On December 26 each year do you sit down and ask yourself “what just happened?” Did you get to the day after Christmas feeling let down, missing Christ in the season, in debt, stressed out, or just feeling the whole experience was less than you wanted? Many of us do, but there is a solution, and as the Christmas Coach I am here to help! The first step is for you to take a few minutes to think about what makes Christmas special for your family. Secondly, think about what takes away the Christmas spirit during the holiday season. Once you have this priceless information, you can work towards composing a Christmas holiday season you will look back on with fond memories instead of wishing it had never happened. Now, let’s get started!
No matter what time of the year it is, let’s stop and take time to think about the Christmas season! Many times we do not think about Christmas we just “do it” which can lead to disappointments and many “I wish I had done this or done that” after the season. To help you decide what is important to you about Christmas, answer the following questions, being as open and honest as possible. Your answers will help you begin to be organized for Christmas, one step at a time. Be truthful with yourself – there are no right or wrong answers.
12 Questions to Ask Yourself
Question 1: Do you enjoy the Christmas season?
Christmas should be an enjoyable time of the year, but for many it is not, or it could be more enjoyable. Depending on how much you already enjoy Christmas, you may just need some tweaks to make it more enjoyable. As the Christmas Coach, I want to help you on your journey to a Christmas filled with more joy – one step at a time. In one Christmas, things will not magically improve in every aspect, but if you take baby steps each Christmas, each year you will find you have less stress and more joy.
Question 2: Do you feel your Christmas is out of control, spending more time looking for items than with your family?
You could reap great rewards by creating a Christmas Organizing Notebook to help compose your Christmas, resulting in having a more JOYful holiday season! By putting together a Christmas Organizing Notebook you will create a central location for your ALL your Christmas related information, at your fingertips.
Question 3: Do you find that you do not have enough time for the things you enjoy during the Christmas season?
Creating a Christmas Calendar is a way to balance your time and recording all the season’s activities is an essential aspect of a less stressful Christmas. A calendar helps you to easily see where your time is already being spent, and how much time you have for new activities.
Question 4: Do you overspend during Christmas?
Creating a Christmas budget will help you to plan your spending for Christmas. All the areas of your Christmas spending from gifts, to a live wreath for the front door, to new clothes for the Christmas family portrait, plus lots more need to be included when making a Christmas budget. Make sure you are prepared for ALL the expenses of the Christmas season, because it’s the little things that add up!
Question 5: Do you ask your family to help with preparations for the Christmas seasons?
One of the biggest things to remember is this is not just your Christmas holiday. The celebration of Christmas also belongs to others in your family and it is important to include them in your overall plans and also ask them for help executing your plans.
Question 6: Do you buy gifts throughout the year, only to lose them when it comes time to wrap the gifts?
One easy way to tackle the “Lost Gift” problem is to identify and use one location to put ALL your Christmas gifts, as you buy them throughout the year. Many of us are proud for finding just the perfect gift for someone long before Christmas, only to be stressed out and sometimes having to buy another gift, simply because we cannot find the original gift! By tackling this problem, with a central gift location, you will be able to reduce stress as well as the cost of gifts that would need to be replaced.
Question 7: Do you plan to send Christmas cards?
If you did not send cards this past year (but wanted to) or the cards you did send did not go as planned, developing a system for sending out cards will greatly help. When making a Christmas card list, mark beside each person the priority of a card for them. For example, in my house if you get a gift from our family, you are a low priority on the Christmas card list, but those we do not send gifts to, are a high priority, as are family and friends who live far away. By grouping recipients by priority and working each group one at a time, you will be more likely to get your cards signed, sealed and delivered!
Question 8: Do you purchase gifts with a purpose?
Gift buying should not be about how much you spend or about purchasing a gift just for the sake of having a gift. Early in the year begin taking notes in your Christmas notebook about each person you will be buying gifts for this holiday season. Then when you hear them talk about a like (or dislike) write it down! This strategy will help you narrow gift ideas and to help you select gifts that will let the recipient know you were thinking of them – like a plate of their favorite cookies, a magazine subscription or a fun stocking filled with their favorite snacks.
Question 9: Do you celebrate Christmas as just one day?
By celebrating the entire Christmas season – from the first Sunday of Advent(there are 4 Sundays of the Advent season – the four Sundays before Christmas Day) until Epiphany (January 6th) – you can truly embrace the entire holiday season, before, during and after Christmas day. Take time to write down how you can expand your Christmas celebrations throughout the ENTIRE holiday season, not just one day in your Christmas notebook.
Question 10: Does the word “entertaining” scare you?
If you shy away from entertaining at Christmas because it seems like an overwhelming task, consider having informal gatherings. Get-togethers such as decorating parties, cookie exchanges, movie nights, game night, etc. can be the alternative to formal entertaining.
Question 11: Do you know when your favorite activity will take place this year?
Many organizations that conduct Christmas related activities know well in advance the actual dates for the upcoming year. Go ahead and give them a call now to find out the date, and put it on your calendar so you do not plan other activities on that date.
Question 12: Does your family eat out more than you plan during the month of December?
Eating out can take a “big bite” out of your budget, especially when it wasn’t “in” the budget. Many times we eat out just because we are too tired, and it seems like the simple solution for dinner. During the months leading up to the Christmas season, begin making double meals when you cook, putting one in the freezer for those hectic December days when you are too tired to cook. Not only will you save money by not eating out, most cases it will take less time to fix your meal from the freezer than to go out to eat!
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