I realized today that Thanksgiving is only a week (and a day) away. This was completely shocking news. I was giving myself an extra week somehow, extending November further into December. With Thanksgiving coming so quickly, I realize now that Christmas won't be far behind.
I have many things I would like to accomplish and many things I must accomplish in a short amount of time and I thought I would just share some of these here:
1. Get the house ready for Thanksgiving.
My parents are coming next Monday and staying until Friday morning. They aren't planning to stay in our house, but they will visit a lot while they're here, so I want to make sure things are tidied up. I know they'll love me either way, but I just feel better when things look better AND we have guests. It's all part of the process of hosting Thanksgiving!
While I don't have a lot of Thanksgiving decor, I was hoping we'd start putting up some of our Christmas stuff. Usually we wait till after Thanksgiving, but I've been unusually excited to get it out this year. Besides, we won't have many people besides our family and my sister's come Christmas, so it would be nice for other people to see it. This is not a MUST do, but it is something I would like to accomplish over the next few days, including the weekend. We'll see.
2. Complete some time-sensitive, year-end items on my to do list.
Yes, I realize this is a to do list that I'm making here, but there are some things I cannot explicitly list out because Christmas is coming and some of it has to do with surprising people. Some is gift-related and other stuff is not, so much. It all needs to get done, however.
For the part of this list that is gift-related, obviously, I need to shop/make/wrap/mail, etc. But first, I want to mail a package to my mom I promised her (or maybe now I'll just give it to her next week - sorry, Mom) and a package to my sister in Oregon that sadly has still not gone out (am I lame or what?!). I did technically start the shopping when I found a really good sale a few days ago, and so I'm officially underway.
Christmas cards? Hmm. I will probably either do a small mailing like I did last year or no cards this year since pretty much everyone I know follows us here or on Instagram. We'll see how that works out. I'm not really wanting to overburden myself this year because I've done that enough to last me till 2014 (or 15) and it hasn't been for the better (most of the time)! Some things just have to give.
3. Trim down our "stuff."
I recently realized how much stuff we've accumulated in this house since moving in five+ years ago. I'm setting a goal to reduce some of that. It may not happen before the end of the year, but you know, with Christmas coming, it's always nice to pare down a little. Plus, I'm pretty sure it's time to make the switch from summer clothes to winter clothes in the kids' rooms, so there are always some losses there when we realize (again) just how much they've grown.
4. Prepare for the Christmas-y events with our church.
I volunteered to make the centerpieces for the Christmas Dinner Theatre again this year. This was one that probably should have been a no for me, but I like doing it -- well, except for the stressful part when I can't make a decision about exactly what to do. When it's all done and it's the night of the big event, it brings me a lot of joy to see the finished table settings and know that a little bit of sacrifice from everyone culminates in a fun evening with our great church family.
C has some worship team and cooking responsibilities coming up, so while that doesn't directly affect me, it does mean supporting him through it. I will be keeping the kitchen cleaned up and working around a busier singing practice schedule. He has the hard work where this is all concerned.
5. Enjoy life.
Maybe this is a given, but at this time of year, it's an easy thing to put on the back burner. I hope through all the busy, I can still take time to find the good in our kids, to slack off on housework here and there and to take up an adventure when an opportunity presents itself. I hope to keep up with healthier eating habits and some exercise. I hope to continue reading my Bible daily (a habit I'd gotten out of but am four days back into). I hope to keep writing about and photographing a lot of special moments. I want to have some date nights with C that maybe don't include Christmas shopping (as many tend to do this time of year) and sometimes, I just want to spend time at home with the family, playing board games and watching holiday movies.
So those are the top five, really. Of course the day-to-day needs to keep happening, too: school, work, routine, etc. But if some of that gets shuffled around to accomplish the top five items, I'm okay with that.
What kinds of things are you gearing up for this holiday season? How are you staying on track? Please, share with us in the comments below!