12 Weeks Until Christmas? 3 Things to Do Now

Yikes, when Simple Mom jolted me out of my Fall bliss to remind me that we only have 12 weeks until Christmas {faint}, I nearly passed out. How could it be? Now you all see why I wanted to get a jump on Fall, just about the time you realize Fall is really here it is time to start singing Christmas Carols!

While I am not wanting to rush the seasons, I do like to take some time at the beginning of a month to think about what is ahead. I want to make certain I am living a life of purpose and intent through each season of life. And Christmas isn’t one of those things you can whip together overnight, I need to plan ahead to fully enjoy the holidays.

Here are my top three holiday things to think about now:

1) What are the holidays going to look like for our family this year?

While we keep our basic traditions the same from year to year, we tend to zero in on a particular focus for what our family will do or how we will celebrate. Some years this has involved going out of town to focus on our family, some years we have very simple and frugal holidays, and some years we throw big parties and go hog wild with the celebrations. Identifying what our holidays will look like helps us to plan accordingly for our budget, time and expectations.

2) In light of our holiday plans, what will I teach my children this season?

Every thing in life is a learning opportunity (for kids and parents!), so with the different ways we celebrate the holidays each year we are able to cover a variety of scenarios to instill different values. From hospitality, to organization, to social skills, to the joy of simplicity, frugality, family and giving rather than receiving, the holidays are full of opportunities to grow and learn.

We try to teach our children the true meaning of the season and yet fully enjoy traditions and all the fun the holidays bring. The holiday lessons for my children begin as I start to make plans and involve them in the process. In other words, I need to get going on this!

3) What can I do now to prepare ahead?

Now is the time to decide what gift giving will be like for my family this Christmas. Because this year we will be having a very frugal and simple holiday, I need to start now to find easy (remember, I am not crafty!) and creative yet meaningful gifts.

Because memory making and traditions are important to me, I need to incorporate them into my plans or they end up being forgotten or crowded out by less important things. The best way for me to maintain traditions is to schedule them on my calendar now (assigning a cookie baking day, or designate a budget and time for a shopping excursion for new PJs for Christmas eve, for instance).

In the coming weeks and months, even as we continue to celebrate all the goodness of fall and everyday home decorating, I’ll be sharing simple ideas & traditions that will help us enjoy all the wonder of the holidays while keeping the meaning of the season in focus. Plus, I’ve got lots of exciting and BIG NEWS to reveal!

Speaking of living with purpose and authenticity,
here is an excerpt from my CWO article for October:

 

The crisp air and falling leaves outside my window remind me of how fleeting life is. Days turn into nights and before I know it, another month has passed in the blink of an eye. My son in second grade, my daughter is now a married woman and my middle daughter will be applying to college soon. Where is the time going?

One of the things I am so aware of as I watch my family grow and change is my need to remain committed to living a life of intent and purpose. It isn’t enough to let days slip through my fingers and hope for the best. I need to embrace each opportunity to build my home from the inside out. [To read the rest of this article, click here.]

Top photos: Hostess With The Mostess
Bottom photo: This Old House

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Comments

  1. Very inspiring! Thankyou for these beautiful thoughts to ponder.

  2. seriously. it’s that time already?! Mercy! I think traditions are an excellent thing to start thinking about, even making new ones. I LOVE the Christmas season, and look forward to enjoying it through the eyes of my children again this year.

  3. Seriously…every month on the 25th I do a countdown to Christmas. In September, I wrote it across the desk schedule I made for the day at work. You wouldn’t believe the grief I had to put up with over that. We’re going for simple and very frugal here this year…I’m crafty, but have trouble fitting it all in with work, school and life. I’ve tried to designate certain nights for “craftorama” and have been working on gifts for a few months now. Even though the holidays won’t creep up on me, there’s still lots of work yet to do while still enjoying the wonderful autumn weather we have here now.

  4. Beautiful article for CWO, enjoyed reading the rest of it- Perfectly said.
    Thanks for sharing your beautifiul pictures and words-

  5. I think my head just exploded.

  6. Thanks everyone…you are all so nice.

    Kimba! ROFL! Yes, we are not going to go crazy with Christmas yet. Not to worry. Pick up those brain particles and get back to decorating your front porch with hay or something.

  7. Hi Melissa,
    I was just thinking about Christmas this morning…and wondering if I would get as many wonderful ideas from all the blogs as I have for the fall.

    If you have a chance, peek at the arrangement that got done from an inspiration I got from your blog.
    Diane

  8. 12 weeks!
    12 weeks!
    Yikes!

  9. WOW… you brought us into FALL… now you are leading us into the holidays… lead the way!

  10. Melissa,

    Have I commented here before? If so, your blog looked different. If not, I see you so often on Twitter, I’m kinda fuzzy in the head.

    LOVE your doggie, love your clean design, and I wanna cheer for this post–it’s totally in keeping with my “Live Intentionally” post from yesterday.

    Gonna stumble this–others need to read it :).

  11. 12 weeks?

    Did you hear that sound? It was my head exploding.

  12. Oh my goodness – those place settings are fabulous! Twelves weeks?! I can’t wait that long!

  13. Seriously…12 weeks! Wow…I just finished decorating for fall and my desk is still covered with fall/halloween crafts…and Christmas is ONLY 12 weeks away! Yikes! Thanks for the heads up…I think I’ll start a to-do list.

  14. I have been painfully aware of the arrival of Christmas since we first got our poinsettia cuttings at the greenhouse back in July! Now that we’ve sold through all our fall mums, I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that it’s almost winter……but I’m taking a few moments to enjoy the fall first :)

    http://thegreenhousediaries.blogspot.com/2008/10/october-morning.html

  15. I’m excited for Christmas this year because we’ll have a brand new addition to our family!! I really appreciated what you said about traditions and living intentionally – planning ahead. It’s kind of hard to see what our family of three will look like as opposed to our previous family of two, but I’m excited to find out. Beautiful photos – cranberries are my most favorite holiday decoration!!!! I like to place branches of them in old, fancy wine bottles and display them like flowers :)

  16. these are really excellent points! I like what you said about being intentional…especially about the traditions and the lessons you’d like to teach your children. I am often not intentional about those things – they’ve been pretty young and I felt like I could skate by. But what a good encouragement to not just skate by, but be intentional about the whole thing! thanks Melissa!

  17. Great questions – haven’t even thought about them! I guess the best thing to start doing is gather all those decorations!

  18. Nope, nope, nope. I’m not doing it yet! Lol. I’ve only enjoyed fall for two weeks. I can at least wait until after Halloween, can’t I?

  19. I am with you! I am also crazy enough Due with baby #3 on Christmas Eve so my count down it dual in purpose! I have already hit up Carter’s Labor day sale so my Christmas PJ’s are bought and in the closet! Yeah! Can’t wait for more great ideas. I am totally a plan ahead girl, and I am trying hard to get Christmas just right every year, I love it! I am sure I will be breaking out the Christmas music by the end of Oct!

  20. Great things to remember! I am going to especially focus on what our Christmas is going to look like :)

    Oh, and yeah, thanks for the reminder that Christmas is only TWELVE weeks away…aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccccccccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

  21. Sorry…didn’t know that my exasperative expression wouldn’t stay in the box…lol

  22. That is AMAZING–12 weeks???!!!!! I’m excited about fall and I’m excited about that news, too! Christmas is our favorite time of the year. Up here in RI leaves are JUST starting to turn colors, and the temp is staying around 68 during the day. Love your “living on purpose” philosophy. Gotta start the barnfires before it’s too cold, and get our name on the list for the turkey drive…and start a Christmas list!
    :)
    P.S. Just found you recently, and love you and the website!

  23. WOW! That was an attention grabber!! We tend to do the same, as in.. “what are we going to remember about this Christmas” rather than, “what did we get?” Ours will be frugal as well.. I’m hoping to find a WII (with my change jar money), and that will be our family gift. Last year Guitar Hero stole the show.. everyone played all day long, no one remembers the food, what we wore.. anything, just how much fun we had! I’m hoping for another year like that!

  24. “we will be having a very frugal and simple holiday”

    Mmmmm, “those be” beeeeeeeeeutiful words to read, my Dear. How wonderful to look forward to visiting, and finding such ideas/plans.

    Gentle hugs,
    Miss Mari-Nanci

  25. Nooooooo! I’m still preparing for my Halloween party, I can’t think about Christmas yet!

  26. Melissa, thank you for this post! I truly had no idea although I am starting to see more and more decorations surfacing in the stores. I’ve found the older my children are getting, the more organized I am at christmas. When they were really little I was just a mess and only focused on the toys lol. Now I’m much more relaxed and focus more on the traditions and decorations. Christmas for my family now is a much more pleasant and memorable experience. Even the financial strain has eased as my mum and sisters and I do a kris kringle/secret santa version of gift giving instead of individual presents for everyone.

    Anna :)

  27. Oh…I haven’t even bought a pumpkin yet!! ;-)

    I have a gigantic cookie swap party a few weeks before Christmas…It started with 5 women 6 years ago, and this past year I had 24 women with 6 dozen cookies each in my living room!!! So, I’m sort of forced to plan ahead a bit (lest I embarass myself in front of company and all, LOL).

    Thanks for this great post!

  28. Thanks for getting us going in the right direction for the holiday season!

  29. I’m still knee deep in Fall decor! LOL! But this was a great post! :) ~Rhonda

  30. Oh me – So. not. ready! Thanks for stopping by – appreciate your visit! I LOVE your blog!

  31. I have a countdown on my blog and it is 83 days until Christmas! Frightening, isn’t it?
    Kathy

  32. I LOVE this post and will be referring back to it. I especially like thinking about what I will teach my son this year. I like that you’ve posted this now as it gives me time to think about it.

  33. Do you hear what I hear? (Christmas music coming from somewhere not far away!) It will be here before we know it.

    Thank you for sharing this post and the wonderful CWO article. I have been planning and shopping a bit for some time, picking up special things for special people as I see them. Things on sale, collectible things for family who collects, special make-their-hearts-glad things. I have things to make, too, so I’d better say goodbye for now and get busy!
    ~Adrienne~

  34. Ok – you have me crying! Not because Christmas is coming way too quickly but your beautiful article got to me. You really are such a great writer Melissa. Hope you write a book one day!

  35. Hi! I am new to your site, but I wanted to tell you I love it, and I am so excited to see what you have in store! I enjoy visiting every day. Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Danielle

  36. 12 weeks? And it is going to go fast.

    However, it is plenty of time to make this Holiday season special.

    I like the “what am I going to teach my children” thought.

  37. I just love to visit you everyday (even if you do not post, I go back and look at something on the sidebar or an old post) Thank you for the reminder…12 weeks whew!!!!!!!

  38. Ohhhh, I’m so not ready for Christmas. I love it though!!

  39. Hi Melissa, I so enjoyed this post of yours!…I agree that we need to look at the holidays,… & do a bit of planning in order for time not to escape us, & where we find ourselves running aimlessly through stores trying to capture the meaning of the holidays! I know far too many people who do just that!….I LOVE your suggestions & feel your ideas will really help everyone focus on what is truly important this holiday season!…LOVE your amazingly lovely blog!!….Enjoy your day!….Your friend, Heidi XO

  40. We’ve relaunched an all new blog at http://terriconraddesigns.typepad.com/terriconraddesigns/ and linked to the beautiful Inspired Room.

    Please come visit.

  41. M~
    Finally checking in! Whew what a wirl wind it has been! I’m rested up from Country Living Fair and now am in shock over Christmas!! We start our Christmas open house the 2nd weekend in Nov. —I think I’m going to take a looooooooooooonnnnnngggg nap! ho he ha ha. No, not a good idea….I’ll just pop into your site and follow your no stress Christmas guide! Hope all is well with you and your family!
    LOL,
    kara

  42. i love the red touches. grandmother always said that a home needs those red accents – especially in the kitchen. i’m also loving the moment to ponder about time and where it’s gone. i always tell young moms – don’t bling or they’ll get married.

    what makes me smile is the “embrace each opportunity to build from the inside out” …i might borrow that one and of course, give my dear friend here at inspired room….credit! love the post…and it’s a total wake up that only 12 weeks remain till christmas…ahhhhhh

  43. 12-weeks? You’ve got to be kidding. I look at the calandar and see you’re not kidding. I’d better get busy-lol. Love this post and these wonderful photos.

  44. Oh goodness, thanks for the reminder. The season is just around the corner and, while we too will be celebrating a very simple and frugal Christmas, planning now can make it a beautiful season instead of a slapped together, stressful one. I needed this reminder Melissa! Thank you:>)

  45. I’m so glad I recently found your blog. I am thoroughly enjoying reading your current posts and digging through your archives. :)

  46. Loved this one! Thanks for the reminders. We try to keep our Christmases scaled down but, I think this year it will be even more so. Isn’t this economy awful? I plan on making most of my gifts this year which is giving me the opportunity to get more creative. And I believe that these gifts will, probably, end up being more meaningful than anything store bought.

  47. You’re not what? Not crafty? Oh, okay, not-crafty I will agree with but you are classy. Everything is done beautifully.

    And thanks for the twelve week reminder. I think.

  48. Oh my – 12 weeks?! It’s hard to believe !
    This post is so sweet – thank you so much for sharing your article. Have a wonderful weekend.

  49. Melissa, thanks for your advice! I just posted an article about time management as is relates to crafting on my blog (www.createstudio.blogspot.com) and linked your article. I hope that’s OK?! I look forward to your tips over the next 12 weeks!

  50. Melissa, it is hard to believe that Christmas is so close, but I loved what you wrote about intentional living and I enjoyed your post on CWO also. This will be our first Christmas in our “re-configured” state and I know I will need to be extra ready for it. I’m looking forward to your help- I’ll need it!

  51. You’ve given me so much to think about. I love hearing all of your ideas!

  52. I have a series of posts on handmade gift ideas:

    http://www.skiptomylou.org/handmade-gift-ideas/

    I hope you will check it out

    Cindy
    http://www.skiptomylou.org

  53. Love your blog! Applause!!!!! ;0) Brenda in Texas…

  54. I love this post!
    I don’t have any children yet, but this is such a great reminder to adults as well and I really think that keeping this mindset of frugality and thankfulness goes a long way towards shutting the door on the materialistic chaos that plagues our culture.
    I’m not a faithful blogger myself but am a dedicated reader of yours and continually find myself inspired (not a pun, truly) by your elegant perspective on life.

  55. Melissa:
    You inspire me!! I thank you sincerely for breathing life into me. I’m having a hard time getting going this season, and I want you to know you have truly helped me.
    Carol

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