This one is up to you! What is something you have always wanted to do this time of year but just never had the time? Today is the day to do that thing. Whether it’s a craft you want to make, a tradition you want to start, or time you want to spend with certain people.
If you can’t think of something, there are some great ideas in the book to give you a jump start. Because these projects have gotten you organized and totally prepared this Christmas, consider this a gift to yourself for all of your hard work. Enjoy!
Assignment: Do that one extra special thing
Think of your own special task that you have wanted to do for years but have never had time for. Today is your day to do that thing.
Doesn’t it feel great to have everything done, ready and finished so you can really enjoy those last few days of the holiday season with your family?
When you see others’ decorations and trees and well-behaved children (ahem!), or when you read those family Christmas letters, remember that you can either envy or enjoy, but you can’t do both. Let’s abolish overwhelm by choosing to enjoy!
When was the last time you served a beautiful Christmas dinner on a nicely decorated Christmas table with your favorite poinsettia table runner, nice silverware and glasses, pine cones to decorate each place setting, and Thomas the Tank Engine napkins?? (Huh?!? Uumm, yep, it happened). Check out the full story in the book under “Project 20 Tablecloths, Napkins and Foof, Oh My!”
Well, my friend, today we are not going to let that happen to you, no sir-y we are simply finding all of our table decorations and linens and getting them ready all in one spot.
Assignment and Supplies:
Find your napkins (the ones you intend to use), tablecloth (wash it if there are spots), runners, napkin rings, plates, silverware and stemware or glasses.
**Note** if you are striving for simplicity this year and are going the shabby-chic method of paper or plastic, make a list of the things you need to purchase and where. (There is some cute stuff out there these days that make a table look great. Don’t feel bad about it, remember your goal of simplicity). Embrace it!
Share Your Thoughts
Share with us! When did you have your party all set only to discover the teeny tiny thing of having no ______? What did you do?? This year, join us in our vow to be prepared! Plan today what you will need for tomorrow.
Have you ever noticed that, “How does the table look?” and “Doesn’t the table look pretty?” are two entirely different questions? One encourages critique while the other invites celebration. Avoid the overwhelm in your household by asking for the feedback you want.
Meal planning at Christmas can make the whole season so much easier! Take some time today to meal plan every day up until Christmas as well as Christmas dinner. (I promise, you will thank me later.) Spend time in the kitchen today taking stock of what you have, what you need, and what meals you will make your family each night for dinner.
Be sure to look at your calendar for any nights you have plans. If you need to take a dish to an event, mark that on the meal plan, so you know how to prep and shop.
If you have dinner at another home or event, revel in a night off! Either way, it goes on the meal plan. Make life easier by utilizing LOOP (Leftovers On Purpose) meals and frozen meals whether they are yours or store bought. Once you are all planned out, make a list of ingredients you need to buy as well as perishable items you need to buy at the last minute.
Make your life easier, dinner prep ideas
Another great dinner prep idea to make your life even easier is to have a frozen meal swap with friends. You can implement this one of two ways. The first way, invite friends to your home. Everyone brings ingredients to make a meal of their choice that is freezer friendly (enough to share with however many friends are joining in on the fun). Then you all help with the cooking, family portions are placed into gallon zip-lock bags ready to freeze, and everyone goes home with a variety of meals to freeze and enjoy throughout the month.
Another way is for everyone to make something at home (enough to share family portions with anyone participating), freeze them, and swap them with friends. This way, you might have made a huge batch of soup, but you might end up with soup, enchiladas, lasagna, and a chicken casserole.
Assignment: Spend some time in the kitchen
Create your meal plan for the rest of the month.
Plan your baking list so you know what you need to bake and when you’re going to do it.
Plan out your Christmas dinner.
Make a shopping list of all necessary ingredients. Divide list into non-perishables and perishables.
Shop for non-perishables and the next few days’ meals.
Make a list of things you will need to buy at the last minute.
Today, my friends, is a fun day! You have permission to go surfing online to finish up your last minute shopping. You have the chance to sip coffee in your pj’s and shop for your loved ones all at the same time! No standing in long lines, feeling all hot and bothered with bag imprints going up your poor arms, no whining kids begging to go home already, no eye-rolling husband waiting on you. Best of all, no sore feet! No, this is a day to celebrate, for we have this great invention called Amazon! YES!
Here’s your objective – find a great place to shop with great deals. Next, shop away! (Don’t forget about places with free returns, free shipping or discounted shipping costs). This is going to be the best Clutter Free Christmas yet!
Where do you like to go to get great deals? Are you one of those infamous Cyber Monday shoppers? Share with us your favorite places to online shop. Where do you find the best deals with the lowest costs on shipping and handling? Share with us on our page!
Remember – even when everything seems important, not everything is possible.
Today is shipping day! Grab your packages, buy yourself a Starbucks, and brave the post office (the lines won’t be nearly as long this early in the game).
To make this day painless, take some time earlier in the week to familiarize yourself with USPS.com, print out labels, and pack everything up so it is ready to go for pick up. (You can still enjoy a Starbucks if you like!) If you have never used USPS.com before, this may just be the most magical part of your Christmas this year.
Assignment: Shipping day is time for shipping your boxes!
Learn how to ship using USPS.com.
Use Priority Mail boxes.
Priority mail can be picked up at your house the next day.
Check out Kathi’s Quick Tips in the book for ideas for packaging and sending.
Did you have any gifts to send? Did you mail them or order online? Do you have any quick tips to share pertaining to packing and mailing gifts?
Expand your capacity for joy by seeking out opportunities to be joyful, appreciating what you have, and finding joy where you are – no matter what that looks like. (Yes, even the post office or the holiday mall traffic!)
When was the last time you made time for you? Like literally planning nothing? Now sure, you may write on your calendar ‘get pedicure’ (that counts), but there is this GLORIOUS thing on a calendar called white space. Have you heard of it?? It is literally that … space for nothing. You should try and add some white space to that busy calendar of yours! (For inspiration, check out this classic podcast: Finding Whitespace During Christmas)
Assignment: Find one way to refresh and recharge and find time for you in the midst of the busy Christmas season!
Here are some ideas:
get lunch with a friend
take a long hot shower
read a book in a cozy chair with a hot cup of tea
browse Pinterest mindlessly for one hour, guilt free
watch a great Christmas classic on TV
call a friend and talk for long enough that it felt like a visit
choose two days next month on the calendar for white space
Lest you be tempted, today is not a catch up day, it’s a RELAX day. You deserve it once in a while. Besides, you will be so much more effective when you take time for you.
How did you do planning your ‘white space’? Did you do nothing? Did you get a much needed nap or pedicure?
Are you rest-resistant because you think that if Christmas is going to happen at all this year it is completely up to you? And there is so much left to do. Breathe deep. Recognize that you’re trying to play God. Repent. And then rest, guilt-free.
It is time to make a plan for stockings! Spend time today deciding how much you would like to spend for each one and/or how many gifts you would like to put in each. Next come up with a system for storing and keeping stocking gifts organized.
Once you are planned out, it is time to start shopping. You can buy a few stuffers each time you go out this month if you have not already started stockpiling. Online shopping is another easy way to shop for stockings.
Stockings are a great area to help us remember to be intentional. Be sure you are filling them with items the receiver will love and use. Getting a small amount of items you adore is much better than an overstuffed sock where the majority of the items will soon find their way to the trash or donation box.
Assignment: Get those stockings ready.
Make sure you know where the stockings are and that you have one for each person who will be there on Christmas.
Make a plan. (How many gifts you will need depends on the size of the stocking and gifts.)
Come up with a system of storing the stocking stuffers.
Shop as you see things when you are out and about. Make it your goal to pick up one or two things for stockings each time you go shopping, and you will slowly whittle away at your list.
Check out Kathi’s Quick Tips in the book for ideas for stocking stuffers.
You can always include one small gift that is a bit more expensive in the stocking.
2) Small gifts (You won’t need these today)
Share Your Thoughts:
What are your favorite small stocking stuffers? When do you empty the stockings at your house? Do you have any family traditions surrounding the stockings? What item would you like to see in your stocking this year?
Christmas often means spending time with family and acquaintances we don’t see the rest of the year. This can be wonderful! And draining. Especially during this season of Hallmark movies and Norman Rockwell paintings, be careful who you share your heart with.
It’s time to give the kitchen a little TLC and prep your kitchen for the holidays. Spend some time today clearing any clutter hanging around your counter tops. Put away mail, Christmas cards, leftover Christmas decoration containers, etc. Also, here are some basic tips of things you can do to spruce up quickly.
Clean your sink up so it is nice and shiny.
Clean out any science experiments from the fridge.
Wipe out your pantry, fridge or cupboards of tiny crumbs.
Complete your meal plan for the month and finish the shopping list.
Pull out any serving dishes, holiday dishes or platters you may need and wash off any dust.
Restock your pantry of any essentials you will need for cooking or baking.
Share with us all that you accomplished! For some this may have taken a while, for others, it may have been easier than you thought. Did it go by quickly or did you take the time to gut your kitchen? Do you have any tips to share with someone else? What did YOU do?
Does the kitchen clutter seem too overwhelming? If you’re waiting for the kitchen fairies to clean up, you could be waiting a while. Instead, break down your kitchen chores into micro-steps (the very smallest bits possible) and then take a moment to do the first micro-step.
“It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.”
Today is the day to start making your home look like Christmas — decor day! It is time to get out all of your Christmas decorations. You don’t have to do all your decorating today but get a start on things, especially outdoor decorating. If you live in a climate with a cold winter season, you need to get those lights and decorations out before the snow starts (if it hasn’t already).
This also gives you some time to take inventory and purchase items you still need.
Today is a fun day and if you haven’t starting feeling the Christmas spirit yet, today should get you in the mood. Amp up the Christmas spirit by turning on some holiday music, or your favorite Christmas movie, and invite your family to help you decorate. Decorating can become something fun for everyone, and you will not feel like it is entirely your responsibility.
Assignment: Get some of your decorating done.
Decorate outside as soon as possible.
As you are unpacking your holiday trimmings, be sure to set aside anything you no longer use or love and give those items to charity.
Make use of the boxes you are emptying and pack away some of your regular decor to make space for your holiday decor.
Make a list of decorative items you need to purchase. (Remind yourself to make a list of items needed for next year when you are putting this year’s décor away.)
1) Your Christmas décor boxes from last year.
2) A Christmas tree removal bag.
3) Ornament hooks
Share Your Thoughts:
Any tips for decorating? Were your decorations organized neatly from last year? If not, any tips for improving how they are stored for next year? How does it feel to have some of your decorating done? Did you throw away anything or donate to charity?
We all want our houses to be lovely. But we should be careful not to let our decorating “ideals” mutate into “idols.”
Today is another freebie day, and we are more than halfway there! Use this day to catch up on any projects you have been meaning to finish and cross them off of the list! Nothing feels better than to put a checkmark on your list.
If you are already all caught up on all of your projects, use today to bless someone. Maybe you could pay it forward to someone at the restaurant. Or bless the gas attendant with a random act of kindness card with $10.00 inside. You could also go visit a local nursing home with your children and have them sing a few of their favorite Christmas carols.
Share Your Thoughts:
Don’t forget to share with us what you did today! Did you catch up on that lingering project or did you have the opportunity to BLESS someone? How did it go? How did you feel afterward?
If you know that you can become easily overwhelmed during the holidays, strategize in advance and put a game plan in place for how you will take care of yourself during this busy season. For instance, there’s no rule that says you can’t take separate cars to the Christmas party so you can come home before you turn into the Grinch.