Deadline: Christmas

Christmas tree sugar cookies decorated with ro...

Christmas tree goodies

Santa: (Ho, ho, ho!) What do you want for Christmas, little girl?

Me: Oh, Santa. I want more hours in my day and more energy so I can fill every minute of those hours. I want to be the perfect gifts for my family and friends, I want to be the quintessential employee, and the best author since Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament. I want to out Martha Ms. Stewart, and for my spiritual life to show without me ever opening my mouth, and to meet challenges head on and conquer them.

Oh, and I want grandchildren. (Hey, he asked.)

Santa: (Ho, ho, ho!) Sorry kid. Only one wish to a customer.

Me:: Okay, I want more time in my day.

♥  ♥  ♥

As of this morning, it’s ten days to the Christmas deadline. I don’t know about you, but for me, CPM just set in. (CPM=Christmas Panic Mode.) I did read something this morning that helped a ton. It’s from Loops, the knitting store I frequent.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s the last minute.  You’ve got more than 15,000 minutes to go!  Plenty of time for all the knitting you need to do.

Great attitude, huh? (Faulty math if it was written today, but fantastic attitude.)

So how do  you take advantage of those 15,000 minutes?

How do you meet that Christmas deadline? (I do not want to learn where the word ‘deadline’ came from.)

Most of the time, when we start doing something new (such as writing or going to school) we have to do it in addition to what we’re doing already. If we aren’t careful, the things that are important to us are forgotten until it’s too late.

What do you do?

Only what you’ve gotta do to get where you gotta go, and make it easy on yourself. 

  1. Minimalize the decorating. If you still need to decorate, consider putting up only one tree instead of one in every room  like you did before you started writing (or whatever it is that’s taking up your time.)
  2. Buy a candle that smells like Christmas to you. Even if you don’t have the house looking the way you’d like, the fragrance will make the entire family feel Christmassy.
  3. If you normally bake cookies for everyone in your neighborhood, cut down the list, or give each family fewer cookies.
  4. Wrap the gifts as soon as they get to your house.
  5. Use gift bags. It’s faster than wrapping.
  6. If you must wrap, set up an out-of-the-way wrap station. It’s easier than having to hunt down the paper, tape and ribbon each time you get ready to roll.
  7. Let others help. It might not look exactly the way you want it to, but that’s the thing of fun Christmas memories.
  8. Find out from your family what it is that tastes like Christmas to them. Decorated sugar cookies? Fudge? For me, it’s cashew caramel corn. And fudge with pecans. And John Vinson Cookies.) Fix only what they truly love, and forget the rest. (You don’t have to fix Divinity every year, just because your mama did.)
  9. Just before you open the presents, give each person a trash sack. (Easier to stash the trash now than to do it all at once, and fewer small gifts get lost that way.)

If at all possible, find ideas to make your “new” Christmases as much or more fun than the old.

  1. Christmas morning, hand each guest a disposable camera. Keep them when they leave, download the shots and share the best by having copies made and sharing them in not-too-expensive photo albums.
  2. Tell each guest to bring a plate of goodies, wrapped. (It can be anything from a cheese ball to a plate of fudge.) Play Dirty Santa (the swipe-a-gift game) with the goodies. At the end of the game, everyone shares the goodies. If there are any left, each person’s goodies go home with the one who got it in the game. They get to keep the container, too. (And you don’t have to make all the goodies yourself.)
  3. Christmas memories–HAPPY Christmas memories. Each person tells the story of their happiest Christmas. (Guilt tripping the parents in this game is an automatic disqualification.)
  4. Christmas movies–We like to put a DVD of our favorite Christmas movie on to play with the volume turned low. We might not watch it, but we can watch it now and then, and turn it up when it gets to our favorite parts. Our family favorites are Christmas Vacation and Christmas Story.

What’s your favorite way to make Christmas fun?

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