me. If you begin a different fun-filled tradition for every day of Christmas break, your children will never forget it as long as they live, and each and every year they will hound you to go ice skating and throw a gingerbread house decorating party and build an igloo out of sugar cubes and sew those ding-dang Christmas pajamas and have a cookie swap and plan a penguin party and on and on it goes. One or two special things each year will thrill your children and won't leave you overwhelmed with too much to do.

  • Homemade can be mostly homemade.

When we make these gingerbread houses, I use graham crackers instead of baking the actual gingerbread. This saves me tons of time, and the kids love doing it even if they aren't real gingerbread houses.

  • Don't expect perfection.

You aren't a family in a magazine. You're real. And wrinkled. And have a chocolate stain from showing the kids how to make chocolate cherry mice. Oh wait. That's me. Anyway, relax and enjoy the season. If your Christmas card picture has mismatched outfits, give it a sepia or black and white effect and call it good. I bet no one will even notice that one of them was wearing pajamas!

What about you? How do you plan for a stress-free Christmas?

If the holiday season seems more stressful than joyous, if your budget seems too small to be generous, or if you are simply in search of inspiration, the 12 Ways of Christmas is written just for you! Click on each of the buttons below and join all 12 of us as we share crafts, decor, traditions, and more!

12Ways_wrappingWays of ReadingWays of Table DecorWays of Planning for the HolidaysWays of CardsWays of CookingWays of Decorating TreesWays of WreathsWays of OutreachWays of Family TraditionsWays of Mantle DecorWays of Frugal Gifting

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  1. great ideas. “keep it simple” YES- that is the best solution for a stress-free Christmas!

  2. I am a BIG planner and we do a kids baking day every year where they invite friends over – its their big highlight and tradition.
    Pj’s under the tree on Christmas eve and dad reading the Christmas story are another 😉
    Lovely to be a part of the 12 ways with you … btw my blog is pulling my blogging side rather than my homeschooling side, so here is the link!

  3. Oh my goodness, Connie! I love those PJs!!! You are so right about planning for a stree-free Christmas. I hope yours is fabulous!

  4. Love the reminder that we can’t plan on — or hope for — perfection, or we’ll be vastly disappointed. But often, the mishaps & such are how the best memories are made!

  5. Great ideas! I’ve been thinking of Christmas since last Christmas! I LOVE Christmas! It’s my absolute most favorite holiday!

  6. Planning ahead keeps it both stress-free and LOW budget!! 😉 My favorite tip of all! Great idea on the gingerbread houses – my kids would prefer the graham crackers anyway!! {We usually wait till after Christmas and buy the clearanced kits for them! ha}

  7. I do the yearly Christmas ornament for my kids too. we make a trip to the mall and I let the kids pick out the their ornament it is always fun to see what they will pick out.

  8. You are speaking my language in this post! I am learning the hard way to plan way ahead for Christmas to avoid the stress and be able to embrace the season. Thank you for sharing all these great tips!

  9. Thanks Connie!

  10. love it – don’t expect perfection !! phew – long sigh of relief !!

  11. That is definitely some good advice :) You are so clever, I smile every time I read one of your blog posts (and not just because you have super cute kids :)

  12. Keep it simple and don’t expect perfection are the hard ones for me. But it’s just not possible to do it all. I love these tips! Thank you so much!

  13. I was so sad the year I gave up baking 36 dozen cookies at Christmas, but my kids don’t even miss it! In an effort to survive this Christmas with my sanity I started a bucket list on my blog. I’m hoping it will help me remember and get it all done.


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