Pre-Christmas Thoughts

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. FINALLY a year where we're not moving or flooded with relatives or traveling or stuff. (Thanks to my husband for making that happen. That is one amazing gift!)

A little organizing and we can ALL enjoy the holiday. Everything doesn't HAVE to be all crazy stressful! I'm a firm believer that Organizational Skills are learned. Some people learn more easily than others, but anyone can achieve organizational competence. And if WE don't teach our children, who's going to?

Cassie mentioned today that she has her Christmas-Money-Account fulled funded. Those aren't the exact words she used, but that was the meaning. We've been teaching them about savings and budgeting. Now, she told me that she's ready to go Christmas shopping!

Which leads me to helping her make her spreadsheet today or tomorrow. To keep track of who she buys what. And the shopping itself is a lesson. General ideas, leading to specific ideas, leading to comparision shopping, leading to gift wrapping, sometimes leading to mailing the day after Thanksgiving. Teaching the pit-falls of "giving what you want them to have, instead of what they want" and of "carelessly packing breakables" and "not-budgeting leads to a horrible stress-filled January".

And Christmas Cards! My kids absolutely ADORE doing Christmas cards! I might not have started the tradition if I had realized how very much they were going to love it. But there's no going back, and I've got to admit that I love it too. In spite of the fact its turned into quite a production. Each child insists on sending their own card to each person on their list. And they don't believe in sending "family" cards. For example, they each sent a card to each of the six Smiths. Thats 18 cards to one address! Of course, the cards all had to be different or the Smiths mantle would have looked ... odd. This is why I buy HUGE amounts of cards in the days after Christmas. Its a trick making sure each child selects different cards from all the other children. It involves multi-colored post-its, and numbers, and a rotating bidding system.

This year Cassie also wants to make wreaths, sequined ornaments, and a tree assembled from cupcakes! And I think we'll have time for that! When everyone else is scurrying around we'll be home decorating cupcakes with very vivid green frosting and listening to carols. I bet our tongues turn green!

I've realized that organizing gives me the same sense of control and peace that comes from studying for a really big test. A great grade on a test doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of prep-work. Study skill are essential for tests. Organizational skills are essential for a stress-free holiday. I've got them, and I'm going to use them!

(Side note: I'm often amused by people who think my husband might ever get bored with me. )


I find the only way I can get good religious Christmas cards is by buying them in quantity. An entire box at a time. Individual Christmas cards, forget it, they're all "cardinal perched on a snowy pine branch" or "sled left lying on a snowy hillside" or whatnot. Of course I send a grand total of only eight Christmas cards every year, which I guess is a guy thing.

As for Christmas shopping, I got that finished up online the other day in 20 minutes flat. Went from one website to another, ordering the items, done! A big improvement over the days when I used to spend all sorts of time driving around from one store to another...

Paul Burgess | 10/04/2008 - 03:13 PM

Amazon is my Christmas shopping friend! I've been whittling down my list for a month or so. Budget wise, I do it a little at a time.

I like a calm, stress-free holiday. We're trying to figure out how to make that happen.

OH! And we've also entered the realm of Mo and JT figuring out where they'll spend each holiday, so neither family is neglected. lol...have fun with that! I told them they are always welcome, but never obligated. JT's family is pretty laid back also. First Christmas together, so they both want the other to experience all of their traditions. Young love...

Leni | 10/14/2008 - 01:17 PM

Anna Ryan - Erin and Marco you are doing inspiring work! I'm so happy for the 2 of you! You may be gintetg contacted by a former student of mine, Shannon Moore, and asked about the talent agency scene in KC. I thought you guys were or use to be associated with one.Keep on doing what you are obviously called to do!~Anna

Carmen | 12/21/2012 - 09:21 AM

The genius store claeld, they're running out of you.

Bryson | 12/21/2012 - 09:22 AM

CkWPzs xooabzifisxq

jzmkymqasix | 12/22/2012 - 01:34 AM
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