Ho ho holy time-crunch, it's already October?! I just got over the whole “stars and stripes” thing and now the stores are pushing pumpkins and broomsticks. If I'm not careful, I feel like the Santa phase will just screech on by and we'll be dealing with bunnies and eggs before I even know what hit me. Am I the only one who feels this way?
This being my first holiday season with Some Boy around, I'm determined to enjoy the little moments and not let his first Christmas be a big blur. We're going to look at lights. We're going to have egg nog and sing carols (Nate and I will sing, Some Boy will bring the babble and drool). There will be footy pajamas and snow and a whole lot of that cheesy popcorn. And we're going to do it all starting right now. Here's how we're taking full advantage of the season by planning ahead for the holiday.
1. Start now. Seriously, push back whatever else you have to do and get started…just as soon as you finish reading the rest of this post.
2. Order your cards online. Getting the whole family together for that sit-down portrait session at the mall is so three decades ago. There's this fancy new thing called the internet that lets you upload pictures and the whole shebang from the comfort of your own home. Storkie Christmas cards are super-easy to customize. You can use any photo of the family…there's bound to have been some documented event in the last year where you all looked presentable, right?
Even if you don't have a recent photo, don't sweat it! Just send out a cute generic card. I promise nobody will notice the difference and the five hours you don't spend stressing out over your husband's cowlick will do wonders for your relationship.
3. Just say no. If people ask you for extra favors, potluck-concoctions, school play costume sewing, whatever…don't feel pressured to do it. Family is your priority this time of year (ideally, they're always your priority) and you can't be taking on any extra stuff until you get the home life in order.
4. Don't let crafts overwhelm your life. It's fun to be crafty…until all of the sudden, it's not fun anymore. When crafting starts to feel like a chore, give it a rest. It's nice to have a homemade sparkly doodad as your centerpiece, but a bouquet will also do the trick just fine.
5. Storebought is simple. It's nice to make your grandma's old-fashioned apple pie, but Marie Callendar's is pretty darn good too. Go the extra mile if you can swing it, but remind yourself that the important thing is getting food on the table and spending some time with those you love.
6. Delegate. Send your husband to pick up the wrapping paper and get the older kids to water the Christmas tree. Don't be a one-man band.
7. Make what you can ahead. Mix your cookie dough early and freeze it so you can whip up fresh baked cookies in a snap. The same can be done with things like salad dressings and dips.
8. Dedicate a day. Clear your schedule for just a day and have everyone help out decorating the house. That way you'll have a nice, bonding activity with the family while at the same time limiting the activity to what you can reasonably accomplish so it doesn't take over your whole week (or month).
9. Envision it. If you're throwing a party, sit down and really try to picture how it will run from start to finish through the eyes of a guest. That will help you tie up any small details – from table linens to closet space for people's shoes and jackets – so you won't have to worry about those details at the last minute.
10. Set a cut-off date. Give yourself a deadline well ahead of the holiday for when you want to have all shopping, planning and preparations done. This will keep you from wrapping presents on Christmas eve and getting caught in a grocery jam the day before New Years.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.