Christmas Countdown
Do you like to have a plan to get organized for the holidays? If so there are plenty out there. One I’ve been checking out today is called the Christmas Countdown and is a 6 week program that started on 23 October. It promises to transform your pre-holiday household from “chaos to calm”.

I love the goal of “A serene, simple and joyous holiday season for ourselves, our family and our community” but wonder whether the number of assignments and daily checklists would give me a sinking feeling that would take the edge of the Christmas anticipation.

I wonder whether a better option for simplifying your holiday organization is to do less of it. I don’t mean be less organized, I mean put less pressure on yourself. So send fewer Christmas cards, spend less by buying fewer gifts, bake half the cookies you did last year, use fewer decorations and that sort of thing.

What do you think?




If you fancy giving the whole micro-organized Christmas a go, you can’t go wrong with the Christmas Countdown. You couldn’t want for more printable calendars, planner pages, binder covers, worksheets, lists, forms and more.

The 6 week program splits down into 6 sections which really do provide the overview that everyone planning even the simplest of Christmases needs to consider:

Getting organized

This is a planning phase which results in an outline sketch of the upcoming holiday season and a Christmas planning binder or notebook. You start a gift and Christmas card list and perform a home spruce-up exercise! Just reading that got me stressed!

Reality check

No-one ever likes these do they? Come up with a budget for all your holiday spending. Set up a holiday housework plan – yuk. Split your Christmas card and gift lists into 5 and do one per week – now that sounds like a good plan. Start early and spread the load.

Gifts & giving

Whilst this maybe the “biggest holiday organization challenge” I’m not sure there’s an easy answer to the problem. Yes lists help ensure you buy everything and hopefully keep you on budget, but they don’t help you decide what to put on the lists in the first place. This is always my biggest problem.

Surely it’s in a lot of people’s interests to dispense with adult gift giving. In this financial climate why waste money buying something that people don’t really want or need. Try your hand at some craft or baked items instead – especially if you can get your kids involved. I’m sure grandparents would prefer something handmade rather than another pair of slippers.

Anyway keep up with your card writing and gift buying this week and start making any gifts you’ve decided will be handmade.

Christmas presents

Photo credit: James Ellsworth.

Get cooking

I love menu planning so love this week’s theme. Get flicking through those recipes you’ve got organized neatly (if yours aren’t neat, click here for some help) and decide what you will serve for family and friend get-togethers as well as for the main holiday dates. Check out what you’ve got in your pantry, spice rack and freezer and replace anything that is out of date or missing. Taking an inventory before shopping is a good habit to get into to save $000′s. Do a mini-freezer cooking session if you plan on baking a lot but don’t forget if baking isn’t fun for you, just say no.

Christmas Baking

Photo credit: paulapaulac.


Putting up the decorations really makes it feel like Christmas. I love it although we only ever bother with a tree, and an artificial one at that. One year I’ve promised myself we’ll do one of those crazy over the top outdoor things but not just yet. Anyway if you’re hugely into decorations there’s a room-by-room holiday decor planner for you to complete this week where you can have a different theme for each room. Does anyone actually do that? You also get to inspect and inventory your decorations prior to putting them up. I normally combine the two as I don’t have many but I’m getting the impression from this program that our Christmas is a somewhat quiet affair compared to most. We love it though.

Christmas Decorations

Photo credit: paparutzi.


You should now be finishing your Christmas cards and gift shopping and/or making. It is also time to clear out the toy clutter to get ready for the imminent influx. This is a great idea and can encompass anything from storing several bins of toys in the garage or basement which then get rotated back into the toy room at a later date to donating good condition toys to many of the worthwhile causes out there. Here are some great ideas of what to do with your unwanted toys. You should also be keeping track of your parties, other events and get-togethers and finalizing food shopping and decorating.

I have only covered a fraction of the tasks detailed in the countdown but apparently you should be able to get through them all by spending 15 minutes per day.

I love the idea of breaking down the task of organizing for the holidays into manageable chunks. But for me the sheer quantity of tasks and checklists would detract from the fun of the build up to Christmas.

If you need to get all of these sorts of tasks organized, would this program work for you? Or would you prefer to have a perfect Christmas with less ‘stuff’ and less pressure?

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