Thursday, November 6, 2014

Santa is coming - I KNOW HIM!!!!!

I feel like a calendar year starts at a slow roll, then picks up speed at 4th of July and by the time you hit mid October it is running out of control fast. Fall spoils us with it's length and similar holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving) to fully enjoy fall decor, treats and fun things to do. I start putting the fall shwag out in early September and it stays up until the day after Thanksgiving. That's nearly three months to put up, re-do, tweak, create and add on to all my fall favorites. Christmas on the other hand one.lonely.month. As queen of the captain-over-commit club I always way over commit December. I agree to too many parties (is that such a thing?), too many volunteer projects, too much shopping and 'just one more gift' syndrome, too many crafting projects, too many baking creations (again, is that really a thing?) and too many hosted events. It's awesome.

A few years ago my mother finally convinced me to start a Christmas savings account - this was a brilliant idea. I may run out of time but I rarely run out of additional holiday funds thanks to this mindless little automatic deposit the 15th of every month. Subsequently my father has showed me that gathering trinkets and gifts throughout the year as you think of people or while traveling makes holiday gift giving more meaningful. While that is all nice and swell - none of it helps me tackle the ginormous to-do list I want to accomplish every December. So I did what every thirty something woman does... I went to the source. Pinterest.  

I saw a pin titled '12 month planning guide for Christmas' - I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and couldn't get past the third line BUT... it got me thinking. I LOVE to-do lists, why don't I make a to-do list for the things that are important to us this holiday season? Just the other day I told Tommy Thompson how much I was looking forward to THIS holiday, to be settled in our home together (last year I bought 10th & Wash two weeks before Christmas) and be able to enjoy all the crafting, baking, entertaining and celebrating that we can cram in. So here it is, in no particular order - my 2014 Christmas to-do list. You'll notice I've already crossed one off, I find so much pleasure in adding things to my to-do lists that have already been completed (I know what what you're thinking, that's cheating but actually it's positive reinforcement) and you'll also notice some lists within lists. Kind of like conversations within conversations. It's fun. 

1. Make an advent calendar with both chocolate and an activity, a few in the calendar:

     a. Decorate our trees 
     b. Find items of your own to donate to a needy family
     c. Unwrap a new book to read      
     d. Have hot cocoa and cookies
     e. Pick out your ornament for the season and hang it
     f. Write a letter to Santa      
     g. Go sledding
     h. Watch a Christmas movie
     i. Wear new jammies to bed and read the Night Before Christmas (Christmas Eve)     
     j. Decorate cookies 
     k. Decorate gingerbread houses
2. Take family pictures to use for Christmas cards and gifts
3. Go to the 'Catch the Glow' Parade in Estes Park, day after Thanksgiving
4. Visit a tree farm and cut down two Christmas trees, one for upstairs and downstairs with a picnic and hot chocolate (Tommy Thompson when you read this... trust me, two trees will change your life. I promise)
5. Start a list of family holiday traditions
     a. Everyone picks out an ornament each year
     b. Make an ornament from a cutting off our Christmas tree like this 
     c. New jammies on Christmas Eve
6. Attempt the Elf on the Shelf game with the little one 
7. Make my favorite baked goods: sugar cookies, gingerbread men, butter dreams, holly clusters and mince meat bars
8. Send Christmas cards out the first week of December (I bought a deal on Amazon local in early October, I'm halfway there!)
9. Host annual holiday party (I've hosted a holiday party every year since college) 
10. Add to my Lenox Holly China collection 
11. Make a new wreath with a skull like this
12. Watch all of my favorite Christmas movies... twice (White Christmas, Santa Claus THE Movie (Dudley Moore), The Santa Claus movie series (Tim Allen), The Grinch, Love Actually, Fred Claus, Family Vacation, ELF (I know him!!!), The Family Stone and Miracle on 34th St.  - Oh and  I promised Tommy Thompson I would watch A Christmas Story (no... I've never seen it)
13. Wrap presents like this, and this, and this
14. Make unique name cards and menu cards for Christmas Day dinner 
15. Sing along to my favorite Christmas song ever 20+ times 
16. Decorate the day after Thanksgiving
17. Show proof that Santa really came like this 
18. Donate items to a family in need
19. Play in the snow
20. Have lots of hot chocolate and bailey's at the bonfire 
21. Spend time with as much family and as many friends as possible
22. Enjoy mimosas and quick breads on Christmas morning
23. Make small gifts for friends, family, teachers, tenants
24. Make wassail
25. Kiss Tommy Thompson under the mistletoe 587 times
26. Enjoy no less than 20 eggnog lattes 
27. Make a Christmas card book like this

I know I'm missing some and I'm sure Tommy Thompson and the little one have some to add as well. I cannot wait for a fun holiday season! 

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