Christmas is finally upon us, and the Filipino in me is beaming now that we’re officially in the holiday season. Filipinos are known to celebrate Christmas starting in the “-ber” months, meaning September, October, November, and, of course, December. Each year I try my best to pay Thanksgiving the homage it deserves, but there’s no denying that when I’m eating turkey, I’m also thinking about Christmas Honey Baked Ham.
Ham aside, Christmas is still known to be the busiest time of the year. Intertwined with fun, festive associations with the holiday are also the errands and responsibilities that have to be fulfilled, like gift shopping, decorating, cooking, etc.
To help you get the most out of the Christmas experience, I’ve created the ultimate holiday checklist (and countdown) to make sure you cross off every activity and every duty. Enjoy these 12 Days of Christmas:
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A Decorated House
Clear out any autumn or Turkey Day decorations, and replace them with tinsel, stockings, Santa statues, and throw pillows. Decorate the house soon after Thanksgiving so you can immerse yourself in a Christmas Wonderland and feel the spirit!
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A Tree
With decorations comes the Christmas icon itself: the tree. Putting up the tree and dressing it in ornaments, all while Christmas bops play in the background, is a yearly tradition for my family and I. It’s an essential to your now decorated house!
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … Gifts
Ideally, purchasing gifts should be done starting in October or early November. Making a master list of who’s on your nice list and what presents to give them will keep you in check as to who you can cross off and who’s left. If all else fails, coal is always a viable option.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … Written & Mailed Cards
For those that might not be receiving physical gifts, but are still getting the yearly card, get those written early. Mail them out as soon as they’re sealed so the recipient knows you’re thinking of them this season!
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A Wish List
Now that you’ve got gifts and cards for others sorted out, think about yourself! Wish lists can be useful for those that genuinely have no idea what to get you, but have expressed they want to. For example, who would have guessed someone might want a Wosh Life Plush this year? (Those reading my wish list … because it’s me. I am someone.)
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … Finalized Plans
Where will you be celebrating Christmas? What’s on the itinerary? What time? Are you in charge of bringing the figgy pudding, or is someone else? Get answers to these questions sooner rather than later so you have sufficient time to plan or get out of any prior obligations, such as work.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … Holiday Spirit
If you’re not already in the holiday spirit with only a few days left to Christmas, when else will you be? With how many other obligations and errands you’ve got going on, it’s super easy to forget the real meaning behind Christmas. Whether that’s spending time with your family, giving back to the community, or re-focusing on faith, place that at the center of your intentions. Take part in festive activities along the way like making snow angels, building gingerbread houses, or watching holiday movies. I’ve already started my 25 day Christmas novena to keep myself engaged!
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A Pamper Session
No Shave November has come to an end, and I’m pulling out my razor for Christmas. Before special occasions, I like to make sure I’m physically prepped for the day. Getting an eyebrow and upper lip wax, getting a hair treatment, putting on a face mask, painting your nails, etc.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A Cooked Meal
Depending on your menu, plan ahead as to what can be made ahead of time and what needs to be made the day of. Squeeze in the time to shop for all the ingredients, tupperware, etc.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … Continued Traditions
Plenty of families and cultures have specific traditions they perform before Christmas, often on the day itself or the day before. My family celebrates Nochebuena, which is a huge feast celebrated exactly at 12 a.m. Coordinate what traditions need to be seen through, what you’ll need for them, and when they’ll be done.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … Stuffed Stockings
If you aren’t one to wrap gifts as soon as you buy them, this is the final day for you to do it! Stuff those stockings, too!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A Celebration
You made it! Everything is in place. All that’s left to do is have a Merry Christmas, soon to be a Happy New Year!