True confession time....I have never been very good at scheduling. I once told my project manager that my creative brain takes in and processes information differently, and can't be confined to a schedule. She smiled, told me she understood and handed me my due dates! Interestingly, the work got done despite my brain. There's something about putting down a due date on the calendar that gets and keeps the ball rolling.
Today we will get started on creating our Christmas Calendar, the last post in our series on building a Christmas notebook. If you're just joining us, you can still catch up! We've gathered our supplies, created our ideas section, and started our lists. The final general category that we'll add to our notebook is our master calendar.
First, you'll need calendar pages. You can just use a regular 12 month calendar, or print individual month pages from the web. I've got different calendars for different projects (yes, I've reformed!) . . . . I keep track of my biking mileage on one, on another is my blogging plans, etc. For our Christmas calendar, we'll need to not only incorporate our Christmas plans, but also all of the other special celebrations we treasure.
So first, add all those birthday parties, anniversary celebrations and non-Christmas events and obligations. Next, calculate the amount of time it will take to create the handmade gifts you've chosen, and any decorations and/or food gifts that you're making. Enter start dates and due dates to keep yourself on schedule. Next, refer to your activities section and enter those programs and concerts and parades that you traditionally attend and those you want to be sure to include.
After all these pieces have been added to your calendar, its time to get down to the nitty gritty of the Christmas season. When will you decorate the tree? By what date will the Christmas cards be mailed? Enter those end dates as well as the dates you'll need to start those projects in order to meet your own deadline. Remember, all of these "deadlines" are meant to REDUCE STRESS by giving everything a time and place to be done. This is not punishment, I promise!
If you have friends and family that you mail packages to, enter the dates that you will mail them so that they arrive on time. If you have holiday photos taken, schedule that and enter the dates. You get the idea. Once all of these items are added into our calendars, we then see where we can fit in our own party, open house or maybe a cookie exchange. Or simply enjoy the blank space on the calendar and wait for invitations.:)
All of the general sections we've created in our notebooks serve as the foundation. The goal in all of this is simply to gather information into a master plan, all in one place. Depending on our individual traditions, we'll undoubtedly add other sections too. Breaking down bigger sections into smaller ones can also be very helpful. But when the notebook begins to take shape, you'll stand back and behold what a beautiful thing it is, so coordinated and rhythmic.
Here's to a low-stress, joyful and memorable Christmas season!