It is now less than 10 weeks until Christmas. I do love Christmas and the festive season in the lead up. I have found through experience the easiest way to make sure that I enjoy this time is to plan for it.
Over the last few years on the blog I have shared my 10 week preparation plan (2009, 2010). Each year is the plan is different, as it depends on the theme chosen for Christmas that year and also how we are spending Christmas Day. If you are haven’t chose a theme for your Christmas this year and are after some inspiration you can check out my post on Christmas Themes.
Naturally these plans don’t include every single thing that I do to be organised for Christmas, but it covers off most of the big ticket items.
Some weeks depending on my workload and what is happening with the family, I may swap around the activities. But the ability to do this so easy is the beauty of planning – it actually gives you flexibility!
This is my plan as it stands now:
- 10 weeks to go – Christmas budget
- 9 weeks to go – Donate food and toys
- 8 weeks to go – Christmas cards
- 7 weeks to go – Christmas presents ideas for kids
- 6 weeks to go – Teachers gifts
- 5 weeks to go – Menu plan
- 4 weeks to go – Handmade christmas decorations
- 3 weeks to go – Work plan for Christmas Day
- 2 weeks to go – Christmas treat for parties
- 1 weeks to go – Place settings and menus
- 0 weeks to go – Tips for enjoying Christmas Day with young kids
10 Weeks To Christmas – Christmas budget
As the budget review process doesn’t actually change, nor does the spreadsheet I use, this part is the same as last year. However I have added protection to the cells that have formulas, to prevent any accidental overriding. It is not password protected, so if you wish to unprotect these cells, just go to “Tools”, then “Protection’ and then “Unprotect sheet” (this is for excel on a Mac.)
I have found the best was to keep expenditure under control at this time of the year is to have a budget and track expenditure against it. This is what our Christmas Budget Spreadsheet looks like:
We have another spreadsheet that is integral to keeping us on budget. It tracks expenditure on all Christmas presents, for family and friends. Also by documenting what presents we buy each year, we have a comprehensive list to refer to, preventing buying people the same thing year after year.
Both of these spreadsheets can be found in the one file and you can download a template here 2011 Planning With Kids Christmas Planning Spreadsheet.
We have kept our family budget the same for the last few Christmases even though our family has expanded. The budget won’t change this year either. Key factors helping us to keep to budget have been:
- Closely monitoring expenditure.
- Buying at sales through out the year.
- Hand making gifts for teachers, friends and family.
Have you starting planning for Christmas yet?