So for the next six weeks, my attention is mainly on said Christmas preparation, travel and the like. I have a few so called goals, but they general have to do with continuing to exercise and eat fairly well, continue my spiritual journey and do a little specific cleaning before putting up the tree and other decor. This year that also includes major insurance changes during open season.
I do have one other goal for these last couple months, as I do every year, and that is to sit down and free write (over a week as it comes to me) everything I want to do, think I might want to do, and think I might need to do. Which generally ends up being about ten times more than I will actually do. I write this stuff as it comes to me, in no particular order, and then as time permits, slowly order them by type (travel) and do whatever research is needed to decide if its realistic, and if I REALLY want to include that in the year to come. A big hint is if I've written it multiple times during my writing phase. By some time in January, I have a plan.
Meanwhile, on to the Christmas plan:
1. Doing: In the next few days I will make a schedule of those "go and see, hear or do" type things for Christmas. Drive and see the lights. This will probably be limited to a trip to our local gardens to see the lights, a local community presentation of A Christmas Carol, and a trip downtown to our German Christmas Market. We generally try and keep this to no more than three things. We COULD be doing something every single week and weekend but it's not my style. A couple craft fairs may possibly appear in the mix.
2. Making: I need to finish the following makes. There will be other smaller things I make along the way as I have time, for example I'm fairly sure I'll be making a third shawl. But these are the things I am committed to making and having finished as gifts. Knitting especially is getting done very quickly now that the weather has cooled and Netflix and Amazon prime are regular parts of my evening. Photos of all will be coming as finished.
- The two shawls I've committed to, one ready to be cast off
- The oft mentioned blanket for brother and sister in law
- As much of the top of my daughter's T shirt quilt as I can finish, realizing that I will not be done since I've completely removed one fabric and starting anew
- Fabric gift bags for all the gifts below.
- Various tins and jars of hand salves and such for the small gifts to my groups (this is a one day intensive thing)
- A couple scarves in college colors which generally take me a few hours to make (I tend to knit most mindless patterns quickly).
- Food gifts which will mean another single day effort late in December. These include herbal butters, seasoned salts and so on. I'll be putting the other members of this household to work assembly line fashion.
3. Baking: Get the following cooking done: Four dozen each at a minimum of the cookies listed below. One dozen each will go with us to Texas. One dozen will be shared at a "wrapping and cooking party" with my Denver family before we head down for Christmas.The other two will be spread among social activities and the like. Right now we have nine types and six weeks. The easy cookies will be done two a week (like two kinds of shortbread).
- Lime Shortbread cookies, found here
- Orange Cranberry Chocolate Chip cookies (found in one of those cookie making magazines)
- Eggnog biscotti
- Mexican Wedding Rings/Snowballs-whatever name your culture and family use, but the powdered sugar nut thing
- Decorated Sugar cookies (will be the last I make)
- Brown sugar Shortbread
- Chocolate icebox cookies found here
- Citrus Triangles found here (can you tell I like the Land O Lakes website)
- Lemon Tarts
- Other suggestions for my list?
4. Traveling: This year I have no real work to do. My son can only take a week off from work, so there will be no side trips. Twill be go, spend time with family, come back on shortest route. Since we take the dog with, the only planning requirement is the hotel reservation.
5. Entertaining: We are doing none, but participating in an early holiday event (said wrapping and cooking party) with the Denver contingent before we go. I have made two lunch reservations for my two social groups. Both do a kind of gift exchange (with the keep or steal model) and share cookies and small gifts. I have all of that covered as part of the other stuff.
6. Shopping: I keep Amazon in business, and this is no exception. I have my list set for the beginning of December, with most of the gifts and gift cards scheduled for one big shipment. There will be just a couple side trips, including one to Etsy.com to choose one of the gifts shown below for the yard. I buy for my kids, son-in-law and sister. For the rest of the Denver contingent we share moderate gifts (ten of us including two children) by choice. On the Texas side, we are sixteen and we draw names. I've drawn the name of a sister in law who is post stroke and arm injury so I am on the search for kitchen tools that are more user friendly. Add in a couple experience type gifts like a trip to the Brown Palace Hotel for high tea in January and all is good. While I know some folks consider the shopping trip and attendant decorations part of the "Christmas spirit and experience thing:, I am just so happy to have everything arrive in two or three shipments and avoid crowds in my middle age-even smaller weekday crowds.
|I have until about the first to decide which of these two babies to order as a gift. On the one hand we have multiple Armadillos (of the metal type ) in the yard and the cactus would fit in with the theme. One the other hand...........|
7. Decorating: This year we are not leaving until the 22nd, so we may put up a few more decorations than usual. We always do a tree, Christmas dishes and dining decor, and put all the quilts out (of which there are many) either on chairs, as table covers or whatever. We also make a fireplace display of my son's nutcracker collection and add a few other things like a wreath. We've not put out our Christmas village since we started traveling to Texas. This year I intend to put out a few pieces-and ask said kids who prefers which houses.
Whew!! That looks like alot, I know. but except for the baking, most of that will be done sitting in a chair while watching TV, and/or directing others (the directing process). For years I did less, but this is what I did last year, it was really relaxing, and I think I have found my "level". Honestly, it's amazing how much eliminating entertaining at home and mall shopping makes the rest of Christmas more enjoyable-at least for me.
And now? Well, it snowed and was rotten cloudy for the last day and a half. The sun has appeared. I am going to enjoy my second day of not going out in the weather, and not feel bad about the fact that my walk will not be shoveled until tonight after dark or tomorrow morning some time!!