Confession: as my blog name bears witness, I am a dilettante: a dabbler in many things domestic, but flighty, flitty, fun, and even a little flaky. If you were looking for that super-focused, relentlessly driven to pursue perfection blogger’s blog, you’re in the wrong place. I can be over-organized one minute, and a disaster-looking-to-happen the next. I can be crafty some days, but if the project doesn’t get finished while the wind is in my sails, it might stay unfinished for a long time. Maybe even forever. I’m more like Tigger than Pooh. My interests vary widely and my attention span is shorter than I am (and that’s saying something.)
Which may explain why I’m suddenly thinking about Christmas before my best and favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) has come and gone.
|I agree with the turkey. No trees, no red-and-green until next week!|
But this isn’t just a case of me jumping the gun, or getting my holidays out of sequence.
Last year, Mr. Official did a 3-day stint in the hospital right before Christmas and it taught me a hard lesson about procrastinating on important aspects of the holidays – like um, shopping for gifts. This year, we’re headed down to the Florida Keys mid-December, so I’m even more motivated to get my ducks in a row early, even though this early bird stuff makes me feel like a duck out of water. Yeah, I’m wearing out the hunting metaphors.
So now I’m going to let the cat out of the bag.
Spill the beans.
And give myself a pat on the back.
Because for the first time in a long time (oh, heck, let’s be honest: first time EVER, maybe????), my Christmas shopping is nearly completed (I have 4 or 5 items left to purchase) and it’s not even Thanksgiving. I started knocking it out with online purchases several weeks ago, and on Saturday, I declared open season on the outlet malls in Gatlinburg. Unlike most of the rest of the world, I don’t do Black Friday shopping (for a plethora of reasons), and by the time we return home from our Thanksgiving trip, we’re knee deep into December and I feel I’m way behind before I even start.
Anyway, the tagged-and-bagged gifts are cooling their jets in the back of my closet, and I can now resume our regular Thanksgiving programming. In case you’re wondering, my idea of a perfect “Black Friday” is a late, leisurely breakfast and then a few hours of ambling through some local stores and antique malls. I’ll think warmly of all of you trying to outgun each other from store to store. As for me, I won’t be enduring crushing crowds or interminable lines to stand in – I might snag a few good bargains or just enjoy browsing.
Starting next Monday, I’ll share my weekly plans and ideas I’m using to save Christmas – and my sanity – in the hopes I can help you keep yours, too.
I adore this season with my whole heart, and I believe we can pull it off with our own individual style, grace and aplomb, without setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Some realistic prioritizing and a little ingenuity can give us the sweet rewards of a joyful low-stress holiday that we actually remember with fondness.
If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, here’s a sanity-saving tip I found helpful this year. I carried along a pack of big, bright Post-it notes and a marker, along with my trusty list of recipients and gift ideas. As each purchase was completed, I slapped a sticky note with the recipient’s name on the gift receipt (be sure to ask for those if there’s any chance a return is in order), and tucked them both in the bag with the gift. When we got home, everything was consolidated and everyone has one bag with all their stuff. I don’t know about you, but we have several family members with similar tastes, styles and sizes; the intended recipient can get a little fuzzy when we start the gift-wrapping frenzy.
The book is far better than the movie “Christmas with the Kranks” and it articulates what many of us have felt about the approaching holiday season. I don’t advocate skipping Christmas, but I do want to enjoy it it the way it was meant to be celebrated, instead of dreading it. So how do YOU save – and savor – the holidays?