Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Have you checked your calendar today?
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.