Christmas: Your Christmas planner

First Week of December

  • What are your favorite traditions? Sit down with your family and decide together what is most important to each of you over the holidays. Add your favorites to personalize this planner for your own family.
  • Finish shopping. Swap evenings of child care with a few friends so each of you will get a couple of nights to finish the last-minute shopping, or maybe spend a few minutes alone with your partner in the midst of the Christmas crunch. (Keep receipts from all purchases in one place, in case returns are necessary.)
  • If using an artificial tree, put it up now. Let your children help with decorating the tree. If you have very little ones around the house, remember to place only safe ornaments (and hangers) within their reach. A baby gate can help to protect your littlest from holiday dangers.
  • Make a Countdown to Christmas Calendar. Your kids will enjoy a craft each day of December.
  • If you need a babysitter for holiday parties, call now to avoid disappointment.
  • Buy and wrap a few extra "all-purpose" gifts, just in case. A bottle of wine, a good book, a specialty coffee or a favorite children's toy may come in handy at the last minute.
  • Put some Christmas music on, light a candle or two, sip some cocoa and write your Christmas cards. Mail early.
  • Begin decorating your home (inside and out) for the holidays. Make this a family project. Let your kids bring the holiday spirit into their rooms, too.
  • Help your kids go through their belongings and set aside toys and other items they no longer use. Donate to a favorite charity. (See
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