Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Little Gift I Gave Myself

The notes I took last year after the Christmas madness was over

I have a Christmas notebook. It looks like this:

It is the best thing I've ever done for myself, other than marry the Man. In it, I write down what we gave our various relatives for Christmas and what they gave us (so we can write our thank you notes). During the year, I keep notes on gift ideas or the boys and the Man. Given that I can forget a great idea in the time it takes me to get from the shower down to my desk, there's no way that in December I'll remember that inspired thought I had in May.

Today I had the brilliant idea to write down where I've hidden the gifts I've already bought. I have spent more than one Christmas eve tearing through the attic and my study closet looking for stuff I know I bought but can't for the life of me find.

As I write this, I'm printing out calendar pages for November and December. This year I will conquer Christmas. I will stay ahead of it. I will create space--mental, emotional--to observe Advent and not give up by the second week of December because I feel overwhelmed by everything I have to do.

Right now my big plans include:

1. Start making Christmas cookies next week. Freeze them, don't eat them.

2. Have gifts for relatives mailed by first week of December at the very latest.

3. Take annual Christmas card photo of Travis over Thanksgiving weekend and off to the printer the following week. Cards out by the week of the 8th.

4. Have all my gifts bought and wrapped by the 15th.

Can I do it? Well, I've got my notebook to remind me what supplies I need and don't need. I've got my calendar pages ready to be filled in with deadlines and chores. I have many years of Christmas misery to spur me on. Stay posted. I'll post my official calendars soon.


M.E. Masterson said...

Great idea!! I noticed the note about food by not overdoing it. My mother in law said the same thing for this year. We are trying but sometimes it just can't be helped!!

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is organization. Good on you.

Where is that notebook now...can you find it?

CJ said...

Wow, very organised indeed. I have a notebook with gift ideas written in as well, I live in fear of it being discovered by nosey boys.

Leslie said...

Such a great idea. I chuckled a little over the Christmas pix of Travis. That's cute. I've only done stocking shopping. I need to get on it.

GretchenJoanna said...

I have a 3-ring binder for all my Christmas notes. It is fun to look back and see what we gave the children 15 years ago! The last few years after the holiday I wrote myself notes like this: "Do not make so many cookies!!"

But when November comes around I always start looking at all the cookie recipes (they are in the binder, too) and realize how much fun cookie-baking is. Always...but maybe this year I will change?

You are reminding me that it's time to open the binder and at least get the Christmas card project going. It sounds to me like you are going to have a pleasant prepping.

Tracy said...

You are the Christmas organisation guru. So well-organised already.

I don't do your #1. I don't know...it's just not a thing we do. Probably because it's summer here, now. I also don't do your #3. After my MIL died, 15 years ago, I stopped sending cards. I was always so bad at it, but her death gave me permission to rid myself of a whole bunch of stuff I hated doing.

As for the gift shopping. Ohhhhh...maybe if I bury my head like an ostrich someone else will do it all for me? I work up until the 11th of December. We fly to Tasmania on the 12th for my graduation on the 13th. We have a little family holiday and then we fly home on the 21st. The day Dh's family get together.


I wanna be like you when I grow up. So sensible and self-protecting!

Angela said...

I have a book. It is very old, and full of cutting for Christmas cookies, stuck in hopefully in 1992 and never baked. And lists of gifts given, and received [crucial to have both sides- just in case I frugally regift something back to its original donor!]

Pom Pom said...

You're so smart, dear Frances! You really are!

magsmcc said...

You need to xome to our Preparing for Advent morning on 29th. We focus on creating space to set the spiritual goals we really want! It's all full up but I'll make a special space for you!

Gumbo Lily said...

You are so smart! I was scanning your handwritten list and saw "drink more" and I thought, well, that's the way to get in the spirit! And then I noticed it had to do with the boys drinking more coke and etc. Ah well, it was fun to think about.

I keep a running list of ideas for Christmas in my journal. Nobody every gets into it so I know it's a safe place. I have the same problem you do with stashing away gifts and not being able to find them.

It looks like you've got a good sense of organization going on. All the best to you!

Maggie said...

A book like this is a very good idea, I've been using the same one since 1990 and it has helped me out so many times!
I've learned though that you can delete 2 (at least) items from your to do list every day and the world doesn't come to an end, Christmas still happens and you'll enjoy it all the more.