Now that we have moved to Summer time, we are 12 weeks from Christmas. It’s time to think about festive preparation.

Last year my Aunt’s death threw my preparation into complete chaos. I had barely made a start before she died, so there were next to no cards, letters or gifts. This year I want to get everything done early so I have the time and space to “check out” if I need to. The first anniversary is always the hardest.

Fortunately, I only have festive preparation; some of you have much more to plan for. Luckily, Madison at Household Management 101 has developed a holiday planner and a holiday calendar to make it easy. As well as monthly plans for

  • Halloween (October), with costumes, decorations, food and a massive clean up.
  • Thanksgiving (November), and trips “home”, decorations and big meals.

She has broken festive preparation down into an easy 13-week program to plan, implement, and close out a Stress Free Christmas. I’ve listed it out below.

Christmas Chore Countdown

It’s a generic plan. You should think about how to include the tasks that are specific to your family (like meals and treats, religious observances, and your calendar of events). I’d recommend doing it now and slotting them in before you get started. For example, Madison waits until the week before Christmas to think about entertaining kids, but some of us need to think about that a lot earlier!





Oct 3

Decide who to send cards and gifts to. Think about what your ideal celebrations would look like.



Book your Christmas family photo (if you do them) for the next two weeks. Start thinking about what gifts you will buy and make for your recipients. Start making and booking your travel arrangements.



Set a budget for cards and stationery, gifts, postage, travel, and food.



Start buying and wrapping gifts. Enjoy your Halloween.



If you write an annual Christmas letter, do it this week and make enough copies to go in your cards. Which you should order this week. And if you bake treats, plan your baking schedule.


Nov 7

Order your cards. Or go to a shop and buy them.



Cook and freeze “emergency” meals for when you are too busy to cook.



Think about what you want to buy in the Black Friday sales and go be thankful.



Plan your Christmas menus, food shopping lists, and decorations. Start writing your cards.


Dec 5

Put up the decorations. Finish your gift shopping/making, and get them on their way. Prepare to track the gifts you receive so you can send thank you cards.



Finish wrapping and posting gifts. Finish writing your cards and post them. If you have kids, start getting rid of old toys to make space for the new ones. If you are hosting parties, start deep cleaning.



Plan activities to keep your kids occupied. Keep cleaning and get as much food preparation taken care of as possible.


Think about your New Year’s goals and resolutions are you prepare for the celebrations. Write your thank you cards. Stock up on Christmas decorations, paper, and new storage containers in the sales.

I probably won’t do all that – no kids for one thing. I’d like to get as much done as soon as possible, so I’ll probably focus on cards and gifts first. And as many of them travel long distances, I need to get them in the post sooner rather than later. Then I’ll look for the mint flavoured Turkish Delight that is rapidly becoming a Blaelock Christmas Tradition. Madison’s calendar is a good start for thinking about what needs to be done, what else do you need to add to it?

Festive Preparation; Father Christmas on kangaroo, followed by a small child riding a cockatoo and women on emus. From the Illustrated Australian news December 23, 1882, via State Library Victoria


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *