September 16 is exactly 100 days before Christmas. Not only are there presents to buy, gifts to wrap, cards to send, a party to plan, and a family meal to prepare, but there are other holidays and special occasions that demand action as well.
Christmas Day is a day to relish in the pleasure of being with loved ones. The days leading to Christmas should be spent enjoying the festive season with its traditional activities, friendly visits, and comfort foods, yet many people arrive at Christmas with a big wipe of the brow and a sigh of relief that they had accomplished anything at all. Many people make silent vows to be better prepared next year. There are several ways to guarantee an even greater enjoyment in this meaningful holiday.
1.) Having realistic notions about what Christmas should involve is an important step in the process. Christmas does not have to mean seeing every holiday ballet or play that comes your way. It does not have to mean filling every square inch of space under the tree with piles of gifts. Although a meal together with friends and family at Christmas time is a great way to celebrate, it does not have to mean a complex menu with five kinds of pie.
2.) Planning is essential. Even holidays benefit from deadlines and goals. Prepare a calendar of September through December. Keep the calendars in a place such as a three-ring binder that is easily accessible, portable, and can expand to include more useful pages.
3.) Starting early in the season is a great way to spread out the tasks that might prevent you from enjoying the beauty of the holidays. A holiday budget, a Christmas card list, and a gift list can all be created months before the busyness begins. If planning for Christmas isn’t started until December, a holiday that is meant to bring joy and peace will lead to nothing but stress and grief.
4.) Taking it little by little will ensure the pace does not become overwhelming. There is an element of calm that is required in order to create the pleasant experiences that tend to become beautiful memories.
5.) Making a careful record of a family’s path to Christmas is not only a great way to preserve those precious memories that come with spending quality time together, but it is also a tremendous way to establish traditions and save time and energy in the holiday seasons to come.
Now is the time to start preparing for the holidays at an enjoyable pace. Imagine the sense of relief and accomplishment when December arrives and the bulk of the Christmas planning is complete. Make this Christmas the best one yet by starting today!