The Official Holiday Grand Plan starts on August 31. In order to accommodate the Advent season I have started earlier, last week, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.
The weather has been cooler this week and I have been busy so far. Getting things ready for Back to school(ing) and getting ready for the end of summer cabin trip has taken up a bit of time. This week is Question Week, one of my favorite aspects of planning.
Week One follow up: The children and I did a good scrub-a-dub on the porch and Kyle helped with re organising the area. I have a list of outdoor maintenance items that need attended to next month and my lists have been created.
Week Two: Cleaning: This week we come indoors. Here is where my cleaning list departs from the Official Grand Plan list. And really, that is ok. My house is laid out differently than the person who made the list. I don’t have a guest room, master bath or family room. I do have a home office and if I tried to fit both children’s rooms into one week I would go more than a little batty. So we switch it up a bit. This week I am actually NOT doing a room. Basically because I am going to be gone most of the week. If you are doing this along with me you might want to take a look at the cleaning schedule that the grand plan uses and think through how to make it work for you home. We all have different houses and no one list is going to work for everyone.
Preparing for the Holidays: Taking stock. Every year I go out after the Holiday’s and snag a few rolls of paper, a bag or two of ribbons and maybe some cute tags and gift bags. I also try to hit the art supply store and catch their clearance racks in late November and then again after Christmas. But all of that won’t do me a bit of good if I don’t take the time to figure out what I have and where it is. So my big thing for preparing for the holidays this week is checking out what I’ve already got on hand for Christmas and Advent.
Planning: Last week I made up my basic lists this week I am fleshing them out and adding to them. We also have some questions to think about.
Gifts: What are we buying and how much are we spending and how important is the whole “gift thing” anyhow? (insert anti-consumerism rant here). What gifts am I making?
Cards: How many cards do I need? Which cards am I cross stitching?
Parties: We will be doing our Christmas eve party. Is there anything we want to do differently?
Menus: What can I do ahead? What are the menus for the feast days? If there are any new recipes I want to try for the big Holiday meals I want to make them at least once before hand.
Decorating: Do I know where my decorating stuff from last year is? Do I need to replace anything? Is there anything new I would like?
Baking: I need the cookie and candy list finished. What gifts am I baking?
Devotionals: What worked in years past? What didn’t? How can we focus more fully on Christ during the Advent season? When I get home I am goingto be looking around online for some new ideas. Are there any books I want to look through?
Traditions: Are we going to need tickets for special events? When do they go on sale? which things do we definitely want to do?
The goal for this week is to get the “theme” of Christmas set. Note, this isn’t some marathon planning session where I decide in nitty gritty detail what each moment of each day will be. Nor is the idea to blow Christmas into the focus of the next 12 weeks. The goal is to set aside a small amount of time for Christmas/Advent planning early enough that I am not stressed and rushing around during Advent. The other thing I like about the “Grand Plan” is that I will be able to hit each area of my home for a deep clean/organization session. In theory I would do this anyway, but in practice it doesn’t get done unless I plan for it.