What to do when you fall behind in your Christmas planning

This post is part of my 10 week Christmas planning series. You can find the rest of the series here.

I am writing this post based on personal experience! With the work needed to produce the 2015 lunch box calendar and a couple of other unexpected work commitments, I found myself behind in my Christmas planning.

I realised just how far I had let things slip when I remembered I hadn’t done anything yet about our family Christmas card. The lovely designer I have used for the last few years is amazing, but also has a busy workload, and due to me leaving it so late is unable to design my card this year. This makes me sad, but I will definitely learn from this and be on top of it next year.

It took for this to happen for me to take action and get myself back on track. These are the steps I have taken or will be taking over the next few weeks.

Don’t panic!

I felt dreadful when I couldn’t get my card done this year and was berating myself for being so disorganised. But then I read this post “10 Things to Remember When Your Whole Day (or Month) Seems to Go Wrong”. It poses the question:

Will this matter 5 months – or even 5 weeks – from now?

For me I like tradition and having the same designer do the card is important to me, but in reality it won’t hurt anyone if it is different this year and Christmas will still be fine! I have used a template from an online site to produce the family Christmas card and while it won’t be as fancy as what the previous ones have been, it is still reflective of how our family is in 2014.

Panicking and worrying are a waste of my time and energy. What’s done is done (or more to the point what hasn’t been done). I need to channel my energies into getting back on track.

Re-prioritise the list

My original list looked like this:

  • 10 weeks to go – review and set Christmas budget
  • 9 weeks to go – start a Christmas present ideas spreadsheet
  • 8 weeks to go – begin process for making Christmas cards
  • 7 weeks to go – undertake first round of Christmas present shopping
  • 6 weeks to go – create Christmas menu plan
  • 5 weeks to go – make Christmas gifts for kids to give to their class mates
  • 4 weeks to go – have a family session making Christmas decorations
  • 3 weeks to go – make Christmas gifts for friends
  • 2 weeks to go – make Christmas table setting
  • 1 week to go – make last minute homemade Christmas food gifts

To take some pressure off myself this year, I am going to delete the following from my list:

  • 3 weeks to go – make Christmas gifts for friends – I will buy presents instead this year.
  • 2 weeks to go – make Christmas table setting – I will just use the one we made last year.

Do the work

When I get so far behind, I want to just ignore it all and find other things to distract myself as it seems too hard. This weekend though I just knuckled down and did some of the work:

  • I created and ordered our Christmas cards.
  • I made a new Christmas treat (will be on the blog this week).
  • I finished my gift ideas spreadsheet and shopped online. I am now half way through the present list!
  • It is just a Christmas breakfast at my house this year and I have created a menu plan and work plan for that (will be on the blog soon).

None of it took me as long as I thought it would. All up it was roughly a days work spread over three days.

Involve the family more

I do tend to do most of the Christmas planning work myself. Over the next few weeks I aim to involve the rest of the family more to ease my workload slightly.

How are you placed with your Christmas planning? Have you been behind before? If so what did you do to get back on track?