Yes, I’m starting already…
With every year, I have upped my Christmas game which is necessary since our daughter is getting quite savvy. This year as the holidays rounded the corner into the new year, I spent a little time reviewing how it all went. Thinking about all of this now seems crazy, but if I wait too much longer, I won’t remember and then will be in the same boat in less than 12 months! Overall, I should congratulate myself because there were no major mishaps but there are nine tips that I need to remember for Christmas 2015. Improving on these will definitely ensure a painless holiday season!
- As I’ve learned during Christmases past, start early, but this year’s addendum is also to follow through. I began plotting and shopping online right around Thanksgiving. When I found something that fit the plan, I put it on my Amazon wishlist. Awesome, great job. Well, two weeks later when I went to actually buy the items on my wishlist, a few of the items were either backordered or not available in the sizes I needed. This Christmas, plot, shop AND BUY!
- Make sure the grandparents (at least) get pictures of the kids. To make it even better, help the kids make a handmade ornament with their picture in it.
- Christmas cards, Christmas cards, Christmas cards. This is the second year in a row that I failed. Flat out failed. In 2013, the failed Christmas card turned into swearing I would send New Year’s cards, then Valentine’s Day cards, finally Easter cards and then I quit even thinking about it after that. Last year, Christmas came and went along with the new year, though I did order cards on January 1.
- When Thanksgiving is put away, I must immediately bring out the advent calendars along with Zippy, our Christmas elf. It’s embarrassing touting the swiftness of Zippy Wippy when he doesn’t show up until the 3rd of December.
- And for goodness sake, find some more options for that witty elf. Research ideas on Pinterest around Thanksgiving and resist the urge to set-up the more gritty scenes- this is for the children, remember.
- Letter, letters, letters from the kids. My daughter is in the first grade and loves to write little notes to her favorite aunties, her grandparents and her friends. Date and save those love notes and send them with the pictures. They are precious memories that loved ones who live far away will cherish more than stuff we can buy.
- Sugar cookies in a roll! On Christmas Eve, I whipped up an incredible sugar cookie recipe but I didn’t leave enough time to cut them with cookie cutters. Squishing it into a plastic wrapped cookie log, the kids and I were able to cut them, bake them, frost them with some eggnog frosting and put them out for Santa in less than half an hour! This next time, I must remember to make the log skinnier and place the cut rounds farther apart on the cookie sheet for more circles and less blobs.
- I do not like to admit it, but I did not have a camera anywhere near when the wrapping paper started to fly. No matter how much I can try to recover and say that we had a private and personal Christmas, I didn’t take pictures. Not something regrettable, but definitely something that should be corrected for Christmas 2015.
- Receipts, warranties and tags, tags, warranties and receipts. Immediately register, print and tape the receipt to any warranties, save the other receipts and don’t clip the tags… just in case. And don’t forget where the receipts are collected.
I’m quite happy with Christmas 2014 but there is always room for improvements. I can do without digging through oodles of wrapping paper in hopes of finding tags so I can return a hoodie. I would like to remember how happy our son was when he opened the giant remote control Gravedigger toy and how surprising it was to see our daughter’s repulsive reaction to her first Ken doll. If I can usher my kids into craft projects that make memories for our families trees then we can send more love and less fluff! These are my reminders to help me limit stress and enjoy each holiday more. Aloha and happy 2015…