1. The gifts purchased so far, would all be in boxes, numbered and ready to wrap.
2. The gifts for my employees would be purchased for the year.
3. I'd have a nice stack of gift cards waiting in my drawer, after budgeting for them throughout the year.
4. I'd be pulling a nice sum of cash out of our Christmas Savings account.
5. I'd have have at least 15 freezer meals prepped and ready to go for those busy days in December.
6. I'd have 3 different cookie doughs premade and in the freezer.
7. I'd have my dessert choices finalized for the month ahead, so I can makes sure I have all the ingredients.
8. I'd have my advent swap gifts all purchased, wrapped and ready to go.
9. I'd have an idea at least, as to what I am going to buy everyone this year.
10. I'd have my carpets cleaned already.
11. I'd have my nice dishes washed already.
So, there's just part of my list. I'm sure if I thought hard enough, I could go on and on. HOWEVER, I'll stop there and let reality analyze this situation. Some years, I'm able to purchase more gifts then others and this year happens to be one of those years I won't be purchasing as many as I'd like. With that said, I wish I had made more gifts, but then I remind myself that this year my priority was getting Ciara off to college. The time, just wasn't there and no amount of pondering is going to change that.
Next, saving Christmas money. Well, in order to save Christmas money, you have to have extra money and let's just say...It's been one of those years around here and the bank account just isn't as Plump as Santa's belly! But as always, I'm thankful for a roof over our head and food on the table. Really, in this day and age, it's so much more then many have and I remind myself of that everyday. On the plus side, I'd say at least half of the gifts I do have are boxed like I like them and ready to wrap. If i could have it my way, all my gifts would be boxed. It's one of those "things" I prefer, but have learned to "let go" the last couple years. Somehow, I don't think anyone is going to turn away that new shirt I bought them, because it's not in a box. In my case, they might celebrate, because they say I use to my tape on my boxes anyway.
I don't have freezer meals prepped this year, but I just spent a hunka...hunka..money at Costco to stock the fridge and make sure we have food to cover the month ahead. If I follow a weekly menu and just think ahead, I'll be set and my trips to the grocery store will be limited. Avoiding the cost of eating out during the busy month is ultimately my goal and having food already purchased helps with that stupendously.
As far as baking goes, I just need to breath and remind myself....baking is a time to enjoy, not a time to stress. In reality, I'm not a cookie maker. I don't have the patience to be a cookie maker. Now, I bake cookies, but on a limited basis during the holidays. I'd much rather make a cheesecake or try a new bundt cake recipe. So know that you will NEVER receive a plate full of cookies from Michelle. It's just not going to happen...that's what cookie swaps are for!
I'll finish with my house. My house, is a 10 year "project" waiting to happen. However, somehow we still celebrate Birthdays, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas just fine. Would I love to have a completed bathroom...absolutely! In the mean time, I'll keep inviting those I love and care about, over to create memories. And I'll probably still be running around all day long, washing dishes, cooking and setting a nice table at the last minute.
All of the above, covers the materialistic portion of the holiday. Although, it's not the "reason for the season", it's all things that we invision will make the holiday season run smoother. Regardless of what I have planned, regardless of what I woulda or coulda done, Christmas is coming!!! The lights, the music, family, laughter, memories, comfort, compassion, and giving. For each of us, Christmas will arrive at a different time this year. Keep your hearts open!