You may hate me for bringing this up right now, but I’m just passing it along as a resource that helped me last year.
I subscribed to this last year when I felt like I was drowning in a newborn and a new school year and struggling to get to know people in a new church, and I was anticipating the holidays with great trepidation.
The RSS feed plunked down in my reader a suggested activity every day for each of the hundred days leading up to Christmas. Lest you think this would dampen your autumnal joy — a joy I very much understand — many of the activities were ones like, “plan a pumpkin picking trip,” or “enjoy your family on a walk today.” The point is that if you’re thinking far enough in advance about the holidays, you can take time to smell the roses on the way.
It really helped me, and I probably only did a third of the stuff they suggested. Considering I still had a little baby, I was more organized with gift-giving and card-sending this past year than I would have been otherwise. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but this was a helpful tool!
The official countdown starts on September 16th this year. Today marks the halfway-to-Christmas point.