How are your Christmas plans coming along? I am famous in my family for being a complete basket case at Christmas time. Every year I plan to do things differently, to scale down, to not bake and make candy for everyone that I know, etc, and every year I drop a few things from my list and then manage to add 10 more.
This year is feeling a little less frenetic, though. I don't know if it is because I really have scaled back the presents this year, if it's because I decided to skip Christmas cards, or because I'm delusional and will be crazy in a few more days. But just in case I have finally figured it out, I'll share here what I've done/what I have planned as we move toward Christmas. I have essentially finished my shopping, with just a couple of small things I still need to pick up. What's more, yesterday I wrapped everything that I had in the house. I'm waiting on some things I bought online to show up, but it feels good to not procrastinate the wrapping.
I have forced myself to not bake until this week. I figured that would help me to not eat like a glutton for the entire month. This evening after we put the kids to bed, I baked my first (of many) batch of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Over the course of the next several days, we'll be delivering loaves to piano teachers, RDI therapists, tae kwon do instructors, speech specialists, and all of the widows in our congregation (the diabetics will get whole wheat bread instead.) Then, I'll move on to cinnamon rolls for our neighbors and some of the people we serve in our church callings. Hopefully by next Sunday, I'll be ready to focus on Christmas cookies and candy for our own family and to share with a few close friends who haven't already eaten our food!
In terms of school, I am going to lighten the academic load this week. We will gather each morning for our "meeting" and then the kids will do some independent work: a math worksheet, journal writing, and some Christmas activity pages that I'll find on the internet when I've finished this post. They'll practice the piano and do a Russian lesson on the computer. We'll read a Christmas story together. Then they'll help me bake and deliver goodies. They are really hoping to have a holiday party akin to those they remember at public school, so I'm trying to find a way to fit something like that in. (They tell me that essential elements are crafts, goodies, cookie decorating, and friends.)
Last week over Sunday dinner, I asked Jared and my in-laws what kind of meat they wanted for Christmas Eve. I braced myself for the "prime rib" response, as I know they love it. It is just time consuming and expensive, but I can never resist making it when someone requests it. To my surprise and delight, they suggested a spiral sliced ham. What could be easier? With a low-maintenance main course and my presents already wrapped, is there a possibility that I won't collapse into an exhausted heap on Christmas Eve, praying that my children will sleep later than 6 am? That would be the true measure of success, but it's still too early to call a victory.
Other things that have gone out the window, however unplanned they may be? Blogging, for one. Early morning exercise. Taking pictures of my kids (these photos are all previous years). Math lessons. And I only wore makeup twice all week. Hmm. Looks like there's some room for improvement.
How do you stay sane in December?