Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Have you checked your calendar today?

In case you didn't know, it is exactly 4 months until Christmas!  It will be upon us with all its majesty and misery before we know what happened.

Just for the record, I love Christmas.  Actually, I love all holidays with the giant holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas just about taking the cake for excitement in my household.  I have found, for us to have a memorable and not too miserable holiday season, it does take preparation and forethought - translated to mean: WE HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN

Getting shopping  and decorating done early helps in that context for my family.  I like to get all the "have to dos" done early so we can fully enjoy the "want to dos".   It feels impossible to enjoy the deeper meaning of the season if we are stressed out and running to and fro. I have to start planning - a bit at a time - so I can enjoy things like baking cookies with my children, or going to see Santa, or spending a relaxing night at church listening to a beautiful Christmas program (without that overwhelming feeling of dread that things are behind!).

I also don't like shopping under pressure and the December shopping season is just too high stakes for me!  I do like going to the mall and stores to enjoy the ambiance of the holidays.  I like to take advantage to the often great sales, but I want to do it at my luxury and not under the weight of "I have to get this or that". 

This year, we will be spending Christmas in our new home and our new town. We will be farther away from family than in recent years, so one thing DH and I have already done to reduce stress is that we have pulled out our calendar(s) and planned when we will travel during the holidays. We have also already communicated with our respective families our plans. Also, we have penciled in as many activities as we already have dates for (office parties, last day of school for the children, theatre holiday shows, etc.). These steps are a huge help and help to lower the stress and avoid hurt feelings during an already emotion holiday time.  

I am not exactly sure what the season will look like for us, but I know I want it to be a time of making wonderful family memories and celebrating God's greatest gift.  So, with 4 months to go, I am starting my list and will be checking it twice and watching out for who is naughty and who is nice.


  1. can you please teach a class! my parents dont start planning until like mid dec and its horrible

  2. I cannot believe Cmas is only four short months from now! Eeks- where did this year go?

  3. My parents will shortly ask me what I want. ugh! granted they have two events to shop for on that day.
    I try and get all my shopping out of the way ahead of time. I want time to enjoy it a bit. I already started my shopping and am hoping to see a few things while I am on vacation next month.

  4. Thank you so much for reminding me that I can now pull out the old "Santa's watching" incentive.

  5. We're taking the family to Maui again for the Thanksgiving week, so nobody better expect a bunch of presents (they know better!)

    I do plan to get all my Christmas trees up, other than the real one, before we leave. I'd never do that if we were going to be here for Thanksgiving....hate having the tree up on turkey day! I've already picked out our card on polka dot designs and the clothes to wear for the picture. So since I won't have to do that pesky shopping for gifts, it might be a little more calm this year.

    We can only hope.

  6. Thank you for the reminder!! I absolutely LOVE the Christmas season but tend to get a bit stressed over it all ... mostly the decorating! I love doing it, but my 'perfectioness' sets in! ;)

  7. It's hard to believe that it's almost that time of year again. I actually do most of my Christmas shopping in October. By Halloween I have 90% of it completed. I started doing this back in college for financial reasons. However, it stuck with me after college and has come in handy all these years. I spend November/December decorating,cooking, and buying stocking stuffers. I'm not nearly as stressed out as my family/friends. Gee I sure hope I don't sound like goody tissues because I still stress over holiday cooking.

  8. Me, too! I have already begun my lists because I *hate* how overwhelmed I get if there are last-minute miscommunications, & I hate when we double-book ourselves or run out of Christmas cards, etc. I just like to avoid the silly little annoyances because nothing should take away from the spirit of the season once it's upon us. =)

  9. I just booked my flight to visit my dad in Florida today! I also started thinking about Christmas Cards. You must have read my mind! I like to have a plan too, that way I can really enjoy the season. I sometimes feel like if I overdo it (decorations, events, baking...) I get too stressed and I miss the fun! I've made a commitment to start my shopping early, and to stick to a budget (husband and I sometimes get carried away) so I'm not stressed after the holidays!

    Have a great day!

  10. Where are the days going? Hard to believe summer is coming to a close...didn't it just get here?


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