How I prepare for Christmas

Although I’m actually opposed to starting Christmas as early as November, I do begin my planning process now. Which means that December is less stressful and more fun – at least for us. It’s especially important for me to create as much time as possible for togetherness since we’re a blended family, and we don’t have all of our children with us for the entire time. December has a way of suddenly feeling quite short, and if you would like to do lots of Christmassy things with the kids, then it takes a bit of forward planning.

That’s why Christmas planning starts quite early for me, but it means that I can avoid all the rushing around and can enjoy myself instead.

Christmas gift planning

I keep a running wish list on my smartphone, and add to it when I think of a gift that would be good for one of the kids, or if they mention something or other they would like to receive. This way I don’t forget good gift ideas, and the lists also provide me with an overview when the rest of the family asks me what the kids want for Christmas.

We also do gift planning for the children’s own gifts to their family and friends. They all adore giving presents, and to ensure that they don’t have to buy things at the last minute when there is so much to do, we begin the process now. And that also goes for all of their homemade gifts. I love homemade things, so that’s something I also like to help the kids with.


Delegate tasks

We’re having Christmas at our place this year, and we will be seating 17 people around the table. We’re making it into a “pot luck” meal and I’ve written to family to assign cooking tasks based on who does what best. My mother-in-law will bring her vanilla cake and cookies. My father is responsible for the duck and the gravy. My sister-in-law makes the most amazing roast potatoes and my mother will make the risalamande (Danish Christmas rice pudding with almonds – ed.). I’ll make the salads and “rystehavtorn” (Andrea’s version of a Danish dish with sea buckthorn macerated in sugar – ed.). The sea buckthorn is already picked, macerated and waiting in the freezer.  

So the meal is all sorted, and we’ve also decided when Claus will drive out and get a big Christmas tree. This year we’ll try to bring in the tree before 23 December, as we usually do, so it can beautify our home a bit longer. We may only put ornaments on the higher levels, so the little ones don’t tear them down, and we’ll also try using electric lights this year. And naturally, candles will be lighted on the tree on Christmas Eve – I love that.


Never mind…

Sometimes you have to just say “never mind” to all of your ambitions and instead spend your time on the things that count. I love browsing in good supermarkets, but instead of spending time on that, I do my grocery shopping online on and, and it’s delivered to my door. And I don’t spend time on making everything from scratch, even though I love it. It’s okay to buy things and spend time with the kids instead. For the last few years I’ve also had the shops do the gift wrapping even though I ADORE wrapping gifts. My point is that it’s all about prioritizing. We’ll do it all again someday, and while our children are small, we’ll just say “never mind” and make Christmas preparation a little less time-consuming for ourselves. The only thing we make a lot of time for is Christmas decorating – but we do it together and it’s super cosy.

For me, Christmas is a success when I can feel that the kids have enjoyed themselves – not when everything was absolutely perfect.


Love, Andrea 

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