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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Planning for What I Missed This Christmas

The end of the year always brings a time for reflection. This year, for me, it's been a time to reflect a little on Christmas. I did a better job this year of staying in the present. I wasn't wishing I could have or hoping I just might. Instead, I enjoyed each moment. I just wish that there were a few more moments to enjoy. There were some things I would have liked for us to do as a family, some projects I would have liked for us to do together.

As I reflect, I realize that I can't change how we did things this year. In fact, I wouldn't change the things we did get to do. We had a ball baking cutout cookies for the first time and decorating them! We enjoyed our Advent calendar, even though I didn't get it made until about 6 days into it. We did a quick trip to see some Christmas lights in town. We made a Christmas craft for Emma to give her grandparents and our brothers.

But there were some other things I would have liked to do. Rather than kicking myself for not accomplishing them this year, I'm planning them for next year. I just got my new family organizer for 2010, and I'm going to use it to plan ahead for next Christmas. I'm going to write in the November to-do list area some of the activities that I want to take part in. That way, I can begin to think about them and gather any necessary materials ahead of time, not the night before I want to do a project!

Some of the items on my to-do list for next Christmas:
  • Decorate a gingerbread house. I already have a kit. I even got it out and put the box on top of the fridge this year. But we didn't get to it, because I waited too long to get it out. Next year, I'll have it on the calendar. We can create it early enough that it can sit out for us to enjoy for a really long time!

  • Create a Jesse Tree. While our version of the Advent calendar did contain Scripture verses about the birth of Jesus, we want to be more intentional about teaching Emma about the lineage and life of Jesus. For some reason, I thought that there were only 12 ornaments and that I still had time at the beginning of December to get it ready. But alas... there are 25 ornaments, meaning that I needed to be ready on December 1. That's why this is going on my list for next year.

  • Bake different types of cookies. We were able to make Emma's cutout cookies, some Ginger Crinkles, and some pumpkin cake. But that was the extent of our baking this year. I had the ingredients, but I didn't plan the time.

  • Have our shopping done earlier. I did have the bulk of our Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving even arrived. I found that we had a lot of odds-and-ends running around that needed to be done to complete the list, and I'd like to eliminate that for next year. I would like to spend the season celebrating, not mall hopping.

  • Make some type of small gift/food item for friends. We did get our bread baked for our neighbors. The final loaf was in the bread machine on Christmas Eve! I did get some chocolate-covered pretzels made for my cousins too. Next year I'd like to create some yummy goodies boxes like THESE or other small gifts for some of my friends.Nothing extravagant... Just something to let them know that they're appreciated!

  • Send our Christmas cards earlier. I got them out in the nick of time this year... maybe because I ordered them the Monday before Christmas!?! They were really adorable! I just want to get that project done a bit earlier next year so that it's not hanging over my head. Fortunately I re-gathered almost all of our Christmas card addresses after switching computers and losing them all this past summer. I'm ready with our address list for next year.

I'm sure that I'll be adding some things to this list as I really take the time to sit and think through my wishes for next year. My goal right now is just to be intentional about it and get the ideas on the calendar. That way, when the time rolls around next year, I'll be ready and waiting to enjoy the season without regrets!

For more ideas that work, stop by Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family. You'll find everything from cleaning tips to recipes to organization ideas!


3 for Me! said...

I'm right there with you about getting Christmas stuff done earlier next year by doing a little more planning.... I think it's a great idea to write out projects in this year's planner:)

Sounds like you'll be ready next year:)

katy said...

I need to get more organized, too. A schedule would help and spread things out a bit. Great ideas for next year!

:) said...

As I was taking down my tree, I remembered your post and I wanted to say thank you as it inspired me to be more organized. I feel like this Christmas season whizzed by all to fast.