Leanne Baker is a self-prescribed lover of goal setting and lists. Originally a high-school maths teacher, Leanne is the *Queen* of domestic organisation and has built an online empire creating a range of beautifully designed planners and journals to help to keep your day (week and year) organised while reminding you to be kinder to yourself with a sprinkling of quotes and self-love antidotes. From cleaning checklists to meal planning, weekly timeslots for coordinating key dates and events, habit trackers monthly goal planning and more, these planners are bound to keep your week (and the rest of the family) in tip-top order.

So who better to share organisational tips on getting prepared for the ‘silly season’ than the Queen of domestic planning herself.

Here are Leanne’s 5 best tips to prepare for Christmas

1. Think of the big picture

Leanne Baker helping both her sons to bake Christmas cookies

I am a huge fan of small steps and celebrating the little things, but equally as important as taking a step back and looking at the big picture.

  • What does Christmas mean for your family?
  • What traditions are important to you?
  • What hasn’t worked well in previous years?
  • What gifts have been well used and loved (and what was only a novelty for a few days)?

Reflecting on these questions allows us to build on what feels good for our family while being aware of the things we do not want to repeat.

2. Make a list and check it twice

Christmas wish-list with hot cocoa and cookies for Santa

Christmas isn’t a surprise. We know that it is happening each year. We know what day it falls on and we have the same time to prepare for it each year. Despite that, Christmas often ends up creeping up on us and causing us unnecessary stress. Stress around Christmas makes it challenging to enjoy the season alongside our family and friends. There is so much that we can’t control (family situations etc), but feeling prepared is something that we can work towards all year round. That’s where small steps (my favourite) come in!

  • What do you need to do for Christmas? (Gifts/meals/family traditions etc)
  • What can be designated to others? (For example: In my house, my husband always does the Christmas stocking shopping)

Take 5 minutes to write down everything that needs to be ready for Christmas this year and begin working through your list. Commit to doing something small each week to work through your list. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming.

3. Set your Christmas finance goals

Christmas Gift Box

See how I didn’t use the word budget? At times the word budget can feel restrictive (understandably), but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Let’s swap that mindset around.

  • How much do I GET TO spend this Christmas season (while still sticking to my financial goals)?
  • How will it impact my finances post-Christmas season?

There will be years that we need to get creative with gift-giving to save the money needed elsewhere. These gifts can be just as special! My favourite gift of all time cost my husband absolutely nothing. 

4. Getting that Christmas feeling 

Boxes of various brightly coloured Christmas decorations

Over the years Christmas has changed from a one-day event to the season beginning in September as Christmas arrives in stores. With the introduction of social media platforms, we get to see all the highlights families share in the lead-up to Christmas. Christmas light-looking, Christmas baking and happy family snaps are all at our fingertips. Combining all these highlights from different homes often leaves us feeling like we are not doing enough. 

Behind those happy snaps, you see online could be arguments, stress and struggles you know nothing about.

My goal each year is to work on how Christmas feels for our family. Not how it looks to others. 

  • How do you want Christmas to feel this year? What matters most to you?
  • Remove the pressure.
  • What expectations do you need to remove from yourself?
  • What memories do you want to make?
  • What will you be glad you did when you look back in a few years’ time?

A Christmas with a happy family, laughter and love will always feel better than a Christmas with all the trimmings but overwhelm and arguments.

5. You matter too

Leanne Baker embracing her son on the bed

I have ‘You Matter’ printed on the tissue paper wrapping of our planners as well as on our thank you cards. One of my main priorities online is to remind women that they matter too. All that hard work you put into making Christmas special for those around you? I see it. It’s truly incredible. 

Can you promise me something this year though?

I want you to make Christmas special for yourself too. I want this Christmas to be one you look back on with a smile and fond memories.

One way to do this is to know your love language. If you don’t know your love language yet, take the free 5 Love Languages quiz online.

If your love language is: 

  • Words of Affirmation – ask your family to write 10 things they love about you to open on Christmas morning.
  • Acts of Service – Get someone to help you prepare something you love for Christmas. Plan the activity in advance and communicate what you’re wanting to do. 
  • Gifts – Pick something special for yourself to open on Christmas Day. Wrap it up beautifully. Choose something you’ll be excited to open for yourself.
  • Quality Time – Make time to catch up with friends or family. Host a Christmas cocktail night, a gingerbread house baking day or a Christmas flower arrangement class. Spend time with those you love this Christmas season.
  • Physical Touch – Snuggle up for a Christmas movie together, hold hands while Christmas lights looking or book yourself a massage.

Merry Christmas everyone,

Leanne x