Every year I have big plans for the holidays.
Like planning to host a cookie party and decorating the front yard with a six foot nativity set that I saw someone build on Pinterest and making my own hot cocoa mix and greeting the kids getting off the bus with a cocoa bar on the back porch and designing my own Christmas cards and mailing out 267 out to some of my closest friends and hanging lighted snowflakes that play carols on the trees.
I usually start off strong.
I send out invitations for four parties and download the plans for the nativity set and try and plan out what we are all going to wear for the Christmas card and then somewhere between the ribbons and the caroling and the decorating….
…..I lose a little steam.
And I end up wrapping gifts with newspaper at midnight on Christmas Eve.
This is what my dining room looks like right now.
And I didn’t even have the heart to show you the disaster that is my living room. Boxes and boxes and boxes of Christmas joy just waiting to be unpacked.
And so it was that yesterday I stood in the middle of this wearing a bun with a pencil in the middle of it and a pair of yoga pants that have never seen a yoga class with a list a mile long and all those big plans….
….and put my purple toe-nailed foot down.
This year was going to be different.
This year I’m going all old school and giving myself Christmas boundaries.
I raised my right hand (because my left one was holding a glittered stocking) and right then and there I promised myself the following five things to make this season a little less stressful.
1. I’m going to schedule one party
Just friends and family getting together and singing carols and celebrating the joy of the season.
And it’s going to be my deadline to get the house ready for Christmas. And I’m going to let whatever I’ve decorated by then be enough.
2. I’m shopping more online
Usually I make a big production out of shopping.
Total aside: Are you really surprised?
And I’m still going to have a fun shopping trip this year with a cute Christmas outfit and coffee and the mall bustling with people and Christmas music chiming, but most of my shopping I’m going to do online.
There are so many great deals and coupons and you can have it gift wrapped and send directly to the person’s house. No shipping or waiting in line at the post office.
And its so much easier shopping in fluffy slippers.
3. I’m going to play more Christmas music
I love Christmas music.
I want to rock around the Christmas tree and be home for Christmas and watch chestnuts roasting by and open fire and have joy for the world.
And sometimes I’m so busy and frenetic and frantic that I forget to turn up the volume.
I’ve already got it playing and it made those tubs in my dining room look so much more inviting.
4. I’m wrapping gifts as they come
No more last-minute marathon wrapping sessions.
No more standing in aisle seven staring at empty shelves where the gift boxes and tissue paper used to be.
I’m wrapping them a couple at a time after I buy them and then using them to decorate around the house, too.
5. Remembering what is important
Less is more.
I’m telling myself this now.
On November 23.
Before it all slips away and I’m standing in front of my perfectly decorated Christmas mantle with my unwrapped gifts and my unsent Christmas cards and my nativity that only has a camel and scolding myself and my unrealistic expectations because I couldn’t get it all done….
….instead of taking a moment to breathe. 🙂
PS Who’s with me?