Christmas planning 2021

Christmas planning

We are now officially 10 weeks out from Christmas. For those of us in lockdown, it can be challenging to think ahead to this time when we still have such a great deal of uncertainty. However much of “normal Christmas” planning can still proceed regardless. My approach is to plan as if we will be able to have Christmas as we would like and then be prepared to change if needed.

My preference is to do some work each week in the 10 weeks leading up to Christmas so I am not stressed out or feel rushed when it comes to December. With this approach, it means I can enjoy more of the lead-up festivities knowing I have much of Christmas planning sorted.

Kickstarting Christmas planning

Weeks to goAction Item
10Write out the Christmas plan (this is what you are reading!) and review Christmas budget
9Update the Christmas gift spreadsheet and shop for broader family
8Shop for our family
7Find volunteering options
6Make handmade Christmas gifts
5Shop for friends
4Make Christmas gift tags and wrap presents
3Create Christmas Menu plan and order/buy any special food required
2Make Christmas food gifts
1Make table decorations
0Make condiments and prep for the big day!

The above table is what my 10-week plan currently looks like! Naturally, there are more activities that I will do in the lead-up to Christmas than just the 10 listed in the table above but the activity listed will be the key focus for the week. These activities are all the major ones that I want to put the spotlight on. For you, the tasks you want to place a spotlight on might be different so a great place to start with Christmas planning is writing a free-flowing list of all the things you have currently in your head that you need to do in the lead up to Christmas.

If you are thinking “I don’t even know where to start!” you might like to check out the PWK Christmas preparation checklist which lists over 50 Christmas planning activities. You can use this list to help you generate your own long list and then focus it down to a 10-week plan.

If you are keen to play along, here are some more details of what I am doing this week!

A theme for Christmas

Each year I like to choose a theme for Christmas. I have written a number of posts sharing different themes over the years and I have collated them all in this post – Christmas theme ideas. There have been criticisms sent to me about these posts saying that I am encouraging people to buy unnecessary items and that I should not write them. That is not my intention at all with those posts and it isn’t something that I personally do. We have a pretty tight budget for Christmas and it certainly wouldn’t have room for new decorations each year!

I do, however, choose a theme each year for Christmas, most often it is centred around the wrapping paper I buy and then use items I already have in the house and items from nature to help me add to the theme. For example this year the theme is black, pink and gold (these are the colours in the wrapping paper I have bought). Gold is a great colour to have in your theme as you often have plenty of items you can already use. For example, we already have a few sets of gold fairy lights and I have a lot of jars that I have collected so making some fairy light jars this year is something I will do.

Another simple decoration you can make is a table runner from leftover wrapping paper! We have done this on a number of occasions and it looks great.

Review the Christmas budget and start tracking Christmas expenditure

As noted earlier, we set a budget for Christmas and I try very hard to stick to it. If you have a budget, then an essential part of Christmas planning is tracking your expenditure. Many years ago I shared an example of our budget, you can find it here – Christmas Budget. It has evolved slightly since then but the premise is still the same – track all Christmas expenses in a spreadsheet so you know how much you have spent!

Have you started Christmas planning yet?