Making My Lists, Checking Them Twice

Sorry I’ve been missing in action the last couple of weeks! I’ve been trying to take my own advice about keeping the focus where it needs to be this season which means I’ve had less time to spend here at Snoodlings.

I don’t have much time set aside to spend here today, but I did have a few ideas I wanted to share with you today. Many of you are probably sitting in your completely decorated houses beside your beautifully decorated tree with all of your elegantly wrapped gifts underneath its branches, sipping homemade hot chocolate from a mug you made and fired yourself, munching on baked goods, and making your gift list for next year. Aren’t you something? Others of you may be struggling to catch up….like me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m no expert on getting it all together and keeping that way, but I have picked up a few tips along the way that have helped me. During this time of year, I am never far away from my Christmas notebook.

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The notebook contains my kids’ wish lists, family members’ sizes, the list of what they’re actually getting, my grocery lists, my To Do lists, my price comparison lists, etc. Not only is this notebook helpful now, I keep my notebooks from year to year. They remind me of what presents I’ve given previously and also give me ideas for presents.

Another thing I keep in my purse this time of year:

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I keep all of my Christmas receipts here. In case we need to exchange something, I have the receipts all in one place. They also help me keep track of my Christmas spending.

A few weeks ago at a meeting, a speaker gave us a list of great ways to make this time of year easier. I don’t have time to share all of them with you, but today I’ll tell you about the one that impacted me most.

Spend a few minutes and write down your top three priorities for this time of year. Then choose a personal “theme” for your holidays that reflects those priorities. Here are a few ideas:

Faith, Family, & Friends
Keep it Simple
Better Done than Perfect
An Old-Fashioned Christmas
Less is More
Unplugged for the Holidays
Time Together
Change it Up with New Traditions

I couldn’t pick just one, so I’m using “Faith, Family, & Friends,” and “Better Done than Perfect, Good Enough Will Do.” I want to have more time to spend with my family and friends so I don’t have to agonize over the perfect teacher and hostess gifts. I can pick up a dessert from a favorite bakery if I don’t have time to bake something from scratch. I don’t want the stress of getting everything done perfectly to take the focus from the meaning of this time of year. I want more time to reflect on God’s perfect gift and how I can live like someone who knows what it means to have received it.

So what theme would you choose for yourself? Do you use a Christmas notebook?

P.S. Sorry for the repeated notices about this post. I tried a new posting format today and I obviously need more practice!

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7 Comments

Filed under Christmas

7 responses to “Making My Lists, Checking Them Twice

  1. Better Done than Perfect is my theme not just for Christmas but for the whole of my existence, I think! GREAT thoughts. Hope y’all have a very merry Christmas.

    • whimzie

      You know, that makes a very good “whole of my existence theme,” now that you mention it!

      And it’s funny, because you’re one of those people who automatically comes to mind when I think of people who is always doing special things with excellence. But now I realize what I’m actually seeing is someone who doesn’t waste too much time agonizing over doing stuff perfectly, but just makes the most of the everyday minutes. So, when you don’t waste so much time doing everything perfectly you have more time to do more stuff! I love it! I want to be more like you when I grow up, Candace Chaney!

  2. Sara Campbell

    Seriously, ya’ll’s bakeries make better stuff than some homemade stuff anyway. Take advantage of that! (Cakes here are beautiful but lack enough sugar. :) My Christmas tip is to move so far away from Walmart (like 6000 miles) and only get to go once a year, that you have to buy all your Christmas gifts in the summer. It’s lovely. All the shopping is done in August. I’m hosting 40 plus staff this weekend. How do I survive that? Just make the wassail and they bring the rest. How did you make it snow on your blog?

    • whimzie

      I like the idea of the hostess not having to do all the heavy lifting. One thing I’m learning in my old age is that when people offer to bring something, my answer should always be yes. Martyrs make for tired hostesses!

      And you’re right about how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time when that’s what you have to work with. Deadlines can be a good thing. Maybe I should set some.

      I have no idea why it’s snowing on my blog. I vaguely remember intentionally doing something last year to create the snow, but I did nothing this year. Maybe I set something to seasonal snow without knowing it.

  3. Jen

    No notebook, iPhone :( your way is more fun. My theme this year would be “savor.” if I have to stay up later to finish what doesn’t get done so be it. I’ve got a warm house, a pretty tree, fun movies and family. I just want to savor each moment because I know the boys are growing up. Very similar to “better done than perfect” :)

    • whimzie

      Ooh, “savor” is a good word! It involves all the senses, doesn’t it?

      Kelly doesn’t get my need for a paper calendar and notebooks, and since I usually love all things electronic, I can’t really understand it myself, except to say I love pens, pencils and paper. Something about them brings me great joy!

  4. Less is More
    I often get a little crazy when it comes to Christmas decor. Not this year. Simple wreath on the door. Mantle and tree. That’s it. With the house on the market, I’m having to hold back. While I fought it at first, now I’m embracing the Less is More … Less pressure; More time to just enjoy. :)

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