A Mother's Holiday Timeline
Let the Holiday Season Rock On!
There's not much time (once you throw in the everyday life events of work, keeping children alive and running them to every sport on the planet, and doing laundry) between now and Christmas. What kind of ‘Holiday Season Planner’ are you? Do you have checklists going, gifts being purchased, and meal plans ready? Or do you get a rush out of waiting until the week of and making a mad dash to pull it all off?
I have five young children, and I am a planner. I love to decorate and wrap presents and bake all the foods. I will admit, though that I also get a rush out of the last-minute details. My husband and I wait until Christmas Eve to wrap the gifts; we pick up the Thanksgiving ingredients a day or two before cooking commences; and there are always a few traditions we mean to start but never get around to. We celebrate Christmas, so my holiday timeline revolves around it, but you can relate this to any holiday.
A Mother’s Ultimate Holiday Timeline
Let's review November, shall we?
First and Second Weeks of November: Start writing the “Gift List.”
- I swear I am only doing the ‘Wear, Read, Want, Need, and Santa Gift’ this year, actually, my ‘To-Buy’ list is complete in just one afternoon. I should perhaps run this list by my husband… nah.
- Crap, the collecting of the catalogues that are arriving daily is starting. I give in and hand out colored markers (each child gets a color) and let them all go crazy. The kids love this part. They go wild. The SQUEALS and excitement is a bit contagious… I almost fall for it. But I will be strong and not be tricked into spending all of the money on all of the things.
- Every Friday from now until Christmas, I will THROW AWAY THE CATOLOGUES. (Jokes on you, kids. I was just using them as a babysitting tool while I ate your Halloween candy.)
- I’m so good, I will even have a cord of firewood delivered because the Farmer’s Almanac says it’s going to be a cold winter.
- I’ll be super sappy and write the best #30DaysOfThanks social media posts.
- I will create the perfect menu, complete with an itemized grocery list. I will probably stay up until 2am making sure every single thing is thought of, and then I will sleep well – because I am owning this holiday.
- I wake up and realize that I need to preorder the turkey from the local butcher – and I will, just before the cut-off date. Again, I am OWNING this.
- I start stocking the advent wine calendar this week too. They normally give a discount if you buy an entire case; although mixing and matching is more fun. Two cases are better than one, and I know there will be holiday visitors.
- Holy crap – it’s my 3rd child’s birthday. WHAT? Poor kid, looks like another year of pumpkin decorations, turkey, and Christmas wrapping paper gifts. (I’m exaggerating a bit here; I don’t actually forget his birthday is coming. But it does sneak up faster than we expect.)
- By week’s end, I’ll also realize that I need a family picture for holiday cards, and the online deals start next week…. So I’ll beg a photographer friend to take a breathtaking picture of us – making sure we look like we have our shit together.
- I will realize that I have lost the Thanksgiving shopping list and didn’t pin the right recipes to my Pinterest board. I will start all over, this time not as meticulously as the first time. I will leave numerous things off the list, and John will need to go to the store the morning of Thanksgiving.
- I secretly curse my husband for not doing anything except smoking the turkey and drinking the beer. He will redeem himself by organizing a big family soccer game in the backyard.
- I will cook, clean, bake, drink wine, entertain kids, do crafts, say grace, be grateful, drink some more wine, eat all the food before it hits the table, and immediately fall into Christmas mode the moment the table is cleared.
- After drinking all the wine, I will dig through the recycle bin for the thrown-out catalogues and realize that I will be spending all the money (again) this year – because ummmmm…. I really have absolutely no reason for this behavior. But, alas, I LOVE Christmas – so good bye money.
- Also, the house will be stripped of all fall inspired décor and smothered with everything merry and winter.
- I will scour the Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals and every deal in between. I will swear not to buy something unless it is on sale.
- I will remember that I stopped the #30DaysOfThanks on day 12 and try to redeem myself
First-Third Weeks of December 2016: Shop, Spend Money, Drink Wine, Make Memories
- UGH – I will start moving a damn elf around the house every day.
- I will continue to add the gifts-to-buy list even though I shouldn’t. I’ll say it’s ok because they all fall into the wear, read, want, need categories – and no one only wants 4 things to open.
- I will bake all the treats for all the people – and I will taste-test them all.
- I will stay up too late and drink the advent calendar wine while the children eat the daily treat, and I will watch every holiday movie and order way too much online.
- We will get a tree and decorate it to the nines. There will be parties, traditions, gift-giving, and neighborhood fun. And I will prepare and execute it all.
- We will visit Santa, donate gifts, and volunteer whenever possible.
- I will now remember to mail out the holiday cards that have been ready for weeks. #BetterLateThanNever (I will also question just why I spend so much money on pictures, cards, and stamps)
- Amazon will be at the house every 3 hours every day for the entire 10 days prior to Christmas. I will try to hide the boxes – My husband will question my sanity.
- We will do the Zoo Lights, neighborhood lights, hot cocoa playdates, homemade grandparent gifts, and handmade felt wall Christmas tree activities – all planned and figured out between the hours of 10pm-2am when everyone else in the house is asleep (but completely worth it).
- December 22, 2016: Add 5 last minute items to my Amazon cart (2 will be for me) and hit Buy Now – and then pray to the Amazon Gods that they arrive by their guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery date. (What is wrong with me?)
- Christmas Eve – COOK IT ALL. SING IT ALL. WATCH ALL THE MOVIES. WRAP IT ALL. DRINK IT ALL. Eat Santa’s Cookies…
- December 27, 2016: Just when it’s all over, the in-laws all arrive to celebrate New Year’s and a second Christmas! BAMMMMMM --- I will fix the décor, cook all the food (again), and drink all the wine (again).
- January 1, 2018 – I WILL BE AMAZING. Wait… I am already amazing.