Holidays and Breaking the Rules

 Posted by on October 26, 2010  Add comments
Oct 262010

Oh I am such the rule follower. However, today I’m going to share about breaking the rules and doing things early. December is such a busy time, why not move a few of those ‘to-dos’ to November? I did all of the following early the last two years. What a blessing it was to really enjoy the process as well as be free in December.

Send cards early. We send Thanksgiving cards rather than Christmas cards. It really just gets greeting cards in the mail about a week early. We tell our friends and family how thankful we are for them! Cards are in the mail and you are on to cruising through the holidays.

Give teacher gifts early. We carry the same theme with church and extracurricular teachers. We give these special folks a little gift the week before Thanksgiving and let them know how much we appreciate them the whole year through. Teachers get so many gifts at Christmas. Giving something the week before Thanksgiving allows them to enjoy an early treat.

Grocery shop early. I pick up Christmas baking items I need in November when I do the Thanksgiving shopping. When we want to do Christmas cookies one day, we already have the ingredients we need. Pull out the sprinkles and go!

At the same time, break the rules and keep the holidays simple with…

Easy Recipes. Though I enjoy cooking, there is really no reason for a mama to wear herself out in the kitchen trying to make beautiful creations from a long list of ingredients.

These recipes are very simple to do at the last minute – some even in the microwave. White Christmas SnackSouthern Living Two Step Pound cake (divide into small loaf pans or cut cake in half and give to neighbors), microwave fudge.

Keep gift giving simple. Since there are so many cute, inexpensive gift ideas, I’m keeping a list over in Fun, Frugal Gift Ideas. I love the journal jar!

Play. Thanksgiving is just a month away now, so I had to feature this wonderful little find. I know I had my turn at the Kids’ Thanksgiving table. How about you? “let your kids color their way to a festive Thanksgiving table.” This looks like so much fun!

Enjoy. The whole point of breaking the rules, finishing items early and keeping it simple is for your and your family to enjoy this time of year. Make memories as you are making gifts for others. Laugh together as you have everything spread out. Put on the Christmas music a little early.

The only rule is to have fun!

Your turn! Please share your fun, easy holiday tips. Click to leave a comment.

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  8 Responses to “Holidays and Breaking the Rules”

  1. Thank you so much for these wonderful ideas! I am looking forward to enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family; I want to make it memorable and special for our children and not be a stressed out Mama in the process. God bless you and your family 🙂

  2. I’ve been trying to do this. I set up little reminders on my computer to tell me to start working on Christmas cards & gifts in October. Of course when I see the reminder I just say to myself, “its only October, you have plenty of time…” and then I go back to getting ready for baby 🙂 I am working on it though!

  3. Felina, these simple steps have really helped ease up the stress in our holidays! Kendra – I love your computer reminders ideas. Ladies, what really helped me was realizing that this only moves things up a couple of weeks time. Maybe just doing one thing a day.

    For example, this week I will pick out the photo for our holiday card and get the order in to Snapfish. Last week I picked out a weekend for a ‘Big Cook’ and put it on the calendar for a Saturday. I also picked out a couple of days for the children and I to do Christmas mixes – and put it on the calendar so it really will happen!

    One more little tip – I put the gift tags for the teachers into each child’s workbox for each child to sign their name and maybe write a little note. I let this be handwriting that week 🙂

    • Breaking it up into smaller tasks would certainly help. “Decide on a Christmas card design” sounds so much more doable than “make Christmas cards” 🙂

  4. Never thought of Thanksgiving cards, but what a great idea 😉

    I love to do things simply; it allows me to enjoy the holidays. For Christmas dinner, we actually do a crock pot meal. I make homemade spaghetti sauce and put in sausage and meatballs I’ve prepped earlier in the week. I used to slave in the kitchen, but learned I’d much rather enjoy the DAY with my kiddos than work all day and only enjoy a meal with them.

  5. I love this! For the past few years, I haven’t had time to enjoy the season because I’ve been so busy. I’m going to employ some of these wonderful ideas right away!
    One thing I love to do is a special outing with my girls (usually Christmas shopping and a meal out combined). They love the extra time with mom, and ordering their own meal at a restaurant.

  6. Kendra, I believe it was a November baby that helped me ‘move up’ all these things a few years ago 🙂 Lisa, you are speaking my language. What a great idea to take it easy and let the crock pot do the work! Kim – what a memory building time to shop and go out to eat 🙂

  7. Doing things early was always a saving grace for me because I am not a multi-tasker and I am not quick at anything. I finally figured out that even a simple holiday celebration took twice the prep time I expected. So now I use 2 days to prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, instead of one.

    This is especially important if I am doing the entire meal — which has been the case for a number of years.

    On day one, I set the table, make the desserts, chop the veggies, mix the ingredients, and bake the side dishes. On day two, I do the main course, mashed potatoes, gravy, and any last minute details. Vegetable dishes are just warmed to comfortable eating temperatures.

    If I have a lot of guests, I do it all by the day before they arrive! This is a sane, sensible approach for me, and a realistic expectation.

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