before any Christmas plans can be made.
For all the years I've been married, I've held the notion Thanksgiving Day should be celebrated and given ample respect and reflection before moving on to Christmas. I might have inherited that idea from my mother - let's say I did. The problem with that notion was sometimes our family's Thanksgiving gathering and celebrating stretched into the following weekend or the next week, and then I was automatically behind in my Christmas planning and preparation. For years I've felt rushed, but I think I've caused some of that myself.
I've had an epiphany of sorts - if I plan ahead for Christmas, make my lists earlier, and put out a few favorite decorations (or even put up a tree) BEFORE Thanksgiving arrives, I can still give Thanksgiving its due but not feel so rushed and frustrated to get Christmas decorations out in a couple short weeks. What a novel idea, right? I realize some people have been doing that for years but I always called it "rushing the season". I cringed when I saw Christmas decorations in the stores along side pumpkins and Halloween costumes, but I've changed my views about that. After all these years, I'm learning to go with the flow.
I often tried to ignore the Christmas items in stores at the end of October and the neighbors' outdoor lights and decorations that were put in place a few days after Halloween. This year I saw a neighborhood Christmas tree up and decorated before Halloween and shook my head in disbelief. While I held tightly to my belief that people rushed the season, I often found the choices of ornaments, wrapping paper, and Christmas cards limited by the time I was ready to begin preparing for the Holy Days. I knew something had to change and feared it had to be me.
So, I've been enlightened. I'm casting aside the notion things have to go in logical order (my logic of course) and I will henceforth disregard all that has been ingrained over the years. I plan to keep a Christmas notebook starting in January. I already have the notebook - it's a compact red one with three-rings. Similar ones can be found at Walmart. My notebook is small enough to carry in a tote bag in the car. I'll add a calendar to it so I can better keep track of dates I need to remember.
Through the coming year I will jot down gift ideas for family members, new recipes to try, old recipe favorites, menu ideas, crafting ideas, and articles about holiday craft shows and bazaars I don't want to miss. I will write out my thoughts about what went well this past year, and what didn't and ideas on how to make positive changes. I WILL be more ready next Christmas!