My dear friend sent me a holiday checklist to help get me organized for the holiday season. Mind you, the first thing I write on a to-do list is, “Find where you put other to-do list,” but I decided to humor her and read it anyway.
Make a holiday budget
I am a cancer survivor with lingering medical bills and a journalist with five people and an aging Corgi under my roof. If I were forced to write down how much money flies out of my coffers this time of year, I would not be in the holiday spirit; I would get into holiday spirits- especially the spiced eggnog. NEXT
Exercise and eat healthy so you can indulge in a few treats
I constantly see my friends on Facebook describing what they have stretched to the limit to fit into their holiday attire. I’m not certain what or more specifically where, my oblique muscle is. I think it’s the part of my stomach that hangs over my pants. Either way, I do not have the time or inclination to worry about that with all the other items on the list. I think I am going to rely on dressing in dark colors, adding a colorful scarf for interest and to keep the focus upward (plus a great way to hide the second chin) and my trusty Spanx, or as my mother refers to them, “hold ‘em ins”.
Prepare and mail holiday cards
I usually have this one covered although last year, we ended up sending “Happy Ground Hog Day” greetings due to our tardiness. We go all out. One year we even wrapped ourselves in gift wrap. I let the girls come up with ideas, within reason, for the holiday family photo, as long as it doesn’t include trying to put a decorative bow on a Corgi with an attitude.
Give specific duties for holiday party preparation
Ok this is doable. Every December I make a lamb, ham and enough carbs and sweets to make your cholesterol and triglycerides beg for mercy. We call it the “Whoo Feast” because at the end of this special night, my daughter once asked, “Don’t you just want to hold hands and sing “ya hoo ya hoo” like in the Grinch movie?” The day before is the prep party. My Dad likes any job that will make noise. My Mom, although not a fan of cooking, is a heck of a slicer and dicer. I rely on my neighbor Gail for backup appliance needs as long as I keep my ham away from her kosher oven. One thing that may be a tad challenging, is finding a meat carver. Annually, the job falls upon my date for the evening. 2013 was not a banner year in that department. Note to self: buy electric knife.
Wrap presents in different papers to distinguish recipients
There are women whose wrapping talents are legendary. These women most likely remove the same amount of socks from the dryer that they put in and hand in permission slips the day after receiving them. I am not one of these creatures. My family knows that on Christmas morning it might be a bumpy ride. I sometimes forget to remove last year’s name labels from recycled gift bags and paper before slapping on a new one causing a bit of confusion. I get it honestly. We have opened presents from my parents only to have them say, “Oh no! That’s not for you,” or “Wait that’s part two of three. You have to open present “one” first.” Of course, they are clueless as to where the other parts of the themed gifts are, but it keeps things interesting.
Condense the list
I kept reading her list and when I got to “bake cookies months ahead of time, pull out of freezer to frost for a no-fuss holiday” I stopped. First, part of the fun is seeing if Noni’s rolled out cookies will look more like “rein dogs” than deer. Secondly, I secretly enjoy the frosting wars with sprinkles everywhere-although they’re a bear to get out of dog fur. A suggestion: Put two items on your list.
1. Do the best you can do
2. After #1, relax and let it go. Spend less time trying to make “perfect” and enjoy the perfect times with your family and friends.