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9 Ways to Manage Your Schedule This Holiday

Simplifying Christmas | 9 Ways to Manage Your Schedule This Holiday by Cara Putman

Simplifying Christmas
Do you break out in hives just thinking about the craziness and chaos that comes with Christmas? It doesn’t have to be that way. Inspirational authors Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin, and Tricia Goyer share about Christmas’ past in their new novella collection Where Treetops Glisten. Their three stories “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” will take you back to war-time 1942, 1943, and 1944. The authors have also teamed up to give tips on simplifying Christmas this year! Join us  December 1-6 on Not Quite Amish Living for the Simplifying Christmas series.

9 Ways to Manage Your Schedule This Holiday

by Cara Putman

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Have you ever felt that way about the last six weeks of the year? You wake up one morning and it’s November 20th. Blink and it’s January 2. Weeks have passed and you’d had such high hopes for a season filled with peace.

Instead, the weeks are filled with events, rehearsals, recitals, parties, and more. Christmas has become a time of immense busyness. Instead of being a season of peace and enjoyment, many of us see December approach on the calendar with a sense of dread. Do you hate that as much as I do? Do you long for an approach to the season that doesn’t make you cringe?

When I asked some friends how they simplify Christmas, many talked about schedules.

Today, I wanted to share some of their ideas with you. I’d also love to hear your suggestions. Together maybe we can bring some sanity back to the holidays.


  1. I just simplify Christmas by doing quiet things. Just sitting under the tree, with the lights glowing, listening to “O Holy Night” and reading the story from Luke 2. Maybe eating a cookie or two as well. I think just being still and being quiet and remembering that night so long ago is the best thing to do to get away from the craziness of the season. —Kendra Whittle
  2. I think I’ve simplified Christmas by not getting too many things scheduled. In years past, I get so busy with so many great things to do, that I forget/don’t have time to just stop and celebrate and savor the season. Then suddenly, it’s January and I realize that I never took the time to really enjoy what is such a special time of the year. I’ve learned to downsize my schedule. —Brittany Keating
  3. We simplify Christmas by celebrating with my side of the family on Labor Day Weekend. There are no flu bugs to bother with. We can camp outside since we have grown a lot and need the space. We can act out the Christmas story outside with a campfire and various locations to walk to. We love it. —Randy Wigdahl
  4. I simplify Christmas by saying No to some events so I don’t spread myself too thin. I work off of a Christmas budget/shopping list, so I am not overbuying or overspending. I get gifts out the door and on the their way to family in other states as soon as possible, so I can focus on family within my home. —Kerry
  5. I have simplified Christmas by slowing down and not rushing around like crazy as I have in years past. —Tina Rice
  6. Only do the stuff you really want to do. That should weed out most of it. —Beckie
  7. We simplify by picking the traditions that are important to each one, then see which ones fit into the schedule. We try to include the ones that have the most “fans.” Christ is always in the center of our celebration. —Jennifer Hibdon
  8. My brother, sister, and I, along with their families, celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. That way, the families have a quiet Christmas Day. We can use the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. —Elaine Shorb
  9. We try not to overdo decorations and Christmas baking (though we still do enough of them). And we try not to schedule too many events. It can be easy to schedule something for almost every day in December. So we try to keep the amount of commitments down to ones that are really important. —Amy Putney

How do you simplify the Christmas season via scheduling? Do you have a matrix you use to make choices?

Download and fill out this printable to help manage your holiday schedule!


Where Treetops Glisten Gift Basket Giveaway!


Waterbrook Multnomah has created three wonderful gift baskets to give away to readers! To enter to win this basket, please fill out the Rafflecopter forms found on  Tricia Goyer’s blogSarah Sundin’s blog and Cara Putman’s Facebook page!

WTG apron book

Each basket contains:

Copy of Where Treetops Glisten
Christmas DVD – Holiday Inn Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire
Christmas CD (includes all the book title songs) – “A Jolly Christmas” Frank Sinatra
Apron made from vintage pattern
Recipe cards from each character

About Cara Putman


Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 9.43.43 AMCara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women’s ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.

You can learn more at caraputman.com.


About Where Treetops Glisten


Where Treetops GlistenThe crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

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Guest Contributor (80 Posts)


  1. Where TreeTops Glisten sounds like my kind of book . A must read. I especially enjoy that the tittle if each story comes from a Christmas song.

  2. Sharon Miller says:

    I love this post! I especially like the idea of setting priorities for the things that are most important to the most people. We are empty nesters and do things with our kids mostly. They always have the priority in our planning.

  3. Connie Hendryx says:

    We, as a family, really try to slow down and think about the true meaning of Christmas….Jesus!

  4. Carol Smith says:

    We set priorities and have learned how to say no with tact. We make Christmas about the birth of Christ.

  5. chrisinpsl says:

    One thing I have done is to focus on the names of Jesus in my devotional time. I like your schedule.

  6. Love this!

  7. These are such good tips! It’s so important to evaluate what is most important for each family member – and also for the family as a whole.

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  1. […] To read the rest of the tips and a free downloadable form, click here. […]

  2. […] To read the rest of the article, and for a free printable to help you manage your schedule, please visit Not Quite Amish. […]

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    9 Ways to Manage Your Schedule This Holiday

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