Saturday, December 20, 2008


Wasn't it just yesterday that I had weeks and weeks before Christmas to do all those things I used to always get done? Maybe it's a case of "the more you have to do, the more you get accomplished..."?? So... here's a list of what used to get done... maybe at the end I'll share what I've actually DONE this year.

1. I always had at least 2 trees up and decorated, sometimes as many as four by the first week of December. This year, I did get my little kitchen/fiesta tree up in October, but so far I haven't been inspired enough to drag all the other stuff out.

2. I made my own gingerbread house and often had parties, doing additional houses with/for other people. I baked multiple types of cookies, had the ingredients and my part of the menu planned for the Christmas meals way in advance. I hosted Christmas Day breakfast for a lot of years after my son was born. This year, I know I'm making lasagnes to send to work with my son Christmas night, and that we're having lunch at my mom's Christmas eve, since John and I are both working. I did make 2 batches of cookies for a cookie exchange, but no other baking at all. Not even Christmas cookies with Zoe.

3. I used to always go all out with lights outside my house (Don't think Griswald). I used to use about 10,000 blue lights on the bushes/trees in front of my house. This year, I have 2 of those triple candelabras in my bay window in the dining room, single candles in the kitchen and living room windows, and put red/white lights on the 2 Christmas tree shaped junipers that flank my front steps. I used the big ole C7 bulbs, rather than the mini lights... just 700. Maybe I'm becoming a minimalist in my old age.

4. We used to have some sort of party/open house during the holidays. You'd think with my work schedule I could at least manage that... I mean, I work Fri, Sat, and Sun nights...12 hour shifts but geesh, I'm off during the week. Back in the days I was in banking I worked 5 days a week, and half a day on some Saturdays.

5. Christmas cards. Always used to be mailed Black Friday weekend... This year? I did manage to get them addressed. Hopefully no one will move and I can send them next year!

6. Shopping was easy back in the day... I started in July, sometimes earlier if I found something "good". I was nearly always finished by the end of October, and wrapping was completed by the end of November. I went out on Black Fridays for entertainment, rather than any need to shop.

7. I used to always get my trees down Christmas night, or the morning of the 26th. This was more necessity than anything because my husband generally left for a week or 10 days at the hunting cabin, so if i wanted had to be then. Decorations and outside stuff waited til he got home after 12th night. Last year, seems like I finally got the tree shoved back up in the attic around the end of January. I'll see how this year goes.... I'm tempted to leave my Fiesta tree up, just cos I like it.

This year, I did manage to get my Fiesta tree up in the kitchen, have a few lights outside, and baked a very few cookies for the cookie exchange. I did a little bit of my holiday shopping back in the summer at the tent sale, and I took care of getting my son's gifts. I cheated with my brother's gift. God bless gift cards. I'm still waiting on the addition to my mom's dish collection to arrive from the Ebay seller (you'd think December 9 would have been plenty early, even with holiday postage woes.) Mom and I got a tiny 3 foot tree and the trimmings to decorate and take to my grandmother's room at the rehab.

I'm going to Mom's today to put the lights on her tree. (Evidently I'm a little OCD about lights on Christmas trees... I like a lot of them, evenly spaced. It drives me bonkers to see the wires when people just toss them on the trees. My brother refuses to put the lights on Mom's tree, cos he knows I'll just pick at it.)

We're planning to do our annual Christmas lights tour one evening before Christmas next week.
We pile in the car, and tour the area, doing (sometimes nice, sometimes not) commentary on everyone's outdoor displays. I've really been tempted a few times over the years to take pictures to send to If you've never visited the site, it's worth a peek.
We used to have a bit of an advantage in finding the best/worst displays because my dad was sheriff of this county, and my husband was a police officer for our town. They did a LOT of driving, just in the course of their jobs, and knew where the best/worst displays were.

I'll probably do my wrapping after I get home from work Monday morning...assuming I'm fairly coherant.

Where does all the time go?


  1. 5. Christmas cards. Always used to be mailed Black Friday weekend... This year? I did manage to get them addressed. Hopefully no one will move and I can send them next year!

    Elaine, you still have time. You are light years ahead of me, as I haven't even started my cards. I'm planning on addressing them tomorrow and mailing them Monday.

    The way I see it, if they don't arrive by Christmas, they will be received shortly after.

  2. I'm so glad to know that it's not just me. I have done nothing this year. I finally managed to get to the PO to mail my secret santa gift today, and bought stamps while I was there. I hope to get motivated enough to do cards tomorrow. Bleh.

  3. Thanks! you guys make great cheerleaders! Maybe I will try to mail them, after all!

  4. Just take a marker, Elaine,cross out Merry Christmas on each and every card and write in Happy New Year! There! A simple solution!!!!