Christmas Planning – What NOT to do

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Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it can be the most stressful time of the year because there is so much to do, bake, buy, and places to attend!

Keeping organized lists of all these things will help you remember it all, but I also believe you need to make a NOT DOING list.

I have always been the queen of lists, but in 2013 when I was just getting over morning sickness, I decided to make my first ever NOT DOING list for Christmas that year.

At the time I knew I couldn’t do it all, so I gave myself permission to not do it all.

It was the BEST Christmas I ever had! 

Instead of running around doing so much, I was able to slow down, focus on a few of the most important things and completely enjoy the season.

So, are you sold?! Ready to make your own not doing list for this Christmas?

In this post, I’ll share what you need to know. Plus I created a free printable to help you put what you read into action!

Ask some questions before making your list.

What was stressful last Christmas (or Halloween or Thanksgiving…)?

What are you not looking forward to this Christmas?

What is a priority this year?

What words do you want to describe your family’s Christmas this year?

What to include on your NOT DOING List:

Anything that…

  • is not necessary and doesn’t bring you joy
  • you are doing simply out of guilt
  • you are doing to please others but you don’t really enjoy
  • costs you more than you have budgeted for the season
  • causes you unnecessary stress

My Not Doing Christmas List:

I’m not making a lot of Christmas candy and goodies, just a few favorites.

I’m not going Black Friday shopping.

I’m not writing a Christmas letter.

I’m not decorating the entire house.

I’m not comparing myself to others.

A word of caution:

If you are involved in a family tradition or something that involves other people, be sure to take all of that into perspective and talk to the people involved before simply declaring that you aren’t doing it this year.

It may be that someone else can step into your usual role.

It may be that you still are part of the event, but you take on less responsibility.

Or maybe the others involved don’t want to do it either, and you are finally the person who had the courage to say something!

Are you planning ahead for Christmas? Making all the lists early? Here is a checklist you don't want to miss! #Christmas #planning #list #printable


Now here’s the hard part…

Some of the things you take off of your list will cause some people to be upset. They may pressure you to do it anyway.

Understandably, it may be hard for some people to support your decisions not to do some things.

I encourage you to talk to them about WHY you are choosing to not attend an activity or bake less cookies or not participate in a gift exchange.

Have an honest and kind conversation. Let them know that you can’t do it all, and this is an area you have chosen to cut back in this year.

Do the best you can with what you have, and enjoy the season spent with family and friends!

Luke 2:11
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” 


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16 thoughts on “Christmas Planning – What NOT to do

  1. Best. post. ever.

    Expectations skyrocket now with Pinterest and lifestyle bloggers. Happy to see you going against the flow by simplifying. Simplicity makes us more able to ENJOY the moments, and focus on the real meaning of Advent and Christmas! 🙂

    1. So true, Laura! We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we compare ourselves to others. I have to intentionally focus on the special time with family and the Lord during the craziness of the season.

  2. Great list. I'm also going to simplify this year. I have accumulated all these decorations over the years and for the longest time I would just put the ALL up… It was starting to look like a circus. So this year I'm going to be very selective and have a decorating theme (gasp) !!

    1. I can relate, Mary. The last few years I have been donated Christmas decor that I didn't want anymore and not buying anything to replace those items. It is amazing how much more I like my Christmas decor with less stuff.

  3. AWESOME! I'm not going Black Friday shopping, although perhaps online, much more convenient! Christmas is about the time spent together, not all the stuff, way to go!

  4. Oh we hvae this fake little one, and it's not that I don't want the real deal, we just don't have a place to put it without Sophie getting into it. we started the photo card tradition too! So much easier than writing a letter, but it is tough to wrangle Sophie into being ready for the photo.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

    1. The toddler years are crazy, aren't they?! The bottom half of our tree doesn't have any ornaments because of Caleb. 🙂 I hope you are able to get a good picture!

  5. I love your list, especially number 7. Comparison is a joy stealer. You are very wise to stay away from it. I too, will only decorate my living room. It just keeps things simpler and I'm all about that! Thanks so much for posting this list. It's really got me thinking.

    1. Yes, I wish I had learned not to compare to others a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of heartache. 🙂 Only decorating the living room also makes taking it down and putting it all away a lot easier too!

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