3 Simple Ways To Avoid Holiday Procrastination

By November 2, 2011General

Wanted: Charlie Brownphoto credit: pagedooley

Holiday Procrastination-itis.

Anyone else suffer from this disease? Or maybe it’s just me…

All I know, is that for many years I spent the weeks leading up to the holidays madly addressing cards, scouring the internet for last minute ideas and desperately searching my email to figure out who-has-who in our family gift exchanges.

Slowly, over the last few years, it’s gotten better. Here are 3 reasons why:

Focus on Simplicity

There will not be a world wide revival because of my Christmas card preparation. I realize that now.

For many years, I spent WAY too much time on my cards. Let’s see, there was the year I handwrote *all* the lyrics to Chris Rice’s Welcome To Our World on each and every Christmas card we sent out.

Because I love that song.

Perhaps a liiiiiiitle bit too much.

There was also the year I created a movie and put DVD copies in each card. Or the year…(let’s just stop there. Mmmm..k?)

Now? Picture cards. No handwriting involved. Everyone likes pictures of cute kids. And I get to spend more time with aforementioned cute kids, instead of holing myself up as I work like a mad scientist on my holiday card extravaganza.

A Little Planning

I don’t do a lot of planning, simply because we don’t do a lot. (see point #1) But I do start thinking about the holidays as soon as school starts. Schedules, gift ideas, photo for picture cards etc.

I make a simple list of the things that need to get done. And I do it early enough that just making the list feels like an accomplished task rather than a desperate attempt to save Christmas.

Keep It Easy

Finally, I keep it easy.For every project I need to get done, I break it down into small enough tasks that I don’t feel overwhelmed just looking at them.

For example, I have “Christmas cards” on my Project list and I’ve broken it down like this:

  • Ask amazing sister-in-law, Diana, if she’ll take a family picture
  • Schedule family picture
  • Select photo card template
  • Review Christmas card list
  • Update addresses or add people
  • Order cards
  • Address 10 each day
  • Have kids put on stamps and return address labels
  • Mail

Now that might seem a little OCD to be so detailed. I mean, why not just put “send Christmas cards?” But I’ve learned that I get overwhelmed easily. And when I feel overwhelmed by a task, I avoid it. So I make each task easy enough, that it’s almost…fun.

And it gets done. The key is to know yourself and plan accordingly.

50 Photo Card Giveaway!!

To help you with your holiday planning, I’ll be giving away 50 Christmas photo cards from The Little Card Company. They have a lovely collection of scripture inspired Christmas cards so you don’t feel the need to handwrite 5 paragraphs on 75 cards. Not that anyone would ever be crazy enough to do that. Ahem…

To enter, simply:
1. Share a holiday planning tips that works for you.
2. Visit their website and let us know which design you like best.

Leave a Comment

Comments

138 Comments

  • Hi Kat! What a great post…I NEED this…and such great cards…thanks for introducing me to this company!!!

    Funny story here….I’m doing a talk at my MOPS group tomorrow on Pursuing Your Passions in Motherhood and was trying to find some good resources on line to share with the moms…I found success.yourway.net and saw your photo and thought “wow that girl looks really familiar!!!” I realized I had seen you walking around at Relevant last weekend!!! We never met, but kind of funny how I found my way to your site this morning!!!

    Anyways…love your site and can’t wait to read more…am definitely going to list your blog on my resource list!!!!

    For what it’s worth I like the “Winterberries” Joy to the World cards!!!

  • Avatar sandy says:

    I really try to have all my shopping done before Thanksgiving so that I can spend Advent more peacefully preparing my heart for Him.

  • Oh, I forgot to add one holiday “tip”…I started a “Christmas” binder last year…I put our Christmas Card mailing list in it, gifts we bought, inspiring articles I found and read, cookie recipes, etc….I also purchased a red leather journal…in it I am committing to try to journal a bit about our Christmas season each year, and get my husband to do it as well…eventually I’ll have my girls add their thoughts as well…

    the binder has been great…I keep it right in my office and throughout this past year as I’ve seen things that make me think “Christmas” I tear them out, or copy them and add them to the binder!

  • Avatar sandy says:

    Actually I love the card you feature in this post (I did visit their site though!) That verse from Isaiah always gives me chills.

  • Avatar Katie says:

    I have a holiday planning binder that helps a ton! It’s organized into sections and helps me to plan ahead and not forget the important details that I all too often let slide or procrastinate!! Plus its a great way to save ideas and plans for next years Christmas – what to keep, what to change, etc 🙂

  • Avatar Julie says:

    I start looking for sales on things I want to get for christmas early. My goal is to be done by Thanksgiving.

    I like the Wonderful Counselor card.

  • Avatar Katie says:

    Jeweled Star, Celebrate Jesus, Rejoice in the Lord – just to name a few! I seriously can NOT pick a fave!! There are SO many awesome ones!! Thank you so much for pointing us to this site!! Love all of the Christ-centered cards!!!

  • Avatar Tracey says:

    Addressing 10 cards a day is GENIUS!
    Last year our 3rd baby was coming just after Thanksgiving so I did something completely out of character. I finished *all* the shopping and prep work by Nov 15. All of it. I chose the template for our card and left a space for the new baby’s photo so our Christmas card doubled as our birth announcement.
    It was so worth it that I’m trying to do the same thing this year!

  • In our house growing up it was tradition to put up our inside Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving night. Everything was “perfect”, but even in his perfection my dad always allowed us to help, even when we were small children. The outside decor went up over the next few days and was almost always finished before my dad had to return to work on Monday morning. Occasionally he would add a few more decorations over the next few weeks, but the bulk of it was finished that Thanksgiving weekend. Now as a “grown up” myself, I try to have all my Christmas cards done and ready to mail by Thanksgiving day. That way I don’t have to worry about it during the holidays. I do not personalize very many cards, just one or two for very special people. I have also shortened my list over the last few years to include only people who send me cards back. (saves time and money)

  • Avatar Lisa H says:

    I really like all those cards…so pretty! My favorites are the “rejoice in the Lord” one and the “faith, hope, love 2”.

    My Christmas tip is to plan ahead! Don’t shop during December if you can avoid it. I buy Christmas gifts for family and friends throughout the year and store them away on a high shelf…so I only have a few things left to buy in December. I keep a list (hidden so well that sometimes I can’t even find it!) of everything I’ve bought so I’m not forgetting what is up there. 🙂

  • Avatar Jessie says:

    Loved this post – such great reminders!!

    I try to shop throughout the year for Christmas gifts. I don’t always get it all done ahead, but i’m able to stretch our money farther than if i wait until the last minute and buy in a panic. 🙂

    I love the “Quiet Snowfall” card!

  • Avatar Carrie K says:

    1. I try to make my sugar cookie dough a couple of weeks ahead and then thaw when I’m ready to have a huge cookie cutter/sprinkle party with the kids.

    2. I love the Holiday tree 2 design….so many cute ones!

  • Avatar Kristi says:

    My biggest planning is also the most well-known…internet shopping! I hate packing up children and going to crowded stores! I can just relax with a cup of hot cocoa and knock most of my list off in a few hours. And most of the time with free shipping!

    My favorite cards are Peaceful Snowfall and Tree of Stars! 🙂

  • Avatar Teresa says:

    Several year ago, I set a goal to be ready for Christmas before Advent starts. October: Look at the budget. Make a list of gifts, activities, and action items.
    November: Make sure everything is on the calendar. Shop and mail or order via the internet. Prepare the Advent Calendar for the kids.
    December: Enjoy the season.

    It is not too late to get it all done before Advent! It is only November 2.

    I love the Faith, Hope and Love cards.

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    There are a few things that I am doing differently this year to try to simplify. I am pregnant and due on December 13th. The end of November is also very busy for us with my son’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and our anniversary. So, this year I made a spreadsheet back in September of every person that we needed to buy a Christmas gift for, what was going to be bought, and the amount budgeted for each gift. It has kept me organized and under budget. I also decided that I was going to have all Christmas gifts, including stocking stuffers, bought by the middle of November. So far, I have more than half of my list finished.
    We also do an Advent Calendar every year. To make things extra special for my son this year, we decided to do a wrapped ornament for him for everyday in December. With a new baby coming in December and the baby getting a lot of attention, we thought this would be something special for him to do everyday. He will have a gift to open everyday and something special to look forward to that is just for him. I don’t know that we will do this every year, but it is something that I am really looking forward to this year. My mom will be coming over next week to wrap all of the ornaments for me.

    I like the Shine Brightly cards.

  • Avatar Myra says:

    Fantastic reminder that undoubtly…Christmas happens the same time every year! My “to do” list involves the local craft shows…I can find everyone on my list from child to adult a gift from a craft shows. These shows not only help me but I’m helping a single mom, stay at home mom or anyone else that has a crafty idea. Take it to the FAIR…is what I say.
    The quiet snowflake design is perfect for the holiday season.
    Namaste!
    *myra*

  • Avatar Ginny says:

    Hi Kat! What cute cards you’ve sent us to!
    The first one I saw is the one I love most – the Faith Hope Love one. I also love the Snowballs one and the Little Angel Red/Gray. They’re all so beautiful! I’d love to send these out to my family!

    As for planning tips, I’m realizing how important it is to keep things simple for Christmas. We want to instill in our daughter a sense of Giving, not receiving. (Even though her grandparents and extended family lavish her with things!) We have the idea that “Jesus got 3 gifts for Christmas.” Three is enough for our daughter… from US! Anything else is Bonus!

    Also, because we make a big deal about Jesus’ birthday, we make a big deal celebrating HER on her birthday!

    ~Ginny

  • Avatar Jen says:

    I absolutely LOVED your post! I can so relate to you going a little overboard on the Christmas cards…I’ve done that too and was just thinking through the plan for this year, so your email was very timely! Thanks! 🙂

  • Avatar Kim Kauffman says:

    I like the red and gray little angel!

  • Avatar Crystal says:

    My first plan is just to start early! I’ve already bought the gifts I want to give my husband, and plan on doing one child at a time too- because I have the time still!
    I love the Holly Jolly cards!
    Thank you

  • Hmm a disease? How about we call it a “condition?” 🙂

    We must really be in sync because I just wrote an article on my blog a couple of days ago entitled “5 Tips to Stop Procrastination at The Door and Get Things Done.” It’s not holiday themed but I did share my best tips 🙂

  • My homeschooling Christmas tip is: Take off the entire month of December from your regular curriculum.

    We do this every year, and it has brought so much relaxation and fun to the holiday season. We are still learning, but math is measuring out ingredients for baking our favorite cookies, music appreciation and expression revolve around learning Christmas hymns and carols, art appreciation is looking at the plethora of paintings and sculptures throughout history that depict Mary and Jesus, nature study observes the season’s changes and hunting for the perfect Christmas tree. We place this month between our first and second term (we school on a 3 term schedule) and it is a perfect break that we all look forward to!

    My favorite card design is… all of them! ;o)
    I think I’ve got it narrowed down to Celebrate Jesus, Christmas Cross, and Snowfall – White.

  • Avatar Kisti says:

    Just what I needed, I was having a little anxiety this morning listening to a Christmas Advertisement on Pandora! 🙂

    A few years ago I made a Christmas Calendar that includes when to have things done, incorporating when to buy gifts, day to make Gingerbread House, St. Nick’s Day, and when to mail Christmas cards. This makes sure I fit in all the fun things and don’t forget the little details. And the schedule is pretty much the same each year. As our family grows, we add a few events. The organization takes away the stress of even making a list!

  • Avatar kort says:

    love love love the Merry Green Tree card!

    as for tips….keep it simple…remember that you can’t do every good thing…keep your eyes open to the glory and the beauty of the season…

    thank you much!

  • Avatar Brandi says:

    To keep the holidays simple, I make gifts instead of buying them for extended family. I honestly don’t have the money to buy for every single person and taking a little time to make some extra bread, cookies and jam- something I do anyway- and people are always impressed and feel loved. Also I refuse to shop with the hordes for my children so I order everything online and ask the mailman to leave it where my children won’t notice it: on top of the outside trash cans!

  • Avatar Lauren says:

    My best holiday planning tip is to put money away for christmas all year! Hubby and I would never agree on anything if we didn’t both already know what our budget is (because we saved for it) when we start figuring out the particulars of our christmas budget.
    I like the Snowball card because I’m digging gray lately.

  • Thanks so much for the advice! Let’s hope I can put it to practice and save myself some stress this season!

  • Avatar Brandi says:

    I would have a hard time deciding between Celtic Christmas and Saviors Birth. What wonderful cards! It’s so rare to find photo cards with Scripture!

  • Avatar Katie says:

    What a fun giveaway! I really like their “Winter Berries” card with the black and white photo.

    To keep things simple in our house and to keep the gifts from getting out of control we have a rule of 3. Jesus got 3 gifts and that is how each person in our family gets (not including our extended family, obviously). That way it is fair, easy to keep track of who is getting what and helps us to stay in our budget.

  • Avatar Melinda T says:

    My tip is to keep it simple. Many times I feel that I have to because its tradition or because so and so is doing it, but this year I told myself that I want to enjoy the holidays and not run around all over the place trying to do too much with limited time.

    I love the “Christmas Blessings” card!

  • Avatar Kelli says:

    This will be the first year my daughter and I will be doing this type of card. I would love either the Christmas Cross or Wonderful Counselor. My daughter and I choose to give Jesus a gift every year. We do this through one of many organizations and this helps us not get stressed over the holidays but remember what it is truly about. And we put a little money away each month through out the year so we have the funds to get the gifts we want and not worry about finances.

  • Avatar Mayra says:

    Hi! My main tool to avoid chaos is start early. It is possible. After trying and trying I now start thinking in August and doing in September. Especially homemade gifts have to be started early. I have most of my shopping for immediate family done. When we shop we do a tiny bit at a time and that way spend a little at a time. In the past it was hard to come up with all the money at once at the last minute. We have all our cards planned and will be putting the finishing touches on them in the next two weeks. I am by nature a procrastinator but it is better for my well being to not put things off. I start early and remember a little dab will do me.

  • Avatar ~Suzanne says:

    Simplifying our gift giving has helped me the most! We (really!) limit our spending on each child and have graciously backed out of obligatory family gift exchanges. As a family we pool what we want to spend for a group charity donation instead (Children’s Hope Chest, Samaritan’s Purse, Timbali Crafts, etc). I also have my shopping for our family done before Thanksgiving. My goal for this year: don’t wait until Christmas Eve to wrap them, haha;)

    *I love the Winter Berries design – thanks for a great resource!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    I usually save one vacation day for the beginning of the month of December to be used for last minute shopping or gift wrapping. It helps to save on my sanity.
    I love the Holiday Sparks card. They are all beautiful!

  • Avatar Emily says:

    I love the winter berries card. As far as tips go I try to go to a winter crafty place that has unique gifts and knock out as much shopping as possible there in one day/place.

  • Avatar Mayra says:

    I have to say the Wonderful Counselor card is the simplest yet the most beautiful. Thanks

  • Avatar GinnyLou says:

    My favorite card is the Joyful Squares…I never can pick one picture (most of the time, there’s not one picture that has everyone looking at the camera at the same time!), so that way I don’t have to choose!

    My totally agree on using photo cards. My mom sends an extremely elaborate letter to several hundred people…I guess that keeps me from needing to send the yearly update anyway!

    My other favorite tips are to shop online (I have nearly everything shipped to my sister’s house across town to prevent early surprises) and to LET GO of the idea of the perfect Christmas Day. I have to work at it every year, but realizing that my tree will look just fine with 1/2 the ornaments and Thanksgiving Dinner of spaghetti and salad is OKAY! A few traditions that we enjoy are worth far more than trying to recreate every last thing from the years gone by.

    Okay, I’ll stop now…I guess you hit my hot button!

  • Avatar Amy says:

    My tip is: if it doesn’t get done, no one will remember it as the WORST CHRISTMAS EVER!

    From their site, I LOVE the Believe card. It was the 2nd one that showed up. 🙂

    P.S. I never send out cards, so I hope I win!

  • Avatar Nicole says:

    I love the joyful square card. My holiday tip is to remember that it is your families Christmas and nobody else so if you and your family have a great holiday then that is all that is important.

  • Avatar CatB says:

    Love the simplicity and love the gift (especially if I get it) 😉

    The one thing that has really helped me get through the holidays and make sure I haven’t forgotten anything is the checklist/book I got off of http://www.FlyLady.net. Just go to her free website go to the bottom of the page and click on “Control Journals” There will be a list of different control journals. If you click on the Holiday Control Journal it will bring up a PDF that you can print off. It covers everything from gifts, to meals, to decorations, and anything else you can think of (or forget about) for the holidays. It helps you get into the details without feeling overwhelmed and you can save it for the next year and have a big head start!

  • Avatar CatB says:

    Oh almost forgot! My favorite card is the “Faith, Hope, Love” card design. 🙂

  • Avatar Emily says:

    I try to start gathering gifts early in the fall. It’s hard to shop with 2 little ones!

  • Avatar Amy Anderson says:

    I usually get overwhelmed by everything I want to do during the holidays: this parade, that cookie recipe, this decorating idea. So I’ve started making a list of all of those things and focusing on the truly essential ones. That way I don’t stress myself – and my family – out by doing too much.

    Such great card designs on The Little Card company site! One of my favorites is “December” – love the illustration of the boy pulling a Christmas tree on a sled. 🙂

  • Here is the link to a post I did on our transition from over doing Christmas cards to Christmas letters. I hope you will enjoy it. http://phyllis-sather.com/?p=1099

  • Avatar Caroline says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard about this company before, thank’s for sharing!!

    A holiday tips… Well, because we received years after years my husband family during Christmas time, I always try to make a lot of food in advance, and when it’s possible, I freeze it and I just have to reheat it when they arrive!

  • Avatar Olivia Lopez says:

    1. I start collecting items year round that were on clearance and stash them away to avoid last minute Christmas shopping.
    2. Rejoice in the Lord

  • Avatar Caroline says:

    Oh, I almost forgot… The one I prefer is the “Stars” Christmas photo card!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    For the past few years we pick a theme for the advent season, we go buy an ornament that goes with that theme as well as do family activities or projects that go with it as well. It help me plan in a more efficiently and it helps the kids really focus and learn about one area. Last year our theme was hope.

    I really like the winter berries card.

  • Avatar Brandi says:

    The one thing that has helped me this past year was so simply relax. Have fun with the holidays but dont try to make them a Hollywood production.

    I like the Doesn’t Always Snow card design.

  • Avatar Joy says:

    I like the Stars card! I always choose things with my name on them (JOY). It drives my children crazy that my name is on everything at Christmas and theirs isn’t! Lol!

  • Avatar Joy says:

    My holiday tip is just that I listen to my family all year long and keep a list of everything I hear them say they would like or need. Narrowing that list down is another thing!

  • Avatar Jessica J. says:

    I do all of my Christmas shopping online, which helps a lot. Mostly saves the headache of the crowds, and there is more selection than i have here in our town.

    My favorite card design is Holiday Tree 1!

  • Avatar DramaMama says:

    I like the Christmas Blessings card =) This year is going to be very special for us to send a picture card b/c in January of this year, the adoption of our daughter was completed. It will be our first card as a family of 4!

  • Avatar DramaMama says:

    My holiday tip would be to source out the main entree of the meal if you are the host. In my family, my grandfather always gets a huge crown roast (or 2, depending on who is coming!) from the farm and the rest of us ladies are free to fuss over preparing the side dishes or decorations. We get more time to spend with our families instead of checking the oven or plotting how to make multiple large dishes in one oven! I know when I am hosting a large gathering, I try to take some of the pressure off myself by doing similar things.

  • Avatar Meaghan says:

    One thing I do to make things easier on myself and our budget is to give our extended family (mine and my husband’s grandparents, aunts, & uncles) each a loaf of homemade cinnamon bread with a card that has a photo of our kids. The kids love helping me make the bread one afternoon, and the family seems to love this tradition of receiving something homemade to eat for Christmas morning. Besides, does Great Grandpa really want another automobile flashlight? Most all of our family has told me that they would much rather have the photo of the kids and something festive to eat. They have even come to look forward to it. 😉
    My favorite card is the LOVE JOY PEACE design!

  • Avatar Tara says:

    Shepherds by Night is beautiful, Christmas Night, Bethlehem….blue is obviously my favorite color!! I keep getting drawn to those ones.

    My Christmas tip is also keeping a journal throughout the year with gift ideas, etc. and do shopping throughout the year. It ensures that I don’t shop under pressure and chose gifts with more care and thought. I also keep to a very strict budget and keep it stored year after year on an excel spreadsheet. My husband and I each come from a family of five kids and all of our siblings are married, most with children, so we do a lot of gift exchanging, therefore, budgeting is essential!! And keep it simple and meaningful is the most important.

  • Avatar Lisa Suit says:

    I try to shop throughout the year, and I crochet & knit alot of gifts every year, and I start them all as early as possible. I love the idea of a Christmas binder that several women commented on earlier, thanks for the tip! 🙂 And for the cards, I absolutely love the Wonderful Counselor one, and I would love to win!

  • Avatar Stacy says:

    My holiday tip is the same as many others. I have a Christmas file that I put everything in. When the season is over, I write notes and write out a “schedule” of what month to do what activity-schedule pictures, order cards, make Christmas lists, etc.

    My favorite card is the Wonderful Counselor that you showed. My daughter has been working on learning this verse for Awana the past few weeks and I have been singing her the song to help her remember. I also like Bright Christmas.

  • Avatar Sharon says:

    Last year we started a new tradition of giving to a charity in honor of the adults in our family vs buying a gift for each person. This makes it super easy to do our “shopping.” We do buy gifts for the kids, but each one has their own “wish list” so we can easily pick a gift that they’ll love and that we like too.

    I like the “Holiday Sparks” card.

  • Avatar Callie says:

    Great post, and great giveaway! Tip: I keep a Christmas notebook where I record ideas and plans, and keep track of my “to dos” and gift purchases!

    My favorite card is the Wonderful Counselor card – thanks for introducing me to this site!

  • Avatar Jill says:

    What an awesome website! I really liked the Faith, Hope, Love card. I just try to put everything in perspective. I try to take time each day to sit and enjoy the beautiful lights of the tree, listen to Christmas music and think of the things that absolutely must get done and take the rest of the stuff off the list!

  • Avatar Trisha says:

    hmmmm holiday tip…I like to make cinnamon rolls to give as gifts and it is MUCH easier to start baking and freezing a batch or two every other week or so until it is time to start giving them away (or just eating them all here!).

    I really liked the Rejoice in the Lord Always pictures.

    I’m continually motivated and encouraged by your posts Kat. Thank you for your ministry to me/us. =)

  • Avatar Trina Holden says:

    I love the Fern Tree Card!

    This year I’m finally giving up trying to make every. single. cookie. my family loves. I’ll make a big batch of our favorite, and let my husband visit his mom’s for the rest. LOL

  • Avatar Liberty says:

    I woke up thinking about crds this morning! I have to have a list too, but mine is more like – pick a pic, picks a card, order, address, mail…and I love the little card company – I like the “peace love and joy squares” option – darling!
    Thanks!

  • Avatar Emily says:

    I do all my Christmas shopping on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. That way I save a ton of time AND money…and all the gifts just show up at our door! 🙂 It’s the best. I love a lot of the designs on there, but I think the Winter Berries is my favorite.

  • Avatar Celeste says:

    My Christmas tip: I shop throughout the year, many times picking up things on clearance. The downside is that I’ve turned into my mother and can’t always find or remember what I’ve purchased. ; )

    My favorite card design is “Snowfall” – can’t decide whether I like the white or green best…

  • Avatar Mary says:

    Starting early and keeping things simple works for me. I can’t decide between the Christmas Lights design and the Patchwork Noel design. I would love to win! 🙂

  • Avatar Kate says:

    I loooooove to send out photo cards! It’s what I’ve done since my oldest was a baby and I think everyone enjoys receiving them : )
    My favorite card design was “Faith Hope Love”

    My tip for the holiday season is: start early! I get a claustrophobic in stores when there are lots of people, so shopping when the stores are packed is a nightmare for me! I try to have all of my shopping done early, before the rush begins : )

  • Avatar Katrina says:

    My tip is to keep it simple and focus on God. I love the tree of stars card, gonna buy it if I don’t win I think…

  • Avatar Allison Humphries says:

    My tip (at least for myself) is to finally implement one of the many tips I have read through the years! I read about them, but don’t do them. I am picking one this year…..and doing it!

    I love the wintery day. Beautiful cards, and I can totally relate to your post. How good of you to follow through though….I get myself so exhausted with thinking of what I can do/should do to begin a revival…..I end up doing nothing:(

    Just found your blog, and meets me just where I am! Thank you!

  • Avatar Amir says:

    My favorite design is the “believe” card. I think it is called trees of Christmas.

  • Avatar KellySinging says:

    I am so INSPIRED to get everything done early this year, especially after reading the comments! Love the Rejoice in the Lord design. We also purchase online for most gifts. It helps not to overspend and is less tiring than hauling kids. 🙂

  • Avatar Becky says:

    We try to draw names for the extended family gift giving early, and I keep a list of everyone we need to get gifts for in the coming year so I can get gifts as I see things and think of the person, rather than scrambling in the weeks before Christmas to find gifts for every single person on the list.

    I love the Holiday Sparks card! Thank you!

  • Avatar Lindsay says:

    Pinterest is helping me organize my gift ideas for people this year. I like the snowfall card in white. Thanks for your inspiring posts each week.

  • Avatar Kristin says:

    1. I come from a large family, so we draw names. It makes gift giving much more fun and much less stressful!
    2. I really like this one: http://www.littlecardcompany.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=18_30&product_id=244

  • Avatar Jenn says:

    I really like the winter berries card. The thing I do every year is sit down mid November with a couple of Advent family night books and plan about four Advent themed family nights and pick the dates we’re going to do them. This helps our family have fun together in a way that helps us reflect on the reasons we’re really celebrating.

  • Avatar Leigh says:

    I put things on my calendar – this week it was just to start thinking about Christmas cards and lists. Next week we’ll take a pic, and then the next get it printed, etc…

  • Avatar Brandy says:

    Menu planning is always high on my list because all of the family contributes to the meal. I have appointed myself as coordinator of the food apparently since I am always the one to call everyone and get a full menu list. That way no one reproduces what some one else is planning and also to remind us all to be thinking ahead!

    I adore the Isaiah 9:6 card you shared. Even after looking at the other cards, this is still my favorite!!!

  • I love the Savior’s Birth one. Organization tip: For all the Christmas presents I keep a running list on my computer of who we need to buy for and the amount we will spend. All names are in red until purchased for and then hi-lighted black once finished. I also include what it is they’re getting so I can keep it track between all the nieces and nephews. It really helps keep me organized!

  • Avatar katherine says:

    making a gift list with the who’s and what’s SAVES me!

  • Avatar katherine says:

    love the holiday sparks!

  • Avatar Christy S says:

    1. I keep an excel document of who we send Christmas cards to each year. It helps me not have to start over every time, and I can add people or delete as needed.
    2. I like Joyful Squares

  • Avatar Jennifer E says:

    My Christmas tip has to do with busyness and traveling. We travel during the holidays each year and are typically not at home during Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. So we celebrate our own little family Christmas on New Years Eve/Day. It spreads things out a bit so we aren’t so stressed.

    I think most of the cards are cute! I would say I love the Winter Berries one and the Peace Hope Love ones.

  • Avatar Mindy says:

    I do the 10 cards per day thing. I also pick up gifts throughout the year so that it costs less at a time.

    Wonderful Counselor and God’s Gift are my two favorites. What a great site!

  • Avatar Brandi Brown says:

    I try to buy Christmas presents as early as possible to avoid the rush near the end. This is the first year I’m sending out family Christmas cards (since we just had our first baby) so hopefully I can stay on top of that! 🙂

    I love the design “Joyful Squares”

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    Super cool cards! We try to keep things pretty simple over here. For our yearly newsletter, instead of writing out everything we did for the past year, we just put down each of our top 5 highlights.

    I like the Faith Hope Love 2 card.

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    Love your tips! They are much needed here. My tip is to have one compiled list in one location of everyone’s current and expected spring tims sized. With four kids sized change frequently, and everyone always wants to know what size to buy for whom, so it helps to have it all in one place!

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    I love the Celtic Christmas design, but it is so hard to choose just one!

  • Avatar Lisa F. says:

    Love all the cards! The one featured I think is my favorite.

    We started doing a Christmas in July (July 25). The main reason we do it is to really unpack what Christmas means to us in the middle of the year, any day of the year – why Jesus came, how His birth started the trail to the Tree… I also take this opportunity to do a little prep work – stuffing advent activities in the calendar, making lists of supplies I need to be on the lookout for advent & 12 Days of Christmas, as well as baking Christmas ornaments to be painted in December (advent calendar activity) that usually are given away as gifts (photo frames). Love all the ideas – freezing sugar cookies – brilliant!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    I put up my Christmas lights in mid-November….on a nice “warm” day….then smile as we plug them in (from inside) when it’s a blizzard & 10 degrees outside:)!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    I love the print that is shown above:)

  • Avatar Tracy says:

    I make lists and try to do baking ahead and freeze things to simplify. Also, we don’t go over the top on buying gifts. I love the Christmas card site! Their “Rejoice” card is beautiful.

  • Avatar Laurie C says:

    I make a list of the holiday baking I want to and then start gathering my supplies ahead of time. Then I space things out and freeze as I go so that I’m not in a baking frenzy all at once. I really like the Winter Berries photo design and the Faith, Hope and Love one.

  • Avatar Jennifer A. says:

    I love these cards! I especially love the cards with three pictures, Savior’s birth stands out to me. I like to use one good picture and then fill up the rest of the card with goofy pictures. You know, the ones that used to stress me out, like my son pulling the dog’s tail instead of smiling pretty, or my daughter screaming her head off. It’s one way I can turn my stress into laughter and I think everyone enjoys the funny cards.

  • Avatar Debbie says:

    My tip is that we agree as a family not to go overboard with giving gifts. Instead of giving gifts to each other, we each pick out some items that we want to give to those in developing countries (a sheep, blankets, medicine, etc) and we give those as our gifts instead. Its more fun than shopping in the malls and we simplify our giving and make it more meaningful.

    I really like the Faith, Hope and Love cards!

  • Avatar Pam Witt says:

    A simple tip for shopping for children that we’ve done is to purchase 1 book, 1 game, 1 article of clothing, and 1 toy. It simplifies the shopping.

    My favorite card is Peaceful Snowfall.

  • Avatar coleen says:

    A couple of things help me with Christmas:
    1. Trying to keep things simple. We do very few gifts, so it isn’t some mad dash to get all this STUFF that no one needs. We also try to choose something from the gift catalogs (for World Vision, Food for the Hungry, etc.) to give as gifts, so the gifts aren’t all about us.

    2. Have a cookie exchange. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, as you’re adding one more thing to the schedule, but it means that I bake one type of cookie and end up with 8. 🙂

    I really like the Joy to the World card! (The berries are beautiful!)

  • Avatar Edwina says:

    Wise men! Love it!

    Hmmmm……….I buy gifts through the year.
    When I mail out packages:
    1. purchase gift, set aside in spare room
    2. wrap
    3. Go to post office to get supplies before the rush-flat rate boxes etc..
    4. Mail at “post office hub”…..like a hallmark store! Saves waiting in Post Office line!

  • Avatar Jill says:

    I love the Winter Berries card. So simple but dramatic at the same time. Plus, it’s my favorite song 🙂

    My Christmas tip has been written here several times but it is worth repeating……….

    Keep it simple and celebrate Jesus. Don’t get caught up in the commercialism of it all. Keep yourself and your family focused on the real reson for celebration.

    Jill

  • Avatar Laura says:

    I really like the wonderful counselor one.

    I am doing homemade gifts this year and haven’t exactly started making them, but I’ve gotten ideas and supplies. I usually end up rushing the few days before Christmas, so I’m determined to start early and take it easy. Also, our power went out during the mad rush last year and it was so nice to not be able to do anything but be with my family. I think we might make it a tradition to force us to slow down and really enjoy our time together and focus on Christ.

  • Avatar Melissa says:

    We give our kids three presents, just like Jesus received! This keeps it simple and keeps me from going overboard. We do stockings too. I also do a gift spreadsheet, but after reading some comments, I am definitely starting a binder this year! Thank you!
    I like the Fern Tree card (well, really I like them all)

  • Avatar KO says:

    I love the tree of stars design.

    Tips: save for Christmas all year round. Put some money away each month, so finances will be less stressful. Then spend less 🙂

  • Avatar Winona says:

    I love the Tree of Stars!

    My tip is that I collect things on sale during the year, and figure out new ways to use them for Christmas!

  • Avatar ellen says:

    I love the one called Joyful Squares – it reminds me of a scrapbook page i love
    My best holiday planning has been using one notebook to write everything down in – all five kids wants and needs – sizes – who we are exchanging with this year- recipies i want to use – to do list – etc
    This notebook goes everywhere with me all year long so every idea is in one place when i need it – hasnt made me the perfect organizer but i am a lot better

  • Avatar Chelsea says:

    I would love to share a helpful tip, but the truth is I am at a loss. I need help being more organized! 3 out of the last 4 years my Christmas cards and some presents arrived AFTER Christmas so we had to pass them out after our gatherings. Embarrassing.

  • Avatar Bethany W says:

    We do a lot of our shopping on Amazon. We think of items through the year that might make good gifts for others and set them aside in a wish-list. Then, as the year progresses, we slowly work on ordering.

  • Avatar Bethany W says:

    I like the template “Blessed.”

  • Avatar Chelsea says:

    I really like Bright Christmas. So cute and fun!

  • Avatar Meredith says:

    Planning for Christmas has gotten much easier the last few years. I start with gifts – who do I need to buy for? – and move straight into online shopping. I used to believe that to Christmas shop, I had to actually go to a store. NO MORE!

    I love the cards. My favorite was Savior’s Birth.

    Meredith

  • Avatar Daniella says:

    Last year I read a blog post and became inspired to created a Family Holiday Planner… the pages consisted of card lists and all the addresses, list of activities we’d like to do as a family, people to buy gifts for (and gift ideas), people to bake for, homemade gift ideas, and best of all, a 3-month calendar from Oct.-Dec., so I can visually see how many weeks there are, and write in by what dates I must complete cards, send cards, etc, so nothing caught me by surprise like it usually does!!
    On the Little Card Company website I love the “Greatest Gift” card the best!

  • Avatar courtney says:

    this year i planned ahead in october and decided what santa was going to bring. I am buying a couple things after each pay check so that i don’t end up spending all my money & stress at the last minute. i hope to have it all bought before december! that way, during december i can focus on my crafty gifts for grandparents and neighbors 🙂

    i love the “celebrate jesus” card! thanks for the giveaway!
    courtneymolony@gmail.com

  • Avatar kimberlee says:

    I like the Christmas Frame card.
    Well, the only planning I really do is a shopping list. All year long I store ideas on my iphone for family members and when I do purchase that gift I put an X next to it.

  • Avatar Amber says:

    On my to-do list I will add fun things (such as driving around looking at lights or watching our favorite Christmas movies) as well as the regular sendings cards, wrapping gifts, etc. I then put them all on my ical and then everything has a date. If I have to move something around, I do. Or if I have to delete something, I do. This way, the important things get on the list and actually have a day attached to them.

    I really like the “Savior’s Birth” card.

  • Avatar Amber says:

    also….
    I try to pray for each person or family as i prepare the Christmas cards to send out.

  • Avatar April says:

    Holiday planning tip – in years past, I have hosted a Christmas card party. Normally the weekend after Thanksgiving. I invite friends/family over and everyone brings their cards and addresses/fills out cards while chatting, enjoying yummy food, and listening to Christmas music.

  • Avatar April says:

    “Celebrate Jesus” is my favorite card design. Thanks for sharing this site!

  • Avatar Roberta says:

    This time of year, every year, I pull out my Christmas Idea Books which are a couple “blank books” that I use to get organized and to write down my lists of gift ideas, recipes and holiday celebration ideas…I blogged about it here last year because so many of my friends and family wanted to see my “system”.
    http://con-tain-it.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/12/wfmw-how-to-enjoy-your-christmas-cardsevery-year.html

    Hope this helps ;}

  • Avatar Jen says:

    I start scouring Craigslist and going to yard sales to pick up stocking stuffers, legos and advent treats in late September. Getting started that early helps me prioritize and stay on budget when the time comes to purchase costlier gifts.

  • Avatar Jen says:

    I love the Winterberries card!

  • Avatar Dena says:

    Immediately after Halloween I sit down with my family and we make a list of all the things we’d like to do for the holiday season. Then I put one and only one on every week til Christmas. If there’s not enough space we have to decide what to keep and what to lose. Then we make those things a priority. After that I write, also, on the calendar any things I need to do to prep for that activity on the appropriate day.

    My favorite cards were the Love, Joy, Peace cards. They’re so pretty.

  • Avatar Danyelle says:

    Throughout the year, I’ll pick up gifts, then I put them all together and make a note in my drafts of my email so I can keep up with who else I need to shop for.

  • Avatar Danyelle says:

    I really like the Love, Joy, and Peace cards.

  • Avatar Diana Drexler says:

    okay, thanks for my little shot out! I guess I need to blog more! 🙂 I forgot to send the photos of you just the husband ( do you use his name here?) Love you and miss you all!

  • Avatar Kimberly C. says:

    My mom made us these great “treasure chests” . One per family. She found them at a craft store antiqued them and wrote 1 Tim. 6:18-19 on the front. The purpose is to put God-centered gifts in the box for members of the family. It is fun to try and find meaningful gifts that will inspire someone’s walk and point us to “true treasure”. There have been jewelry, Christian t-shirts, Angela Hunt books (awesome), etc. They aren’t the only gifts we give/receive but they have been some of the most meaningful, and in tough times, like this year, it will be the focus of our gift giving. It’s fun to open it up every year and see what treasures are inside! Just a fun idea!

  • Avatar Kimberly C. says:

    I like the one above as well as Modern Cross – Green.

  • Avatar Becky says:

    I love the faith, hope, love card. I need a card with lots of photo spots since I will be doubling our Christmas card as a birth announcement for our 3rd! Something that helps me at the holidays is that I have been shopping for all the cousins since just after Christmas last year. All those clearance sales really help the budget!

  • Avatar Anna says:

    I like the “Faith, Hope, and Love” photo card.

    This year, I found a friend to work with to do some holiday things. (especially the things that we can do ahead of time.) That helps me schedule a specific time instead of procrastinating. Plus, it’s more fun to work with someone else.

  • Avatar susan says:

    I also try to have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving. This year, I will make sure I also wrap them before T-Day.

    Any one of the designs would be a treat to give (or receive), but my fave is Joyful Squares.

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    We have majorly simplified Christmas. Jesus’ life was simple, so ours should be. 🙂 We make a lot of our gifts and we aim to keep the focus on Christ and ministering to others rather than getting

    I love the “Faith, Hope, Love” and “Joyful Squares” cards. 🙂

  • Avatar Christy says:

    I think my favorite is Peaceful Snowfall. And I love their site…thanks for sharing! Would much rather give my business to a Christian organization than the huge photo company I’ve been using!

  • Avatar Christy says:

    http://www.organizedchristmas.com has been helpful to me in the past in streamlining my planning. Lots of free printables!

  • Avatar Kim says:

    My tip is to start early. I just started canning so I canned apple pie filling. It’s already ready to go so I’m going to give those as gifts this year. Another idea would be to start collecting things on sale you think people would like, put them in your closet, wrap them up, and you’re ready to go for Christmas.

    I like the Rolling Hills card. It would be great to take a picture just like that with our family.

  • Avatar Mikel Beth Seifert says:

    I really needed this – I’m easily overwhelmed myself, and I do much better with step-by-step lists. Plus, (*nerd alert*) making lists is waaaay too fun!

    I looove the photo card idea – so much simpler than what I generally try to do. More likely to get done! My favorite photo card design is the Christmas Lights card.

  • Avatar Julie says:

    i like rejoice in the lord… and my tip? start way, way , WAY early.