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Monday, September 19, 2011

Christmas Is Coming!!!! 97 Days and Counting!

Its turning cooler, there is a bite in the air in the late evening and early morning, gets me thinking about the holidays.  This week I am dedicating to CHRISTMAS!!!! 

My tip for today is to make a LIST and a CALENDAR! 

Our lives are hectic, there is no doubt about it and when you add the craziness of the season somethings fall by the wayside.  Since Christmas is my absolute favorite season I hate to miss out on anything but by far the 4th quarter is my busiest at work.  So my family and I sit down in early November and make THE LIST.  The list of things we really want to make sure we do during the season.  It can include everything from the simple (like looking at Christmas lights) to the administrative (like sending out Christmas cards) to the special (seeing a show like Radio City Music Hall Christmas Tour or Trans-Siberian Orchestra.)  Every one gets to have their input.  Make sure you have your calendars close by.  Once the list is built go ahead and pencil them in on your calendar.  If you don't schedule them, they may not happen.  Here is my list for every year:

1.  Decorate the trees and house -- we try to do this on Thanksgiving weekend but last year I actually started the weekend before and it may be our new tradition.  We celebrate Thanksgiving at my mom's so no one is offended by the intrusion of the early tree and it gives us some breathing room on the holiday weekend.

2.  Go Christmas Light Looking -- we take a few hours one evening, get some hot cocoa and go out looking at Christmas lights.

3.  Christmas Parties -- Between work, church, friends and family we always have several we need to get on the calendar.

4.  School Christmas Concert

5.  Christmas Baking -- usually a day long activity, we used to do it with my dad, he has been gone for 3 years now but we still feel the loss heavily on that day.  I'm not a great baker so I keep the recipes pretty simple. 

6.  Christmas Cards -- I do love sending Christmas cards so I make them a priority.  I usually try to have them in the mail by the 15th of December but I make it as easy as possible.  I print address labels and enlist the kids and Jeff's help in signing, sticking and licking.

7.  Party for the Kids -- when they were little I used to host a cookie decorating party every year with their close friends and their families.  It was a great tradition that lasted many years but as the kids have gotten older we have abandoned it in the last year.  Now we are figuring out what the next tradition looks like.  I want them to have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with some friends who are important to them so we are working it out still.  Thinking maybe a Christmas Eve Eve sleepover (following in the footsteps of my dear friend Laurie Dingwerth Hoover's mom and step dad who always had a houseful of teens over on 12/23 and made us a huge breakfast on the morning of Christmas Eve.)

Once the list is made Jeff and I get out our calendars and we actually schedule time for all of the chosen activities.  We schedule "Cocoa and Christmas lights" on an open Tuesday evening.  We set aside a Sunday afternoon for "Christmas Baking."  By putting these items on our calendars right along our work commitments and dentist appointments assures that we make time for what is really important this time of year -- FAMILY!

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