Thursday, November 17, 2011

Planning for the Holidays

This is my favorite time of year, hands down.

I don't know about you but I love the relief of cooler weather after a scorching, hot summer.  That, coupled with celebrations spaced out every 3 weeks or so, makes for a very fun time of year.

This is also the time of year when I feel most pressured to make everything perfect.  The Type-A Monster in me comes out to rear her ugly head.  I must cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner e.x.a.c.t.l.y. as my Granny did all her years.  My New Year's luncheon must look just like my Mema's, because it won't be New Year's without the right foods.  I must bake and take cookies to all my neighbors, and send Christmas cards to everyone in my address book because that's what my mother has done all her years.  It goes on and on and on.

In addition, I have a new friend...the Must Be A Perfect Mommy Monster, who is challenging me to make my son's 1st birthday picture perfect.  Of course, if I fail he will find some way to blame his angst-filled teenage years on the time when I didn't throw him the perfect 1st birthday party.  {I'm kidding here, y'all know that right?}

It should come as no surprise that I have decided I don't want to entertain these Monsters this holiday season.  In an effort to keep type-A thoughts at bay, I am doing the following:

Splitting Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and aunt.  Many hands make light work.  This is a lesson I learned last year, when the Kiddo and I were past our due date, and I physically could not cook Thanksgiving dinner.  Instead, they brought Thanksgiving to me.  It is so freeing to choose not to care about the food being perfect, and instead, to care infinitely more about who is at my table, and enjoying my time spent with loved ones.  Granny would so approve.

Keeping Kiddo's birthday party realistic.  Food?  Check.  Keeping it simple with burgers.  Cake?  Check.  Friends and Relations?  Check.  Throw in some streamers and maybe a crafty pennant banner and some grocery store balloons and we're good.  I did not spend hours searching for the perfect invitations.  I designed them myself {BTW, easy to do even if all you have is Word}, saved the file as a .JPG, and had them printed at Walgreens for about $5.  I even used envelopes I already had.  Done.

I am not putting up my tree on Black Friday.  This is huge for me...I am the one who hates to see decorations before Thanksgiving, but the minute Thanksgiving has passed, I am out at the tree lot looking for a good one.  I am trying something new this year...delayed gratification.  I want to savor Thanksgiving and the Kiddo's birthday before decking my halls this year.  {However, I must admit that I have already introduced Christmas carols to the Kiddo's bedtime routine.  I can't help myself on that one.  ;) }
I am shopping/shipping gifts early this year.  And I'm having the mailman deliver my boxes and pick them up, too.  No waiting in line with a toddler on my hip to send something at the last minute.

 Last year's advent wreath.

I will focus on new and old traditions and making memories.  I will still bake, and craft, and make things merry, but this year we are celebrating Advent by doing a Jesse Tree.  I want to teach my son about why we celebrate Christmas...and I know that I need to be reminded daily, too.  Will the Kiddo remember this Christmas?  No.  But I will.  :)

I'm curious now - what are you doing to celebrate this year...and what have you decided is okay to let go of this year?

1 comment:

  1. I love what you wrote about caring more about who is at your Thanksgiving table than the food. To simplify this year, I decided to focus on my top 3 favorite Christmas cookies for eating and sharing.