There are 9 weeks until Christmas.
You may already on the hunt for fantastic, unique gifts. Perhaps planning heart-warming celebrations with friends and family, or picking out decorations for your home to make this year special in a new way.
Whether you've planned it all out or not, you probably have some ideas.
what do you have planned for christmas?
Deep down, though, there’s that bit of doubt. That remembrance of last year’s attempts and stress. Pinterest projects will only get you so far. Templates on Minted and other websites just don’t quite cut it. And you’re tired of giving stuff that’s… just stuff. You want to make your gifts really special, which tends to mean handmade.
And there’s the stress of it all. You want to accomplish everything, but you also want a peaceful season, full of the good things about this magical time:
Family, love, joy, giving.
Plus there’s the invites. ALL the invites. To ALL the events, programs, charities, parties. So much is happening this time of year, and it’s hard to juggle.
What does it take to make it all happen?
The most necessary ingredient for all your projects isn’t glue, or scissors, or twine.
No matter what you have planned for this season, you need time.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a spare timeturner lying around (I wish!). That means that no matter how efficient you are, you will always be working with a limited, finite amount of time.
how do you know you'll have enough time?
How do you know you'll have enough time?
The answer is simpler than you might think.
I do this kind of planning for my business all the time, and I've adapted it for you as a basic 3-step process for effectively planning your projects and using that plan to know whether you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
The main idea is all about time. You need to know how much you need, how much you have, and how to make them line up.
So grab some coffee, a piece of paper and a pencil, or better yet, the workbook I created for this exact purpose, and let's figure out what you can handle this season, and how to cut it down if you need to.
how much time do you have to spend?
Take a moment to think about your weekly schedule now, and what it will look like the closer we get to Christmas.
Write down the number of hours you think you can devote to this project per week. Remember, this isn’t the total time for ALL your Christmas projects. JUST this one. If you have multiple projects going (I'll bet you do!), calculate them each separately. You'll add them together later.
Calculate the number of weeks until Christmas (or your deadline) and multiply that by how many hours you think you can devote to this project per week. This gives you the total number of hours you have to complete this project.
Here's an example from the workbook:
For example, if you think you can spend 1 hour a week in the 9 weeks until Christmas, you'll have a total of 9 hours to spend on the project total.
Hang on to this. You'll need it later.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL YOUR PROJECTS TAKE?
Break each project into main tasks and estimate how much time each task will take. Be as realistic as possible. Total the time for all the tasks to get the total estimated time you’ll need for the project as a whole.
Now, here's the thing.
Projects often take much longer to complete than we expect--it’s actually a scientifically researched truth.
Once you’ve added up the time you estimated for each main task, multiply that total by 2.25.
It’s not guaranteed to be accurate, but the end result is probably much closer to the actual time your project will take than your original estimate.
Compare your two numbers--the amount of time your project will take verses the amount you have to spend.
If the amount you have to spend it bigger than the time your project (or projects) will take, congratulations! If you estimated your spending time well, you'll be able to finish your projects without a problem. Good for you!
If you don't have enough spending time to cover your project's time needed, don't feel bad. This happens a LOT. To everyone.
But the fact remains that you have a time deficit.
So what do you do? I've got some ideas:
SIMPLIFY THE PROJECTS
Can you pare down on the number of party decorations? Make your Christmas card less of a novel updating everyone on your entire year and more of a brief, heartfelt greeting? Do you really, really need to have that many snacks at your gathering?
Taking your fantastic ideas and just shaving a bit of extra detail off of them will give you some more of the time you need.
CUT WHAT ISN'T IMPORTANT
Look through your list of projects, events, plans for the holiday season. Which ones are really actually important? Rate importance on your happiness, and the happiness of others--some things just aren’t necessary, eve if you think they would make the “perfect” Christmas.
Can you give only one gift instead of multiple? How about outside events you’ve been invited to? What can you say “no” to in order to say “yes” to the right things that will help you feel less stressed?
So you’ve cut out the unnecessary projects, and simplified the others where you could.
What else can you do?
You’re not one to sacrifice your big visions for the sake of simplicity. You really care about results and want your projects to turn out beautifully. So what can you do to still get the results you want, that you can picture so clearly in your head, without going crazy?
Ask for help.
No, duh, right? Seriously, though.
It’s not a sign of weakness or being a bad wife/mom/gifter/hostess/fill-in-the-blank-here.
Hire someone to help you.
What? you might say, But I’m a DIYer!
I know. And you’re great at it. But remember that 3 step exercise? You have a time deficit, and in order to accomplish what you want, you have to find ways to buy more time. And you can almost literally buy more time by paying someone to give you a little boost.
There are so many gifts to give, things to do to decorate and spread the cheer, tasks to complete when planning an event. Odds are some of those projects still on your list could be taken care of by someone else.
Common things you can hire out, and can often result in something highly quality than you could produce on your own:
I’ve linked to searches for these services in your area for the top two. And the bottom two?
Those are services I offer at select times.
And I’m about to have an event for just this kind of thing...
custom art for gifts, invitations, and decorations
I’m illustrator Gracie Klumpp, and I help art lovers, DIY-ers and gift-givers do their very best for the Christmas season. I create custom art and portraits for gifts, cards, invitations and party favors.
As kids my sister and I would always throw ourselves headlong into making elaborate gifts for friends and family each Christmas season. My favorites were making gift boxes filled with Neverland or Harry Potter-themed bits and bobs for the literary-loving among us. Since then I’ve always loved finding ways to capture the essence of a story or idea in the details of a gift or event.
I've worked with lots of clients on custom projects over the last few years, and it's always a joy to be a part of bringing your ideas and dreams to life with artwork, all packaged up with their own unique flair.
your project. your gift. your party. let's make it happen together.
You don’t have to go this holiday season alone--armed with me as an ally, you can give truly meaningful gifts, create magical party experiences, and decorate beautifully with less stress and pressure.
Starting October 28th, I’m having a Bespoke Event, where I work with clients just like you, one-on-one, to make those Christmas projects happen. To make sure you get this highly specialized attention you deserve, I’m only taking 5 clients for this pre-holiday event.
Interested in learning more about the kinds of projects I do and how we could work together? Click here to become an event VIP.