Monday, December 12, 2011

Next to the Last Minute Prep!

Sooo..... today is my day!

While I plot and plan early.. I don’t get serious about Christmas duties until mid-December.   And I won’t apologize for it either :-)  If your card is late... well..... enjoy your greeting from us when you get it!  

What is most important to me is that we (and that includes ME first and foremost, since I set the tone in the household!) have a low-stress, happy holiday season where I can focus on Christ and his coming (and still fulfill the societal expectations that I CHOOSE)  I want PEACE IN MY HEART and I don’t want other people’s issues messing with that :-)

Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, put on some music and let’s go!

This is the week....

***if a craft project isn’t finished by the end of this week, it will NOT HAPPEN.  If I still WANT to do it, I will do it next year.

***if the cards are not mostly done, they will become an AFTER CHRISTMAS project that I will ENJOY after the dust settles.  If you don’t enjoy cards, don’t do them.  Maybe make a list of your people that you haven’t gotten in touch with over the last year & write them a newsy note soon (but NOT NOW unless you choose and it brings you joy).

***Holiday cooking.... dreams and thoughts need to become plans.... and ingredients needs to be gathered.... OR I PURCHASE what I absolutely need.  (Cooking does not yet come easy to me.... so I am not able to simply whip up a batch of cookies!   I need to think it all through and make the time... so if I am going to provide cookies, I need to plan it now – or buy them!)

***The exact same process for special holiday meals :-)    It’s time to decide exactly what you are providing and prepare for it.  Many things can be made ahead and frozen.. just do a search on the internet for recipes – look for easy and prepare ahead!
       Right now we are eating out of the freezer.... soups and casseroles I made a few months ago and froze the leftovers... that gives me a little breathing space to cook something else in the “daily cooking time”.  (BTW it’s not too late to do this... whatever you make this week, either make a little extra and freeze right away.... or freeze the leftovers.   This will give you ONE meal for next week when life speeds up! Because it WILL!

*** Gifts need to be decided upon but talking about that is another post – look for it tomorrow!

***Decorations!  This is the week that I finish (start?) decorating and get my tree up. (in our world, nothing comes back down until after the Epiphany - January 7).  If it doesn't happen or get on the schedule before next weekend, it's not happening.  Period.  My happiness is not going to depend on a string of lights :-)  Even if that string will make my light show perfect :-)

***Is your calendar up to date?  Make sure that if you want to do it, it is written on the calendar!  Check for potential conflicts and make your choices now (and stick to it – no guilt!  You don’t need the drama.)
      What do you need to bring to each event?  (canned food donation, gift, food to share)
       What do you need to wear?  (and what do you need get ready for your family to wear?)

***What basics do you need to get in the house NOW?
         Tape, mailing labels, wrapping paper, flour, vanilla extract, pet food
        For this category.... what do you NOT want to run out for next week?  What do you NOT want to worry about next week?  (I might not get around to wrapping this week – but IF I do.. I don’t want LACK OF TAPE to be why I don’t!)

My purpose for today is to look ahead, to envision a peaceful, contented celebration.  I want to do everything I can TODAY to prepare for that.  And the greatest thing I can do is tailor my expectations... to make choices as to what I can reasonably achieve... and decide.... TODAY... that I will be happy.

Got that?

Decide to be happy...  (not frazzled, not frantic)... but full of grace and peace.

It’s up to you :-)

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