Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas To-Do List

I love this time of year, but I'm also (always) a bit overwhelmed by it.

Chopping down the tree
Writing Christmas letters
Christmas pictures/cards
Assembling and addressing, etc.
Cooking, baking, cooking, baking
Cleaning the house
Decorating the house and tree
Favors for the open house
Shopping for the open house
Preparing for the open house
Parties to attend, Secret Santa surprises to coordinate
Advent lessons to prepare
Christmas shopping

I'm doing a lot of this in my own way. We have the picture (just the girls, this year) and are close to ordering the photo cards. I'm working on the letter, which we will fold into envelopes with the photo cards. Paul will do the addressing, etc. I like the idea of homemade cards, but that's just not feasible. How many end-of-year/Christmas/holiday cards do you send? We send 100. I've cut way back to get to 100, and have experienced squawking when I tried to cut further. So no new friends can get cards until older friends die. Sorry. 100 is the limit. Because I'm married to Paul, we have a fancy database that coordinates all of this. How on earth do people do this with paper and pen address books?!

I am working on Christmas shopping. I have a grid listing each person for whom we need a gift, with a column for gift ideas and another column for actual gift purchased. Some of these I delegate out to Paul, often with a suggestion, but request that he actually do the shopping. Mostly, I love Christmas shopping. But it's sometimes a little overwhelming, too, especially this year when I started late. Oops.

We have the tree hanging out in a bucket of water in the car port. I should be cleaning the house right now, but I'm not very motivated because everyone went to bed early tonight, and so my night feels . . . unstructured.

For our open house party favors last year, we created a CD of some of our favorite Christmas, winter, and Hanukkah music, complete with personalized labels. I don't want to do that again this year, but am at a loss for what to do. I thought of personalized cocoa packets, but Paul thought that maybe that's not lasting enough. Hmm. Suggestions?

I should go to bed, I suppose. I have an early morning appointment with a dentist's drill. Ah, a crying, teething baby. Perhaps I'll go tend to her, instead.


Rob Monroe said...

Wow, that's a heck of a list! (Speaking of which, have you gotten the List Book yet?)

I disagree with Paul about the favors. Sometimes it's nice to recieve something that is practical even if it does not last. Friends will have a great time at the party AND remember the awesomeness when they drink the cocoa. No need to find a place to put something more permanent.

Can you tell that I'm trying to cut down on clutter in our house right now? :o)

An option to combine a favor with future enjoyment would be the mason-jar cookie mix. Again with the remembering of awesomeness and the functional keepsake.

Bottom line is that anything you do will be awesome.

Orange said...

I can eliminate many of your list items:

Christmas pictures/cards (I send about 60 and will be using labels this year)
Assembling and addressing, etc.
Decorating the tree (lights are already attached to the fake tree branches—a big time-saver)
Christmas shopping

Kristi said...

Christmas cards stress me out every year. We never sent them growing up, and I would probably never have done them at all if Merl didn't think it was important. I usually make him do the writing of the letter itself if we get one written.

Our address filing system: currently a storage box full of christmas card envelopes that we've received. Setting up a database to maintain addresses is easy, but we would never get it updated (it doesn't help that the office is upstairs away from where all mail with updated addresses enters the house). The maintenance is a killer on stuff like that. Of course, if it were computerized, then addressing envelopes might take less time...hmmm...

For shopping, among my sisters we finaly a couple of years ago decided to draw names. I'm one of 5 girls, and 4 of us have semi-/permanent significant others, so the list length was getting silly. Merl is in charge of shopping for his family (they are vehemently opposed to wish lists...also another big difference between families).

I should probably be more stressed about the holidays, but don't think I have the energy yet.

Sarahlynn said...

Rob, I have a couple of copies of the book; which I can show you next time we see you all. Which will be . . . ?

I like your justification on the cocoa, but am dying inside at the thought of preparing 50 mason jars of cookie mix. ARGH!!!

Point-click-done; that's my idea of good shopping!

Orange, even printing addresses directly onto envelopes, it all takes so much time! We must be doing something wrong. But no Christmas gifts?! Surely this is the reason credit cards were invented? We are trying to be quite moderate this year, and have already been discussing our January-February repayment plan (gulp) but I just can't give this up.

Kristi, my family will probably start drawing names soon. With Paul's family, it will be a huge coup when his folks stop spending literally HUNDREDS of dollars per person on us. I think a nice $20-$30 gift each should suffice, but I'm a minority voice at this point. We do draw names for his extended family . . . but give individual gifts to assorted individuals and all children anyway. As per custom.

Rob Monroe said...

Yes, we do need to schedule a trip soon. I don't think we are going to trek to Wyoming in 08 as previously discussed. Saint Louis, on the other hand, is an easy trip for us all!

My side of the family still does gifts, but we have taken ourselves out of that. We are doing a framed photo of Abby for each family/household unit and nothing else. We have given them all instructions to not get anything for us. We'll see if it works.

Also - I don't know that Paul's parents will ever stop. Please know that you have our support on the nice $20-$30 gift.

I have so much more on this, but should really be working.... we'll talk.

Orange said...

Oh! Poorly worded. I eliminated many of the items on your list and what's left over is what I put in my comment. I'm doing cards (we had 6 inches of snow, so I took a bunch of pictures of Ben yesterday afternoon so I'll have a picture to send with the cards). I'm probably about half done with shopping, and I'm being generous this year thanks to a fortunate windfall. I really need to clear space in the living room for the tree--right now that corner has an underutilized train table that won't fit anywhere else and the window air conditioner that only came out of the window about a week ago.