Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Our family Christmas to-do list

I’ve discussed my favorite things about Christmas (recently, in fact. You can check that out here if you’d like). I’ll admit there are a few things I’m kind of Grinchy about, like Christmas music and the whole Santa thing is still weird to me (although I’m pretty good about it I have a confession: I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to know better because keeping up the charade is exhausting) and by this time of year, I’m 87% sick of Christmas movies but I do my best to fake it until December 25th because of the child. It’s still magical and awesome to her and I have found that a little bit of faking it goes a long way in retaining the Christmas spirit when really all I want to do is punch an elf in the face. 

For myself, I try to focus on things like the smell of Christmas scented candles, 24 hours of A Christmas Story (another confession: we never actually get through a full showing of the movie. Over the 24 hours, we watch the whole thing. Just not actually at once), working on projects and crafts with my daughter, and enjoying the fact that my husband actually has some time off from work. And then there’s the little part about opening presents because, let’s face it, that’s pretty awesome. 

In addition to all that, we have a whole family to-do. Here it is:

Christmas list



We try hard to get everything on our list done each year, and while I’d like to say that it evolves every year, it doesn’t. However, for next year, I’m going to attempt to add “mail holiday cards” to the list. I’m horrible about it, my husband is even worse than I am, and while we always intend to send cards, we never actually do. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

For those who are interested, you can find how we make elf donuts here and how we grow candy canes here* (it is this time of year, I send an extra big thank you to Pinterest because I would not know what I’d do without it).

Also, here’s a song that’s on our Christmas playlist. This is the kind of song I can get behind.


*note about the candy canes: in the link, she grows cookie pops from tic tacs. I use green and red jelly beans, and buy the mini candy canes for the “in-between” stage before they grow to full sized ones. It takes a few extra days but it’s fun for the kid. Also, I don’t use the poem. 

**There’s a typo in the to-do list image. The correct title is The Muppet Christmas Carol. My bad. #toolazytofixit

What’s on your Christmas to-do list?

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  1. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    Do you know Fairytale of New York by The Pogues? That’s my favorite Christmas song. It is decidedly un-Christmasy.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Christmas Cruisin’My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      No! I will have to give it a listen.

  2. Linda sheridan

    We watch The Christmas Story over and over. I love it! I love making the snapfish Christmas card and save one each year.
    Goddess speed to easily and happily accomplishing what you want. My first marriage, husbands were expected to do nothing. My husband now is an ace! Lucky me!
    After hosting a ton of holidays with a big family for years and again this year, whatever gets done, gets done. Whoever shows up, shows up and all are welcome! Love, SMD’s Momma

  3. Nadine

    I love your family Christmas to do list! So fun! I watched The Christmas Story for the first time last year. Not quite sure how I never had seen it before seeing as how much I love Christmas and all. I guess it just wasn’t a family favorite from my family growing up.

    I still have to watch The Grinch this year, I haven’t yet. I would love to make some Christmas crafts but I don’t know if I will get around to it…
    Nadine recently posted…Weekend ShenanigansMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’ve been giving my daughter a little craft (think door hanger or coloring book or those melty beads) when she moves her countdown calendar so I’ve got the crafts covered. I can’t find The Grinc on TV. It’s Erica’s second favorite movie so we need to watch it!

  4. Kerry

    That is a fun list! I love driving around and looking at lights. Cookies and fudge are for sure on the list! I need to buy new ornaments this year too.
    Kerry recently posted…Gifts Be GoneMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      We bought some new ornaments and some new garland. The tree looks so much better!

  5. lisacng @ expandng.com

    Girl, I hope you’ve crossed off some items on that to-do list because you’ve got 12 things to do and less than 12 days to do them! I poke fun. I think the things are great, especially the growing of candy canes. How fun! I posted my to-do list of 12 things & have finished half of them. Woot hoot!
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Book club announcementMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      We’ve got about half the list crossed off. It’s more of a “this is what we do” list rather than a “we need to do this” list.

  6. kristen

    the muppet, a muppet, whatever! lol. i have only watched one christmas movie so far, maybe watch some more this weekend! i bet keeping up the charade is exhausting, i’ve kind of flirted with the idea of skipping that with my kids haha.
    kristen recently posted…Hoilday WeekendingMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It’s exhausting! It would make it so much more fun if I could just tell her the truth. My husband disagrees, though.

  7. Amanda

    My Christmas to do list is basically one thing: eat everything I make eye contact with. I usually succeed.
    Amanda recently posted…My Favorite Christmas JamsMy Profile

  8. Kelli

    My Christmas to do list is short, make sure I get everyone gifts before 12/25. 🙂

    I get tired of the Santa thing too, can a mom get a little credit for all those awesome gift ideas!?!

  9. Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout

    I have a little Christmas to-do list too, but it’s scribbled on the back on an envelope. Hoping to get a lot checked off this weekend — visit Santa, drive around to look at Xmas lights, make gingerbread cookies, and watch a Christmas movie. (Is Elf okay for a 4 year old? I hope so!)
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted…An open house, a parade, a case of the 4-year-old gimmesMy Profile


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