19 Days to Christmas! Schedule Family Nights

Everyone loves a bustling, busy holiday season, until there’s too much of a good thing. Result: meltdown!

Consider scheduling regular “Family Nights”--no parties, shopping, performances or activities—to give family members time together during the height of the season.

Focus on quiet activities, like board games or watching holiday videos together, to build family togetherness and make holiday memories!

20 Days to Christmas! Plan Christmas Dinner

What's for dinner ... on Christmas Day? Christmas Eve? New Year's Day?

The only one who should wing it when it comes to holiday meals? The turkey. Smart cooks know that a written menu plan calms chaos in the kitchen, and never more so than before a big holiday feast. A written menu plan makes it easy to spot bottlenecks at oven and cookstove, sorts serving dishes, and organizes potluck contributions.

Today, make out a simple menu plan for each holiday meal remaining in the season. It'll be your road map in the holiday kitchen:

Printable Holiday Menu Planner

21 Days to Christmas! Cut Holiday Stress

Sure, you love the holiday season--but just not so much of it! Isn't there some way to have a simpler--but more meaningful--Christmas celebration?

If you're aiming to simplify your holidays, take time now to ponder ways to cut stress, save money and tame over-the-top traditions. Setting simplicity strategies in place now will keep you from being swept up in next month's holiday madness.

Get armed! Try these ten simple strategies to calm holiday chaos this year.

Christmas Calm: Ten Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

22 Days to Christmas! Order Poultry For Christmas Dinner

What main dish will take center stage at Christmas dinner this year? Whether it's a gleaming turkey, succulent goose, tender ham or standing rib roast, it's time to place your holiday order.

Ordering ahead means you'll get the size and quality you're looking for--while procrastinators must choose from what's left behind at the meat counter. Make the call!

23 Days to Christmas! Christmas Card Round Robin

Christmas card chores can feel overwhelming if done in a big gulp by a single hand. Spread the joy with a Christmas card round robin!

Draft all family members for the job, and divide cards among them. Each member starts with a different section of the list, writing a brief greeting. When finished, hand the card along the table to the next person, who adds his or her own greeting.

Christmas music and special snacks make the effort special, and sharing makes it fun. Season's greetings!

24 Days to Christmas! Check Your Progress

Can it really be December 1st? With the turn of a calendar page, the season is upon us--and for most of us, our time is our scarcest holiday resource.

The beginning of December is the perfect time to check your progress! Sit down with the family calendar and evaluate where you are with holiday preparations.

How is gift-buying progressing? Are you nearly there ... or barely there? Make time to complete gift buying in the coming days.

How is holiday baking coming along? Will you need to pare down the list or oursource the goodies?

What about crafts projects or handmade gifts? If they're not completed, it's time to tuck the UFOs away for another year.

Does the schedule include time for family and self-care? Block out a few afternoons or evenings for renewal--you'll head off last-minute frazzles and family meltdowns.

Ready or not, here it comes: the holiday season! Are you ready?