Ohhhhh my lawdy.
I was getting out all of the boxes of all of the things this weekend in Preparation. Preparation for the Big Thing. The Big Christmas Season Thing. Plates, and ornaments, and a nativity that’s missing Jesus - except for not really because he was in the next box I opened.
And the glitter, you guys. So much glitter.
I was kind of thinking that there must be a way to get it all done. How do “they” do it all? The parties, the finding-of-the-baby-sitters-for-all-the-things. Tracking down real mistletoe, laughing at yourself, and changing your Amazon query to “fart whistles” (which is a true story, which happened to me today, and which are really real things for less than $5).
Anyway. The thing is? “They” DON’T do it all.
But if I was a gambling girl (and I’m not really because #teachersalary), I’d be willing to bet that “they” DO do all of the following:
1. Keep your quiet time on the schedule. Give yourself a moment. If that means waking up earlier, or staying up a little later - allow yourself a pause. A moment to open your journal, or your Bible, or your favorite novel. A moment to just be quiet with yourself and whatever whispers are murmuring in your heart. The most important thing you can do this season is keep yourself centered.
2. Prioritize. Ask yourself what is most important this holiday season. Your kids getting a picture with Santa at the local Piggly Wiggly (is that still a thing??)? Or, sitting in the hard church pew and loving on a Jesus that’s soft? Choose what you want most this year and don’t worry about saying no. Guard your family time close. If you’re invited to something you don’t have time for, or to something that causes you more stress, or if you just would rather sit in your fleece pajama pants that you got at Wal-Mart on clearance? Say no. Prioritize.
3. Plan. You’ve got 82 Christmas parties, 17 New Year's Eve parties, and you need all. the. white. elephant. gifts. Now is the time to become Type A. This is what you’ve been training for and this is what your momma has been preparing you for and this is real life, people. This is what keeps the makers of sticky notes in business, and this is what keeps wine companies profitable. You need a list. And ya gonna need a big one. Put every single thing that you can think of on that list - small things, big things. Everything. Your Christmas menu. The gifts you need to buy. The traditions you want to keep. Everything. You’ll feel awesome when you cross off the small things, and even more accomplished when you nail the big things.
Pro Tip: When you put Christmas stuff away next year, label it. Seems simple right? Except when it’s all over in January, every mom in the whole wide world is drinking from a can of Nope and lives in a world called A Whole Buncha Nope. Take a second to label your boxes when you put Christmas away. You’ll be glad you did come November next year.
Pro Tip 2: I hear the Type A folks like Excel for this kind of thing, but if you want to get fancy, fancy, there’s an app called Evernote that syncs to all the things and helps you remember all the things.
Pro Tip 3: Wrap as you receive. As soon as the Amazon packages start piling up, start wrapping those bad boys. You’ll be so glad you didn’t wait until the day before Christmas Eve. I promise.
4. Come to terms. The days are shorter. It’s awful. The sun is setting at five p.m. and you still have so much to do, but wouldn’t it feel so good to put on your jammies? It sure would, but resist, my friend. RESIST! Sometimes, the hardest fights come in the evenings. Kids are tired, you're tired, and you have all. the. things. Homework, dinner, dishes, baths, bedtime drinks and potty breaks 1, 2, and ...17. This is the time that routine and scheduling becomes crucial. Come to terms with the fact that a) it’s not going to all get done, and 2) it’ll be okay. Try to keep your family on the same schedule each night. And maybe, you know, wait on the dishes in the sink a couple of nights a week.
5. Set the timer. Challenge your kids and your huz to get as much done in thirty minutes as humanly possible. Nobody sits down. Nobody takes a water break. Nobody quits until the timer on the oven dings. Then, you can enjoy the sweet goodness of a clean house. And maybe? Just maybe, the children might slow their roll when tearing it all apart two seconds later because ... they actually helped. Teaching your kids ownership? You’re a dang goddess.
Five things, you know? Just five things to make your merrier season that much more ... merry. And, of course, it goes without saying that you could leave out all of that - skip the parties, skip the gifts, skip the glitzy, glittery Christmas tree ornaments.
Because the whole reason for the season that we’re racing our way through?
Well. He only had a stable.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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