You see, boys and girls, I come from a pretty darn busy past. A past filled with full time college learning and part time volunteering combined with full time home management and full time retail working. Oh it wasn't just ANY retail working either. I worked as a manager at a very very very busy chocolate store. Did I mention it was busy? I have seen the masses of crazed last minute shoppers with their stressed faces and cranky attitudes. And oh my, that is just not what Christmas is all about. It is my goal to never ever end up one of those crazy stressed faces at the mall or grocery store at that crucial 11th hour. I want to enjoy the time with my family and friends and focus on the true meaning of the holiday. I want to emphasize the Christ in Christmas!
So before the first light goes up in the yard (and there are a lot - my dad is Clark W. Griswold) and before the first little tree is placed in my Christmas village, I get to work on my prep. I've already almost finished our Christmas card list. I've hounded friends and family for their updated addresses and put them into my nifty spreadsheet. And this time next week, I'll have the labels ready to go. I've made the list of what I am baking for the holidays and the list of the ingredients I need for each goody! I've figured out who is getting what as a gift. I've scouted all the ornaments to give each family member this year (a tradition I inherited from my grandma). And I am already rearranging things in my head to accommodate this year's decorations. Before Thanksgiving even appears on my radar, I will have the majority of my Christmas work done. And then I can just sit back (OK I'll really be standing in my kitchen to bake all those goodies) and enjoy the holidays with my loved ones. We'll spend time playing board games (I totally rock Scene It and Apples to Apples), watching goofy movies (We love Elf and Christmas Vacation), and remembering why we even celebrate this time of year (duh, Christ's birth)!
And finally, the point of this lengthy and probably a bit boring post - find a way to de-stress your own holiday season! Simplify your life! Enjoy the gifts God has given you and find a way to use them to make your life happier. I may be a crazy organizing labeling prepping planning pathological picture taker, but God made me that way for a reason!