To me, the key to keeping the Christmas season as stress free as possible has to do with planning; I love lists, and they’re super important this time of year when there are literally dozens of things I want to do between now and New Year’s Eve.
(I need this notebook. Such truth. Sapling Press, $7.50. Get it here)
I’m not alone in my assessment, as a quick search for “Christmas checklists” will show. My favorite, however, comes from the queen of entertaining, crafting, organizing and beyond: Martha Stewart. My mom used to subscribe to her magazine, and one year the November issue included a handy checklist to keep you on task beginning with the last week of November and running up through the third week of December. I like that this particular list breaks things up into weeks instead of trying to dictate each day so you can juggle accordingly.
My mom still has the copy that we tore out of the magazine, but thanks to the internet it’s also available to print.
Grab your copy here
Other important dates to keep in mind as you get ready for the most wonderful time of the year are the holiday shipping deadlines.
“To ensure timely delivery of cards, letters and packages within the United States by Dec. 25,” the United States Postal service recommends items be shipped by Dec. 15 for standard post, Dec. 19 for first class mail, and Dec. 21 for priority mail.
For international items those dates depend on the country. For example, for shipment to Europe the deadline for first class international service is Dec. 8, while the deadline for priority mail is Dec. 11.
Packages bound for men and women in the military are based on their APO/FPO/DPO AE Zips.
For the full list of deadlines head to https://www.usps.com/holiday/
Now get planning so you keep your holiday cheer intact and the 12 Pains of Christmas stays a silly song instead of a reflection of your life.
Upcoming Christmas in Connecticut events:
Bizarre Bazaar at the New England Carousel Museum, Bristol, Nov. 21: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., a holiday art and craft show with over 50 exhibitors in a festive atmosphere. Includes free children’s activities and carousel rides. Admission costs $1. thecarouselmuseum.org.
Sleigh Bells Ring Christmas Fair, Bolton, Nov. 21: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Handmade gifts, hot food, baked goods, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free.
Festival of Trees, Danbury, Nov. 21-22: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. live entertainment, holiday shopping, 200 raffles of custom trees. Admission for adults is $10, seniors and children, $5. annsplace.org/festival2015
A Christmas Carol at the Downtown Cabaret Theater, Bridgeport, Nov. 21-22: Admission costs $23 for adults, $19 for children. dtcab.com/show/a-christmas-carol/
A Christmas Carol at the Hartford Stage, Hartford, Nov. 27-Dec. 27: Admission, times vary. hartfordstage.org/christmas-carol/
The Mark Twain House & Museum 35th Annual Holiday House Tour, Dec. 6. Advance admission costs $30, or $35 at the door. marktwainhouse.org/visitor/spotlight_event.php