Is it just me or you too? I am surprised that the radio stations are playing Christmas music 24/7 already. I love turning on the radio the day after Thanksgiving and hearing the Christmas music for the first time. It is such a special time and a nice treat! But NOW??? It just doesn't make sense. We already have almost an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. To play Christmas music already seems like a bit of an overkill to me.
However, I do like to start planning my Thanksgiving and Christmas around this time of year anyway. Actually I usually begin thinking about the holidays just after Halloween. I try to brainstorm and list all the things I want to do for the holidays first. Then sort through that list and cross off anything that seems out of the question or seems unreasonable. Then I like to get things scheduled on the calendar - go see Santa, our Christmas party, any other parties or dinners we are invited to goes on the calendar. Then I like to categorize things in to weeks. These would be like getting Christmas cards signed and addressed, mailing Christmas cards, baking cookies, shopping, getting the Christmas tree, outside decorations going up, shopping for Christmas dinner and baking. Then I like to get the gift list ready. I list out everyone I would like to give gifts too and begin to brainstorm ideas for each person on my list. I set a budget and then adjust the list as necessary. I try to make as many gifts as I can if possible. I love homemade gifts. Not all my recipients do but I love to give them so they get them.
Visualizing the calendar works so well for me. I can see the things I need to get done.
Because we are homeschooling this year, I am hoping that I will have just a bit more time to do the things we really want to do each holiday season but don't seem to have the time. These would include driving around and looking at Christmas lights, baking more than usual, creating some nice gifts for my family and friends.
What do you do to get organized for the holidays? What tips do you have for busy families? What is your favorite tradition leading up to Christmas?