Ah, the Christmas/holiday rush. It's caused me to lose sight of a lot of things this month (like blogging), but it's also helped me prioritize and determine what's really important to me this year. After my traumatic Thanksgiving, which involved crying in bed during dinner, I've decided to focus on three things to help me enjoy my Christmas day. This list may sound selfish, but I see it as an attempt to be honest with myself about my wants and needs this year. It only has 3 items on it:
1. To make sure Big Dude, Little Dude, and my momma have a great Christmas
2. To make sure that other family and friends are given meaningful gifts they will enjoy, and to make sure they all know I love them
3. To make sure I can get away with doing as little as possible on Christmas day.
This list, particularly #3, wouldn't be possible without my youngest sister and her husband stepping up and agreeing to host Christmas dinner this year. BD and I have hosted the last couple of years, and while I generally love doing it, I'm rather burned out and would enjoy a break.
To make sure I can enforce #3, and thereby devoting more time to #1 and #2, I have created a master list of what needs to be done before the big day. It is scheduled, with certain tasks falling on certain days. It involves cleaning, last minute cards, baking cookies, getting laundry caught up, grocery shopping, last minute gifts, and anything else I can think of. I'm scheduled to clean one room a day, and to touch it all up on Saturday morning. It factors in taking the LD to COSI, and going to Dayton to visit BD's family. My list started yesterday, and I am already behind on it. :-) So today will likely be a fun-filled day of errands and cleaning, but that's okay, because it will all be worth it on Sunday.
I have this fantasy that I'll wake up on Christmas morning after having gone to bed at a reasonable hour, happy in the knowledge that we're all snuggled up under clean sheets, in our dust-free rooms. Upon awaking, the pre-set coffeepot will have coffee waiting for me, and I'll be able to quickly heat a nutritious, tasty breakfast I prepped the night before. We'll all troop into the living room (sparkling clean, of course) in our matching Christmas jammies, and watch with delight as our revered LD opens his gifts. We'll then watch "A Christmas Story" on repeat all day until it's time to go to my sister's. We may take a nap and a shower somewhere in there. We'll warm up the Duchess potatoes at my sister's place (again, made in advance), stuff ourselves silly on ham, rolls, and fudge, and watch more gift opening. Then we'll all troop home to our still-clean house and curl up in bed for a well-deserved sleep. I guess I'm going to have to count on elves or fairies to clean up the gift wrap and breakfast dishes.
Will all this happen? No, probably not. I'm going to consider myself ahead of the game if I get the bathroom mirror clean. But, if I can stick to my schedule, I might actually get to watch that Christmas Story marathon.
Regardless of how unrealistic your expectations are, I cannot emphasize enough how helpful lists are at this time of year! Don't have all your gifts yet? Get that list together and hit the mall! Still need to wrap? List all the packages you have to wrap, and feel a little more accomplished with every thing you cross off. No clue what to serve for Christmas dinner? List your menu, break it down further to list all the ingredients you need, and make a late-night run to your local grocery store. Less crowded that way. Whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate, just take a deep breath, start writing, and then start doing the things on your list. It'll bring order to chaos.