Monday, November 30, 2009

Prioritize for Christmas

Tis the season!

And it can make you completely crazy. And broke. The to-ing, and the fro-ing. The crowds. The spending of the money. The expectations. The parties. The decorations. The lights, the tree.

For me, I try to break it on down to the basics. If I only could get presents for a small number of people, who would they be? For me, that is Hubby, Skinny-boy, and Bubble-butt. They are my first priority to buy for, who I hunt the gifts down for and plan for back in August thru October. After that, I see if I have budget left for extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins). Typically, I try to make those gifts, knitting something, sewing something, hunting up a stellar good deal, filling it out with items from the Dollar Store to "foof" it out. I also may make cookies for my kids teachers (never hurts to say "thank you" for all the hard work that they put in with my kiddo's!).

I have never been one to do cards. Just...nope. So, I take a pass on that one all together.

As for parties, I'm an anti-party person on a good day, and would rather stay home. Unless it is important to my husband, we usually skip all the holiday parties.

Decorating. Hubby takes it on himself to do something outside. I'm always surprised by what he choses to do, and I never have much of anything invested in it, so it's fine by me. As for the inside, I have a very small number of items I put out each year. Takes up one small shelf worth of space. Simple.

This year, with the new pellet stove, we have less room in our living room than last year. We've decided to place our tree outside on the front deck, in front of our picture window, and we will decorate it with our LED lights. No dropped needles, no need to decorate with bulbs, and no worry about knocked off ornaments from the dogs. Unorthodox, but it works for me! (As I said, Hubby always comes up with something different for the outside.)

I try not to go crazy with baking. When the whim takes me to bake, I will. But this is how I act all year long, not just at Christmas! I will do some baking for gift giving to friends, but nothing too outlandish.

My point is, trying to keep everything realistic. Figure out for yourself what is most important to you. For some, it is important to attend a lot of parties to feel the holiday spirit. Then go with that, and let go of baking or decorating. For others, baking and decorating are a way to "bond" and symbolize Christmas to them. Well, that may mean relaxing other areas. Know that we can't have it all, at least, not all at once.

Choose what you want most, and savor that. What means Christmas and family to you? Ice skating on a pond and drinking hot cocoa? Walking in a snowy wood and cutting down your own tree? Those are great things, and make better memories than hunting for a thingy-bob in a mall that breaks the next day. Just a thought.

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