SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

12 Week Countdown To An Organized Christmas | Family Economics

By Trisha

I am pretty sure you know the famous song “The 12 days of Christmas,” we have all heard and sung it a zillion times. This year I want to give my family a 12 week countdown “gift” that will assist this mom from being a complete stress case come December 25!

I have created my own version of the 12 weeks of Christmas planning countdown – no there are not 12 weeks of gifts but there are 12 weeks of to do’s that will feel like gifts as you complete each one.

Week#1- Oct.3: Create a Christmas planner using a binder with dividers. To assist in your planning and preparations for a stress-free Christmas, include:
• Calendars
• Gift lists
• Menus and recipes
• Celebration/tradition ideas
• Cookie/baking recipes
• Service projects
• Christmas card list
• Craft projects
• To do’s and to obtain lists
• Events and activity information
• Decorating ideas  

Week #2-Oct. 10:  Plan your Christmas cards by ordering them with existing family pictures or schedule family pictures and organize their outfits. Schedule all holiday events your family would like to attend and purchase tickets. Schedule and plan holiday parties you will be hosting.

Week#3- Oct. 17: On the third week of Christmas planning – begin phase one of deep cleaning the main living areas, including:
• Family room
• Living room
• Dining room
• Powder or bathroom
• Kitchen

Week #4-Oct. 24: Begin phase two of deep cleaning the family space, including: 
• Bedrooms
• Bathrooms
• Bonus room
• Create gift storage bins for each child to place gifts and stocking stuffers in. (I use one solid color bin for each child and keep them on the top shelf of my closet year round.)

Week #5-Oct. 31: Focus on holiday inventory and organizing wrapping supplies:
• Choose recipes to bake and inventory supplies needed
• Add both wrapping and baking needs to shopping lists
• Decide on teacher and hostess gifts and determine when you will make or purchase 

Week #6- Nov. 7: Have a family meeting and list out the celebrations and traditions you want to do this year:
• Be sure to keep some a surprise for your family as well
• After the meeting, pencil in the chosen celebrations/traditions
• Mail invites for upcoming holiday parties you are hosting

Week #7- Nov. 14: Plan your upcoming holiday menus for both Thanksgiving and Christmas:
• Include any holiday parties you will be hosting and meals for the week of Christmas
• Decide on recipes, inventory your pantry and add needed items to your shopping list
• Make final plans for all parties, entertaining, meals you will be serving and contributing to

Week #8- Nov. 21: Go grocery shopping for non-perishable items for Christmas, baking and Thanksgiving meal shopping:
• Begin mixing, baking and freezing holiday treats
• Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Week #9- Nov. 28: Make all of your final online purchases:
• Ship all packages and Christmas cards
• Take down your fall decorations and begin Christmas decorating—from trimming the tree to hanging the outdoor lights

 Week #10- Dec. 5: Wrap gifts!
• Stock up on batteries, candles, party goods etc.
• Prepare teacher and hostess gifts, wrap and write out cards

Week #11- Dec. 12: Start your final holiday cleaning:
• Finalize any additional baking or prep ahead dishes you can freeze
• Prepare for guests that will be staying in your home
• Deliver teachers gifts

Week #12- Dec. 19: Do the final grocery shopping and pick up those last minute stocking stuffers, hostess gifts etc.

Finally, enjoy your stress-free Christmas!

NOTE: You will notice that gift shopping is not included in any particular week. That is due to my own personal philosophy of shopping sales and deals. Each week I search the ads looking for the best deals for the items on my gift list as well as surfing the internet for potential deals.

So my holiday shopping often takes place during all 12 weeks. I enjoy the last minute shopping craziness as well.

How do you plan ahead for the holiday season?

12 Comments so far

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On Thursday, November 11, 2010, momisbestjob wrote

GREAT list thank you!

On Wednesday, October 13, 2010, Lee from WA wrote

WOW, I won't even have to think about preparing, I'll just refer to this list. I'm printing it off now. Thanks for the less stress for my life. This is great info!

On Wednesday, October 13, 2010, Grace Brooke - The Efficiency Specialist wrote

Great post, Trisha. Your organizing tips make for a simplified holiday season. Less stree = more fun! Thanks for sharing.

On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Aysha from California wrote

This is a wonderful way to stay organized this holiday season and actually enjoy it

On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Glenda wrote

Very nice I will print it off to follow

On Monday, October 11, 2010, Suzanne (Crunchy Green Mom) wrote

What a great idea!! I am printing this off!! I love the gift bin idea... this WILL be used this year.

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, pumpkin mom wrote

Like youre advice,im going to try to follow it!

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Linda Bell wrote

I would add taking the time to choose a charity or family to help for the holiday season from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Be sure to include lists for food, gifts and miscellaneous items for this special gift time. This teaches our children the importance of helping others and the joy they can feel by doing for others. It also help them appreciate the blessings they have.

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, momisbestjob wrote

LOVE the 12 week break down! What a great way to stay on top of what could be a stressful time. I LOVE the gift bin idea to be putting gifts in throughout the year!

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Carol from UP wrote

Just what i need to keep me focused so that I complete all I want yet don't get frazzled!

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Melia wrote

This is really great! It makes me tired just thinking about it all ;) Printing out your list now---thank you!

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Ma21cuteboy wrote

wow what a great way to sit back & enjoy the holiday! I definatey will be making a similar list-thanks!


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