Christmas-prepping with a cut-off date

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This year, try as I might, I have still felt that I am running around like crazy trying to get everything done for Christmas. I even felt that I began early: I began thinking about gifts and even ordering some of them in October. But, here I am again, feeling as though I am scrambling to get everything done.

Part of the issue for us is that we have to travel for Christmas, down to Florida to see my family. Since we'll spend about 10 hours in the car on the way down, that's a whole day gone that I could, in a perfect world, use to wrap or bake or mentally prepare.

Cut-out sugar cookies: a labor of love
Alex and I got most of our last-minute shopping done on Sunday, and I finished most of my baking and wrapping over the weekend and earlier this week. But to tell you the truth, it seems like it's never really finished, doesn't it? Doesn't it always feel like we can make one more batch of cookies, or buy one more gift that isn't really needed? 

So that's why I have decided that today is my cut-off day for Christmas prep.

If it's not done tonight when I lay my little head to sleep, it ain't gettin' done!

What I have left to do: wrap a few gifts, bake some goodies for work tomorrow, and make sure I have Alex's stocking stuffers under control. Piece of cake.

So why am I enforcing a deadline on myself when I have a few perfectly good days left to run around like a crazy lady?

Here's why:
  1. We leave for Florida on Friday afternoon. That's 2 days from now. 
  2. While in Florida, I don't want to spend precious time shopping/baking/wrapping/etc. when I could spend it with family and friends (however, I will of course still help my mom with any cooking or baking she's doing! That counts as time with her, not a "to-do" item).
  3. I want to be able to enjoy the season: watch Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate (or a Christmas cocktail), and be lazy and lay around my mom's house. I do not want to be up at the crack of dawn because I need to finish something that suddenly feels like a chore. 
  4. Yummy Christmas cookies
  5. I have done enough. I have baked for days, I have shopped for months, I have wrapped for hours. Enough is enough. 
So there you have it: my take on the craziness of the season. It might drive me crazy to just stop it all at once, but honestly, if I don't give myself a hard deadline, I might be up late enough on Christmas Eve to greet Santa in the living room. 

Now, there are other things that I will have to do tomorrow, post-deadline, to prepare for Florida: pack all my junk, get the dogs' stuff all ready to go, get the gifts packed into the car (preferably organized by final destination: friends, mom's house, dad's house), and make sure all my baked goods that I've been slaving over making with love are neatly and carefully packaged for the ride. But I consider this stuff mandatory travel prep, not really Christmas prep. This is the stuff that has to be done at the last minute.

And then....when we arrive in my hometown...all we'll have to do is unload the car. And relax. And take in the glorious season that is Christmas.

One of my favorite things about Christmas: coming home to a mailbox full of Christmas cards! My friends and family sure are photogenic and have some gorgeous children! And dogs :)

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