Growing up, I didn’t know being organized was a skill. I thought everyone was organized. But I have since learned that I am an organized and administrative person. When I took the DISC test, I was about as high on the “S” (stable) and “C” (conscientious) as you can get, and on the Animal test, I am a beaver and golden retriever. (My husband was totally the opposite!!) What these both clue us in on is, is that I could become obsessed and over-the-top on organizing my life. And I do realize many of you are not. You would never ask for labelers, notebooks, staplers, or anything that resembles those things as gifts… (Not saying that I would!)
But I have found that by getting organized at the beginning of a season like Christmas, can really help! You and your family will stay on top of church activities. You’ll be able to enjoy a few Christmas traditions together. And you will, hopefully, not miss an important school event that leaves your child in tears and scars them for the rest of their life (Okay, I’m just exaggerating on that last one, and I am sorry that I missed bringing those treats to school, Becca!).
Here is what worked for me—do as you wish.
I needed a lot, I mean A LOT of writing room– so I put a very big dry erase calendar on the side of my refrigerator as my kids were growing up. Ask them. It was always there from the time they were in preschool (Before they could read, I drew pictures so they would know what was happening which days!). These can be purchased at any school supply store or on Amazon, or you can just make it on poster board—but I just didn’t want to re-draw the lines.
Fill in the numbers, and each family member’s activity using a different color for each person of your family. Mine included even the dog’s grooming! To be honest, this activity took at least an hour for our family of five, and sometimes in August, it took two to three, when I had to look up three different schools’ calendars. Put their youth group meetings and parties on there, the church service you are going to attend each weekend, school concerts, music lessons, sporting events, etc. along with the time they have to be there. Be sure to add any gift or food items that should be taken with them to that event in parenthesis. This is very helpful.
Next, make a grocery list of the things that were written in parenthesis. If you must bake it yourself or cook, get the ingredients. However, my family still thinks those white covered Oreos and store-bought eggnog are amazing foods for our tree decorating night. Easy peasy. You do need to be realistic about what is truly do-able in your life and decide what is important to you. Please please please don’t try to make everything from scratch. That is when late nights, fatigue, arguments, and then spouse neglect kick in. (Just speaking hypothetically here!) Don’t you want to enjoy the season? Wouldn’t you like to have a great relationship with your husband throughout December? Wouldn’t you love NOT yell so quickly at your kids?
This calendar let’s everyone know what is happening and when. Make sure the starting time is on there. And, please remember, don’t try to leave five minutes before it starts—the traffic is terrible this time of year and you will feel grumpy if you have to stand in the back! (Remember how that feels?!) Tell everyone at dinner the night before what is happening the next couple of days, when you will be eating dinner, and when you will be leaving. Use your crock pot for those dinners! Or even Boston Market.
Do not forget to make your family help you. That’s another chart for another day!
Praying you will have a calmer and more calendared Christmas season!
The Calendaring Christmas Mom, Denise