How to Plan Your Holiday Calendar
We're 11 weeks away from Christmas, and I'm not scared at all.
The reason we get so easily overwhelmed by the holidays is because we don't actively decide what matters before things get crazy.
If we want to be a genius about the things that matter, we need to get a jump on our holiday calendar now. Not later. Not as we go. That works great for regular life, but in holiday life? That spirals out of control FAST.
If you like riding the flow and don't feel exhausted come January, all the power to you and yours. Blessings during this holiday season. I am not that person, and perhaps you're not either. I want the rest of 2017 to be lovely and purposeful and fun without wanting to lose my mind. A Lazy Genius holiday begins here.
How to Plan Your Holiday Calendar and Not Feel Like a Robot
1. Choose what activities matter.
This week's podcast episode, The Lazy Genius Holiday Game Plan, does this very thing.
Actually, go listen would be more accurate, Jack.
I'msorryI'msorry! You're right, Jack. We'll watch podcasts! Everything's cool!
The saving grace of an early holiday calendar is you choose what activities you want to prioritize before things get crazy, and then they won't accidentally get pushed off the calendar. Often, we treat the holidays like a Golden Corral buffet, filling our plates with the first things we see but leave little room for yeast rolls. Let's make room for the yeast rolls!
There's a cheatsheet that goes with the podcast episode, too, so have fun choosing what activities matter. No answers are wrong; you get to decide what matters to you.
2. Set scheduling boundaries.
Every calendar square will get filled in if you let it, so having a few boundaries will empower you to say yes and no to the proper things as possibilities roll in.
Here are a few ideas:
- Kids can't stay up past their bedtime more than two nights in a row; otherwise, they turn into mean pinball machines.
- We can only afford a babysitter three times between now and the new year, so let's choose wisely.
- We want at least two free nights at home per week.
- We do at least one special thing a week just as a family.
- Never plan anything the day after we host something.
Those are just examples, so you do you. You know yourself, how you thrive or crumble under social obligations, and how the people in your family might be different from you. If you determine a few boundaries to protect your schedule and your soul, scheduling the next three months will actually be fun.
3. Fill in the calendar but not completely.
Do you already have stuff on the docket? Does it fit with what matters? Does it break any scheduling boundaries?
Now look at what does matter. Schedule it. From pumpkin carving to going to see Christmas lights... if something matters, write it down now. You can move it to another day later, but give it space before things get full.
P.S. If you have a paper planner but think pencils are the worst, these erasable pens are magical. They write GREAT and actually erase.
Remember white space. If you aren't intentional about it, it won't happen.
Perhaps you feel like scheduling this way takes the spontaneity and fun out of the holidays. We just want to put our pjs on and go see lights! You can. You can 100% be spontaneous. I believe though that we'd rather give top billing to experiences we care about and not try and fit them into the cracks. Besides, if you're the cruise director in your family, the rest of your crew doesn't need to know that you've had that "surprise" bonfire planned for a month. It can be spontaneous to everyone else, and you get to still feel sane.
Set up a calendar now. Choose what matters. Set some scheduling boundaries. Go ahead and pencil in the things that matter most so they don't get lost in the shuffle.
You won't drown in the holidays if you build your life raft now.