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Prepping for a Less Stressful Holiday Season

by Jill & Cathy on October 29, 2012

We know it’s just now Halloween and many of us are not yet ready to start talking about Christmas.  However,if you start planning now, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy all of the excitement of the season.  We’ve put together a list of tips to help make your holiday season less stressful.

Our first suggestion is to print off a December calendar.  We already have Christmas parties and activities on our calendar, recording them now will help you avoid double scheduling your family on a day.  Start writing down your events now and post your calendar in a prominent place in your home!  Another idea is to add your activities to your cell phone calendar.  This way your calendar will always be with you!  You will find our December calendar here…

Next, if your family displays an Advent calendar, now might be the best time to start looking.  Our boys always enjoy the Lego version.  We’ve included a couple others we think look fun also.

Or, make your own.  We also love the idea Angela Lerew at Unexpected Elegance shared two years ago.  What makes the calendar even better is that it gives your children a chance to celebrate the real reason for Christmas.  This is one you will need to work on putting together before December but the effort will be worth it!  You will find the tutorial here…

Other families might choose to create a book basket for a unique Advent calendar.  Gather together 24 Christmas books (they don’t have to be new – pull them off of your shelves.)  Wrap the books and put a number between 1 and 24 on each.  At bedtime, have your children begin by unwrapping book 25 on December 1st. That will be the bedtime story for the evening.  Continue each evening until Christmas Eve.  We like the idea of making a book about the Christmas story be on the Christmas Eve.  Here are a few of our favorite Christmas books…


Now it’s time for the part your children will love…have your children create their wish lists.   It’s much less crowded to take your children to look at the toy store early in November as opposed to December.  We have created a few different wish lists you might like to have your children use here…   Other ideas are to create an Amazon wish list.  Your children can search for their favorite toys on the computer and add the items they like best.  This is a great option for families who have close family out of town.  Amazon offers free, fast shipping on many items.  Our boys also have fun creating gift registries at Toys R Us.  They have scanners children can carry around the store to create a wish list similar to a wedding registry at other stores.

Finally, start planning your holiday meals.  Wouldn’t it be great if your meal plans were together and jobs were assigned before the business of the season settles in?  We’ve created meal planners you will find here…

Do you have other tips that you think we be helpful in creating a less stressful holiday season?  Please share your ideas for others below!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nova November 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I am seriously falling in love with you ladies!

I first found your site when I was trying to make Common Core checklists… and I discovered that you not only already made them, BUT you also offer them freely to the public!! WOW. Thank you so much. I don’t know why you do it, but it is a **huge** blessing to me.

Now, I am scouring your sites for your other printables… and then I landed on the Family site! I seriously need your management binder ASAP!!

Re: Advent. Jen Hatmaker’s blog sent me to ETSY to find a meaningful calendar that would include family activities…. there are tons of cute ideas over there! I think I am going to buy the one that has a magnetic metal tin for each day (so the whole thing can be thrown onto the fridge instead of taking up space on a surface).

Thanks again for all you do!!


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