Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The 12 Weeks of Christmas, Reduced by Half

Oh my. It is now mid-October and I realized that I've been seriously slacking on my Christmas preparations. Just this week, two hopeful souls googled "12 Weeks of Christmas" and stumbled upon my site. Sadly, they probably read the lone post that I have dedicated to that topic, and moved on. Sorry about having absolutely nothing that would fall in the realm of helpful, folks.

I now have just 6'ish remaining weeks if I want to finish Christmas to-do's by my deadline. I really want this to be the year that I am sitting by the fire, sipping cocoa, watching Christmas movies and gazing at the tree lights from December 1st through the 24th. I do not want a to-do list hanging over my head while I am trying to immerse myself in some Christmas spirit. If there's anything that douses my holiday spirit, it is waiting in line at the post office, writing Christmas cards late into the night, and jockeying for position in the too-crowded, too-narrow baking aisle at the grocery store.

So, since we cannot control things like sudden illness and insomniac babies throwing a wrench into the works of the finely-tuned Christmas machine that I hoped I would be this year, let's just get on with the time we have left, shall we?

{My husband thought it was odd to have a photo about Christmas planning, all the while a pumpkin and fall nature tray sit in the background. As I explained to him, "The operative word here is 'planning.' And Christmas planning can never start too soon." }
For me, it all starts with the planning (heehee. Go figure, right? Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to plan and make lists. Execution of said lists is optional). I like to set the mood with Christmas music, something hot and yummy to sip, and "The Notebook." Yep, it's in caps and quotes because it is that vital to my preparations.

"The Notebook" is a binder that I decorated long ago with batting and Christmas fabric. Being pretty as well as functional is a prerequisite. Inside is every magazine clipping, printed Word document (made up of hundreds of ideas from the internet that I copied and pasted), and random thought I have ever jotted down that was related to Christmas. Every year I try to sort through the pages and toss out ideas that are unlikely to ever make the cut. But, every year, hope springs eternal, and I never throw away any of the ideas that are crammed inside that poor, weakened binder. "Maybe next year," I say as I look at how to make a miniature replica of the North Pole, complete with flying reindeer.

This binder also contains forms galore: budgeting, menu planning, decorating, online ordering, to-make, to-buy, holiday traditions (new and old), cards sent and received, receipts/tracking numbers, etc. etc. Forms, forms, forms! Ah, I love it. Many forms I downloaded from here and here, but some I drew up myself and photocopied.

I am the kind of person that gets overwhelmed when presented with too much information. Especially if it's information on a topic I am passionate about: such as, oh, let's say...Christmas. So I will try to show some restraint, and spare you the little details of my "planning plans," as I call them. They consist of lists within lists of what I am planning to plan to do. If that makes any sense. What I consider to be essential, however, may not be what you consider a holiday "'must." That's one of the great things about Christmas though, isn't it? What makes it special is unique to each individual and family.

Therefore, I think I will share some of the things that may have broad appeal: things that I'm making this year, some crafts for the kiddos, recipes, and any other cute bits I feel a need to throw in. But, before I can do those things, I need to sit down with my "Notebook" and my laptop and scour my resources. After I devise my plan for 2009, I'll be getting to work. Hopefully, I will have something accomplished by next week, and I'll show it here: the spot for my newly titled, "6 Weeks of Christmas." ;)

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