- Start by thinking about what you liked about this past Christmas. Write these down.
- Then, think back to previous Christmases – even back to your childhood. What did you like?
- Next, think about what would you like to change?
- Make a list of things to change
- Then, take some time to brainstorm some ways to make changes. Get your family and friends to help suggest new ways to make changes.
By now you should have 2 lists:
- First list of what you like about previous Christmases and would like to incorporate into your own celebrations
- Second list of what you want to change and some possible solutions
The next thing to do is to take your calendar (or go into your calendar on your phone or computer) and start planning backwards from Christmas.
- Plan when to start to do things
When you need to talk to others, it will be helpful for you to be able to articulate your reasons for the change. Now in some circumstances, there is no need to tell people your reason, but if it is something that has been done for years and is assumed to be done the same way every year, it may go over better if your reasons, such as easier on the kids, more enjoyable, less stress, etc., are discussed.
NOTE: Take into consideration with who you are discussing the changes. You may feel more comfortable discussing more detail with some people than others. Just be aware if you believe this is an individual who will have an argument for every reason you have for change, you may need to stick to an easier, more repeatable message without a lot of detail. Know your audience!
- If you make the plan on an electronic calendar you have the advantage of setting up reminders
- By thinking backwards from when you want the task done, it can be easier to pace out tinier, more manageable steps.
- Break down each task into specific, next action step. This makes it more doable and more likely to get done.
For example, sending out Christmas cards/letters/emails can include:
- The name list
- Gathering addresses
- Buying the cards
- Buying stamps
- Addressing the cards
These are steps that can be done one at a time and can be completed before the Christmas season.
With pre-thought and pre-planning you can make your next Christmas more enjoyable and less stressful!