Pity my poor children–I am forever changing song lyrics to match what is going on in my life at any given moment. Grammar doesn’t matter (!), the right number of syllables is what I am going for. I find it fun, and I think they do sometimes as well, but mostly they are glad I do most of my song re-writing at home, with no further audience than their captive selves. It sure does provide some stress relief, though, especially when I find that I have too many things to do.
I am far from the only one who is super busy this time of year. Work, home, kids’ school activities–all of these are full of holiday or end of year tasks that need to be done as soon as possible. My challenge, like everyone, is to fit in the things I want to do while still doing everything I think I should do.
This weekend, my children will be at their dad’s house, which would normally mean a lot of time to get things done. However, this is also the weekend of the school production of Pirates of Penzance, where my daughter will be the best singing and dancing Daughter ever, and I am going to both shows. On the other hand, I am totally broke, so I won’t be able to go shopping, which leaves more time for Christmas crafts and housecleaning. Yay for the first one, not so much on the cleaning…
I did make some choices to minimize the amount of time I need to spend getting ready for the holidays. I like to start with a big goal and then adjust down to something sane. Here are some ways that I have tried to bring expectations in line with reality:
- I decided that December 1st is to early to set a goal of crocheting hats for everyone on my Christmas list, and I am going to make some cute magnets instead. They are fun and take WAY less time to make.
- I have (OBVIOUSLY) spent less time writing posts here. I hate to lose the momentum I gained with NaBloPoMo, but I just don’t have the same kind of time now. I will spend more time here after the holidays.
- I started a list of all the things I wanted to do but just ran out of time to fit into my schedule. This mainly applies to handmade gifts. I will need to start earlier next year if I want to make a lot of gifts. If I am at least keeping a list so that I can make a plan for next year, I don’t feel guilty about not getting to everything this year.
- I am limiting the indoor decorating. At least until I declutter a bit, it just looks like more clutter sitting out.
- I am not doing Christmas baking or candy making. I think. I am off next week, so I may have a last minute change of plans on this one. (I have my eye on this gluten-free fruitcake!)
At the same time I am ratcheting back many of my expectations to a more reasonable level, I also managed to add a few things that I am very proud of:
- I decorated outside this year! It isn’t a lot–a few oversized ornaments, a metal penguin stake, a Chistmas tree by the front door made of lights and an upside down tomato cage–but it is more than I have ever done, and it looks very festive. It makes me smile whenever I come home, or even look out the window.
- I did make some gifts, and I will finish up a few more before Christmas actually hits. For the past few years, I have thought about how awesome it would be to make some presents, but beyond a bit of baking and some mint liqueur making, not actually made anything. I may be making less than I originally thought I would this year, but I am glad that I am making presents at all!
- I have tentative plans to take the kids to the Winter Wonderland at a nearby park. At only $9, it won’t break the bank, but I think we will all enjoy it!
Overall, I feel that we are getting the important stuff done this year without too much craziness. I do need to plan a Christmas Eve meal and finish some making and wrapping, but I think it is manageable. How are you doing with holiday prep?