Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Hints: High Speed Version

Since my life since last February has been out of the ordinary for me, I am not where I am usually am in regards to my Christmas shopping, planning, organization, etc.

But it's ok.

Way back in January I chose a focus word for 2013.  Choose.  I wanted to be careful how I spent my time, and I wanted to make the best choices every day.  For the past several months I have been periodically forced to choose to rest and scale back some of my normal activities.  That has left me with limited time to accomplish what I wanted to do, and I have chosen to do school with my children on any and every day that I could.  I have also chosen to resume running and I am currently training for a marathon that is 6 weeks away.  That takes time too.

So this year I did not plan any handmade Christmas gift projects in July (we were still doing school since we had taken an unexpected six week break back in February/March).
In August, I did not begin buying wrapping paper and ordering ribbon.
In September, I did not order my Christmas cards.
In October, I did not make a complete Christmas gift master list and do most of my shopping.
In November I did not finish my Christmas shopping or prepare my Christmas cards to be mailed on November 30th.

And now it is December 3rd, and I am about to condense several months of meticulous planning and executing into about three weeks!

I got out my calendar last night and just looked at December for a few minutes.  I made several lists--some on paper, and some on my Teux Deux site.  I am planning on doing a little bit at a time (well, a lot at a time, actually) in order to get everything done by December 24.  I am streamlining where I can, but I refuse to omit any special traditions just because I am behind.  I don't even like to say that, "behind".  Behind who?  I have learned so much this year about not being in control.  I am so blessed and grateful that I have good health today.  I even feel pretty much like my old self!  Except that I am really not stressed that I have not been publishing or practicing my annual holiday hints!

So here is my first holiday hint for the 2012 Christmas Season.

Holiday Hint #1
Make master lists.  Write down anything and everything you can think of that you need to do, buy, go to, make, bake, etc. for the next few weeks.  These are the lists I am working on.  My goal is to have these lists completed by Wednesday. (The actual lists of what I have to do completed, not the items on each list completed!)

  • all parties/functions/family gatherings, etc.  This list includes events I am hosting as well as ones that we are invited to.
  • gift wrapping supplies (gift wrap, tape, tags, scissors, ribbon, cute things to put on bows, etc.)
  • Christmas card supplies (cards, stamps, return address labels, addresses, labels to print addresses on)
  • baking supplies for gifts, special baking with the children, meals/parties I am hosting
  • master gift list--gifts I have bought (thankfully, I did quite a bit of online shopping while recuperating in my recliner back in October).
  • shopping lists (gifts left to buy), organized by store or website
  • sewing list (I have a major sewing project planned--gifts for family members!)
Getting all of these lists down on paper will help my brain so much.  Then I can get to work.  In addition to making all of these lists, I plan to complete some of the items on some of my lists this week. I have set several deadlines:

  1. Prepare Christmas cards for mailing.  The cards came in before Thanksgiving, but I have not even taken them out of the box yet.
  2. Two shopping assignments. (Pier One and Starbucks)
  3. One online order
  4. Buy paper goods for Saturday's Brunch that I am hosting
  1. Wrap a friend's gift that I will be seeing that afternoon.
  2. Wrap teacher gifts (Bible class, piano, art, etc.)
  3. Mail Christmas cards.
  4. Make and mail invitations for another party that I am hosting.

I think you get the idea.  Taking my super, super long list of things to do/places to be/things to cook, and breaking it up into daily tasks makes my stress level go down!

I hope to share my high speed version of holiday hints for the next few days.  Maybe some of you out there can benefit from my late start!

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