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21 Days to a More Organized Christmas: Introduction

It’s December 1! And that means that Christmas is exactly 25 days away.

I want to help you have a meaningful, memorable, relaxed Christmas this year. Truth be told, I want to have the same.

December is usually a laid back and quiet month for our family. However, with my book launch in January, I have more on my plate this December than I usually do–especially since this is my first book and this whole process is all brand-new to me! But, even with the extra responsibilities and learning curves that accompany the book launch, I really want to be able to savor and enjoy this season–not just rush through it feeling overwhelmed and behind.

So just like the 21 Days to a More Organized Life series, I’m writing this series for me. We’ll be talking about:

  • Organizing your Christmas list
  • Making and sticking with a Christmas budget
  • Freezer cooking for the holidays
  • Memorable family activities
  • Simple and inexpensive homemade gifts
  • Getting your home in order
  • Savoring the meaning of the season
    …and much more.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey toward an organized, stress-free Christmas season! Who’s with me?

photo by yvestown

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82 Comments

  • charity crawford says:

    Count me in for this is the exact same thing I am aiming for myself!THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for such wonderful writings and the time you take to prepare them and share.

  • Angel B says:

    Ok….here goes nothing!!! I am IN

  • I’m in! Can’t wait for the freezer cooking and family activity posts!

  • Jessica says:

    I’m in 🙂 My motto this season, personally is: Get ahead and stay ahead. I think that’s already helped me out toward being motivated to get regular traditional things done (decorate house, Christmas cards, etc.) as well as additional things I’d like to do as well!

  • Mary Beth Patnaude says:

    I’m with you! My husband is a pastor, so Christmas is a very busy time for us! My house is a mess! I want it to be a peaceful season for our family!

    • Wendy says:

      Same here with a husband in a youth pastor role. December is a crazy time for us too. I am so looking foward to reading this—-Thank You Crystal for doing this series!!!

  • Miriam M says:

    Ok, count me in!

  • Ellen says:

    let’s do it!

  • su says:

    I’m in–can’t wait to see what you have planned!

  • I’m looking forward to this series! Here’s how we plan our Christmas (and other holiday/special occasions) Budget : http://saveliveeatlove.com/2011/11/live-10-steps-to-christmas-holiday-budgeting/

  • Heather says:

    Love it! Can’t wait to see your ideas!

  • Crystal says:

    I love reading your blog and can’t see what you have in store!

  • Jodie says:

    Love, love, love this idea! Count me in too!

  • Jennifer says:

    I am! It’s our first Christmas as a married couple, and our first Christmas together ever and I want it to be memorable and set the tone for future traditions!

    • Hannah says:

      I agree! It is our first Christmas as a married couple as well and I have been struggling with all of the options and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and find you so refreshing…looking forward to this series!

  • Miranda says:

    I’m in!! Looking forward to this. Thanks!

  • June says:

    I am with you. Will the steps be posted on this site???

  • Jenny V says:

    Looking forward to a stress free (or at least less stressed) holiday!!

  • Tammy says:

    Sounds great!

  • Brianne says:

    Love it!! Can’t wait!

  • Kristen@DSG says:

    So looking forward to this! Thanks for doing it!

  • Lauren L says:

    Thank you for putting this together! I look forward to your posts and hope that they will help me stop and smell the roses- er- christmas trees? during this holiday season instead of running around feeling stressed and behind. I’m happy to say that this year I made sure to save for Christmas gifts and have a strict budget that I’ve been able to stick to (and am almost done with my shopping!) so I guess there’s one way I’m helping to make this Christmas season a little more enjoyable. Woo hoo!

  • Chelsea says:

    Sounds like fun! 🙂

  • tanya says:

    im in! loved 21 days to a more organized life. good job

  • Edith says:

    I’m in!

    I’m already done with my Christmas shopping and whatnot. But I’m really looking forward to your making and sticking with a Christmas budget (even though I’m done, this is something I still need to learn), freezer cooking for the holidays, memorable family activities, simple and inexpensive homemade gifts, getting your home in order, and learning how to really savor the meaning of the season. I’m a single parent with a limited income and reading your posts really do encourage me. Thank you!

  • Aimee says:

    Yeah! Let’s do this!

  • I’ll be reading along, for sure!! Like you, I chose series topics based on what I want to learn, or work on. This Christmas I’m doing a series on wrapping presents more creatively, because that’s something I want to improve on.

  • Tia Robertson says:

    Sign us up! I thought I was ahead, but I was so far off, I don’t know where to start!

  • Marie says:

    I love it! Christmas should be enjoyed, shared, and a time to reflect on Christ. NOT busy, busy, busy with all well meaning activities that actually rob us of the joy of the season.
    Christmas cards came yesterday!! YEAH!! One thing that helped was “giving up” my ideal Christmas card idea and going with something more managable. I wanted a picture of the family and the kids in Christmas jammies but since I didn’t have one single recent family picture or the jammie picture and couldn’t see when I could get one in time (husband’s gone every week in CA.) I opted for a photo of a family of snowmen that I could just put a head shot of each of us on!! It turned out super cute!
    I love your D-I-Y posts but noticed many of them are for woman. Do you have any that could be more specific for guys?
    Thanks for all you do and looking forward to your book!!

  • Dana says:

    I’ll give it a shot!

  • Ann says:

    I’m in! I’m trying to do some “making the home a haven” thing during this season before 2012, also to end the year well with the kids and hubby.

  • Melissa says:

    I’m in! 🙂

  • Nancy says:

    Please don’t take this wrong – I’ll enjoy reading your posts, but my planning for Christmas was done by mid Nov. All my gifts are bought, my cards went out today, the house got decorated this week, our travel plans for Christmas weekend are done and the Christmas party we’re hosting on the 22nd planned. And I baked 3 batches of Rosettes a couple weeks ago to take to neighbors and friends. I do this by the 1st every year so we can enjoy all the events that happen almost nightly the month of Dec. It makes for a stressfree Christmas!

    • Crystal says:

      Way to go, Nancy!

    • sona says:

      Yep, November is the best for me personally to get my holidays pulled together. December is just to stressful with travel etc. So I shoot for Nov 15 to be finished with buying and wrap. Wasnt always that way, and I look forward to your series to pick up cooking ideas and some tips for next year perhaps. Thank you for the series.

    • Andrea says:

      I totally agree Nancy. You’re ahead of me by a bit on decorating, but I’ve been planning since September.

      • Crystal says:

        Yes, I know some of you are way, way ahead of me. So you can just sit back and watch all the rest of us try to get our act together! 🙂

        I actually prefer to wait until December 1 to begin Christmas prep because I like to enjoy Fall first. 🙂

        • Lyn says:

          Feeling the same here. It seems each year that the stores, etc. in general push Christmas way too much, way too early. I remember hearing Christmas music in early November in Walmart this year, and have seen many places decorated since the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s not about being super organized, rather I think it’s important to just focus where we are at and take the time to enjoy the moments we are in. Making it all simple as possible is what gives me the most peace. There are so many things we don’t do this time of year. I may not even decorate this year (outrageous huh, lol), and that is perfectly acceptable! Do what means the most and gives you and your family the greatest joy, and it’s okay to leave the rest behind. The things that are important are really not “things” at all.

        • Andrea says:

          As with everything, it’s all about balance.

          I simply don’t have the luxury of waiting until December to think about our holiday budget–it has to be planned months in advance. Most of the early planning was budget related and list making, as well as working on handmade gifts. Getting organized ahead of time helps the post-Thanksgiving stress level tremendously, but the bulk of the work still comes in December.

    • Rachel says:

      Wow Nancy you are amazing!!! I need to remember to do that. Next year, lol.

    • RachaelP says:

      We’re almost done with a small home improvement project in the living room so we haven’t gotten our Christmas decorations out yet. However, I have the bulk of our grocery shopping done (except for perishables) the week before Thanksgiving. Most of my errands are run, baking supplies are on hand for the fun things we’ll be making, etc. Now, we can stay home more and enjoy this time of year!

  • JHanna says:

    🙂 just what i need!!! i am super excited for this.

  • Stephanie says:

    ….as Nancy becomes one of the most despised (ahem, ie. envied) women on the planet. LOL. Just kidding, hopefully you have a few Christmases under your belt, so it’s old hat for you. No offense meant, just pointing out what most are thinking. Merry Christmas.

  • Do you read passionatehomemaking? She had a beautiful post up the other day about planning for a peaceful Christmas season – you may find inspiration in her post 🙂

    The last several Christmas’ I have sat down a month or two ahead of time and written out what I want that season to be like – the first year my husband was working 100+ hours a week and so “peaceful” was at the top of the list 🙂
    This year he is a full time student and life is a whole lot different and at the top of the list this year is “passionately love others.”

    Along with it I list ideas on how to make those things happen and ways to show Christ’s love to others through the season.
    Then it all gets penciled in to my calendar to remind myself daily about my lofty ideas 😉

    It really does make the hugest difference in the world to put in writing what the plan is!

  • Teresa Shurtz says:

    I’m so in!

  • Flamingo says:

    I “kinda sorta” wrote on the same thing this week…and yea…it was to benefit me too:) Can’t wait to read your series!

  • I love it! We just moved from Maryland to California in September. After reading your (great!) book, I have been thinking about doing a goal for just this month. I looked around my half-painted, half-unpacked, half-furnished home and thought that maybe my goal should just be to get organized (chapter 2). You read my mind!

  • Nicci says:

    Im in! Need all the helpful ideas I can get. Ome of the nest ideas I can come up with is for Nancy to come to my house and get us all in order!! Congrats Nancy on a job well done!

  • Nichole says:

    I’m looking forward to this. Thanks for being real, Crystal, instead of projecting yourself as perfect.

  • Karen says:

    Let’s do it!

  • Wendy says:

    I am in! With finals in a couple weeks and a graduation ceremony, I am stressed out and my house is a mess and so unorganized!

  • Angela says:

    I’m in!

  • Amy says:

    LOL I’m in…However, I am pretty sure I’ll procrastinate and try to at least 10 days at once.

  • Amy says:

    YES! Can you please start right now?!

  • ISABEL C. says:

    2011 Year !

    tis the Season … awesome looking forward to Organized Life.
    Thx.
    Happy Holidays.

  • JUHYUN says:

    I’ll follow you!

  • Katie says:

    Love this! I finally realized a few years ago that we have to actively try to keep things simple in December – say, no, I can’t come to ______ party, because I am going to be sitting by my Christmas tree reading books to my kids. Sounds awful, but – they are only little for such a short time, and it seems like the less busy we are, the more joyful and relaxed our holiday times are!

    • Emilie says:

      People should take your idea and say it themselves. I love reading to my kids. An idea: wrap 25 books individually and then the kids open one each day til Christmas.

  • Nick says:

    Very cool stuff. I take a somewhat harsh stance on Holiday budgets – probably too harsh for some 🙂 Let me know what you think!

    http://www.stepawayfromthemall.com/2011/08/one-rule-to-can-save-your-budget-around.html

  • Jessica says:

    I just had 7 ladies over for a card class and 3 of them were talking about this. Now I am all in the loop. 🙂

  • Guidemom says:

    Looking forward to it!

  • Pam says:

    I’m in! I actually have all of my Christmas shopping and presents wrapped for the kids, but with the head cold I’ve had for the past week, I’m a bit behind on everything else!!!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m totally in! We are moving in less than a week across the country from Illinois to Washington State and I need all the help I can to stay focused on a calm and meaningful Christmas!

  • Meredith says:

    Count me in! I set myself a goal of having everything done and ready by the 10th…. we have so many fun things planned, I don’t want to have to worry about getting the big things done. I’m really looking forward to the freezer cooking post! I’d like to get baking, or at least the dough, done. Can that be frozen in advance?

  • Amanda says:

    http://savingmoneyfashionably.com/?p=365

    This is how I got through Thanksgiving and I’m going to use it for Christmas too! It helped me a lot!

  • After blogging every day last month and reading your Organized Life series, I was inspired to do a similar Christmas theme series. Praying your Christmas is truly blessed. I am #EnjoyingChristmas all month.

  • Stephanie says:

    So wait….you say December is usually a LAID back month for you? O’m already intrigued as to how you make that happen!

  • Martha says:

    I’m in,too. New grandbaby so need to get organized so I can help my daughter out.

  • Kimberly says:

    I’m in! The last week and a half, I have been so sick with an icky cold. I have yet to get up the Christmas tree! Now that I am finally feeling better, we are going to a tree farm to pick up our very first live Christmas tree tonight. I cannot wait! I think I am more excited than the kids. I have only had a live tree once in my life and I remember it so fondly. 😀

  • Becky says:

    I’m with you Crystal!

  • Melissa B says:

    I’m in!

  • Kariann says:

    I am in 🙂

    Thanks!

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