Although Christmas is a favorite time year for most, it is also the most hectic. Between parties, purchasing gifts, baking, and planning dinner, all joy can be lost amidst the chaos. However with a little organization, your holiday spirit can be easily found once again.
Use Your Calendar
A month before Christmas, begin marking down any holiday parties you've been invited to, school concerts you need to attend, and shopping dates you may have made. This not only helps you avoid making two sets of plans for the same evening, it also helps keep you organized and less stressed.
Waiting until the last minute to purchase gifts will only land you in a store full of frenzied shoppers and empty shelves. To avoid this, make your Christmas list early and have all of your shopping completed a month before Christmas morning. Once you have all the gifts you intend to buy, wrap them and store them in a safe place; this is one less thing you have to worry about as the day grows near.
Decorate Your Tree
A good time to do this is three weeks before Christmas. This will ensure your tree stays fresh, yet is early enough to get caught up in the rest of the holiday chaos. Early in the day, you should pull out all of your decorations and lights. Inspect the lights to make sure they work. You also want to have hot chocolate and treats ready for everyone--after all, decorating is generally a fun family affair.
Prepare to Bake
Two weeks before Christmas, make a list of what you plan to bake and how much of it you need. Decide if you are giving any of your baked goods to family or friends, and if so, what are you giving them and how much. Next you'll need to take an inventory of the ingredients you have and purchase the ingredients you're lacking. Once this is done, lay everything out and begin baking. After you have baked everything on your list, wrap it and freeze it until you are ready to use it or give it away.
Prepare for Guests
This should be done one week before Christmas to lessen the stress in the day or two right before Christmas. First you need to decide who will be coming to your home for dinner and make sure you have enough place settings. If there are any children coming, you may want to have a separate table for them. Next you need to decide what you are going to cook; if any of the dishes can be prepared ahead of time, do so and freeze them. This will save you time on Christmas morning. This works for those who go to a family member's home for dinner as well.