I can’t believe the holiday season is coming upon us. How in the world does time go by so fast? The last few months of the year always tend to fill up so fast with activities, that time seems escapes me. This holiday season, I want to make a list of activities so that I’m sure I don’t miss anything. Every fall, I never seem to get to it and often feel like I am running in a million different directions by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.
This year I am striving for it to be different. Not perfect, but different. Maybe a little less chaotic and rushed. I have found with jam-packed schedules comes a huge letdown when the holidays are over. Did I do enough with my kids to make it a truly special time of year? Did the gifts that I gave make the receiver feel valued, or did I make a last minute-purchase because I HAD to find something?
Here is a small list of things that I want to accomplish during the holidays to help me start prepping now. I have made peace with the fact that I can’t do everything; and that in and of itself is freeing.
Three holiday must-dos: baking, making, and writing.
Baking: I suck at making Christmas cookies.
Last year, I thought I would make things easy so that my three-year-old daughter could have fun alongside me.
- I bought: pre-made sugar cookie dough, canned frosting, and red and green sprinkles; and cookie cutters from a prior end-of-season sale. (My favorites were the candy canes and angels.)
- After I baked my “easy” cookies, I started laughing at the disaster. I asked my daughter what the candy cane looked like, and she said “Oh, it’s the letter P!”And the angel: “Mama!! It’s Minnie Mouse!”
- This was a Christmas-fail because I couldn’t actually share these cookies with family and friends (which was my intention); however, my daughter didn’t know the difference and enjoyed decorating and eating them. It was worth it!
- This year, I have already decided I am going to make Oreo Cookie Truffles–they are no-bake and are made up of three ingredients. I can make ahead of time, freeze them, and package them when I am ready to give them out.
I love to put thought into gifts that I give and try to do something handmade or personal. Right now, I have started taking advantage of deals on photos (whether printing out 4 x 6 prints or ordering canvas prints at really cheap prices). This allows me to spread out my spending, as well as not stress about last-minute shipping prices.
Two years ago, a friend sent me a handwritten Christmas card. It was a simple card, but the note she wrote was so encouraging and authentic. A handwritten note is almost a lost art thanks to technology. Don’t get me wrong–I do love the picture cards that cover my door! I gave up on sending cards years ago. But this year I am determined to send them. I want to combine a picture card with a heartfelt handwritten note. I am starting now to make my contact list and think about the design of the card.
I am hoping these small steps will lessen the “rush” for me, even if in the smallest of ways. How do you make holidays in your home simpler and less rushed? I would love to hear from you!