Once again, I seem to be ahead of the game. Many years ago, I was often done with Christmas shopping and wrapping by December 1st. Considering I worked full-time and had two busy kids at home, it was kind of amazing. But it enabled me to slow down in December and enjoy the holidays. Then over time, things slipped back to "normal." But this year I made a list and have been checking things off at a pretty good clip. It helps to be retired!
- Decide on which cookies to bake. (Done, chose 12 different kinds; I give away a lot of cookies.)
- Write out menu for Christmas Day. (Done. I host Tracy's family on Christmas; there will be 17 this year. The menu doesn't change much.)
- Wrap California gifts. (Done.)
- Mail California gifts. (Done today. It was nice to send them parcel post and know I had plenty of time to get them there by Christmas.)
- Wrap gifts. (Only two done for here.)
- Decorate house. (Done.)
- Inventory baking supplies. (Done.)
- Shop for baking supplies. (Done, the grocery bill was substantially higher than usual, but I also bought ahead for some entertaining we'll be doing in December.)
- Make notepads. (Need 5 for gifts; have 3 finished.)
- Make calendars.
- Compose and print Christmas letter. (Done; I used the Paislee Press Viewfinder frames for the photos this year and love how the photos came out.)
- Finish Christmas cards. (All but six are made; the paper I needed to finish arrived on Saturday.)
- Sign and mail Christmas cards.
- Clean basement tables so wrapping gifts is possible. (Done; my very least favorite job. Our basement is disgusting--part & parcel of owning an old house.)
- Finish shopping. (Done, I think; I'm still thinking about changing one gift I purchased for a friend.)
All in all, I'm ready for December. We live in an old house (circa 1930), and it's just perfect at Christmas. The last few nights, I've taken my laptop downstairs and worked in the living room so I can enjoy the tree and the rest of the decorations. After a wonderful November of sunny skies and pretty warm temperatures, it's been too dark and dreary the last couple of days to get good photos, but they're coming.
Last year, one of our porch trees was stolen. We had to buy two replacements so they would match and put the one left on our patio table. This weekend I found a bigger tree, decorated with berries, pinecones, and white lights for 50% off at Michaels. I can see it from our kitchen as well as the dining room, and I just love it. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen in December so I'll probably get more enjoyment from it than anyone else!