I kept the holidays from going bah-humbug

I truly believe life runs smoother when we set goals.  It is amazing how chaotic and directionless my days get when I fail to make a to-do list (or make one and don’t follow it).  I love the holidays, but never liked the constant craziness and running from one activity to the next.  I have a history of crashing mentally after Christmas and then not recovering until March.

This holiday season I set goals to keep me from going “bah-humbug.”  Aside from a few anxiety ridden days, it went SO MUCH better than previous years.  It also helps having kids that are slightly older.  I had two Christmases in the past five years where I had a newborn in the house and a toddler.

Here’s my previous goals…and my results.

1.  I will not turn on the 24/7 Christmas music station until the day after Thanksgiving AT THE EARLIEST.  Yes, this music pumps me up, but it starts to drive me wacky to the point I despise it.

I had it on most of the time when I was home or in the car.  But the Christmas tunes did not start until the Black Friday shopping excursion in the van.  occasionally I took breaks and had the alternative rock station on or Talk Radio.

2.  I will not complain about my husband’s busy work schedule especially because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year which means one less church service to lead.

When Christmas falls on a Sunday, it makes it super nice for pastors and pastor families.  I guess we need to enjoy it while we can.  Christmas will not fall on a Sunday until the year 2016.

3.  I will try to exercise at least 3-5 times a week during the month of December

Not only did I exercise at least three times a week, but I started pre-training for a marathon I hope to run in June.  My husband and I acknowledge we have been snacking recklessly since Halloween. I had somewhat of a meltdown trying on jeans in a dressing room last week.  I decided to utilize My Fitness Pal to help regulate my eating.  For me it is not about the pounds lost or fitting into a tight pair of jeans–it’s portion control and NOT finding comfort from sweet snacks.

4.  I will begin to pack for our Christmas vacation to the Midwest at least five days in advance.

I started packing yesterday!

5.  I will do some sort of giving project with my kids.

Our local public schools provide healthy lunches during Christmas & Spring Break to families in need.  This is also sponsored by a food share charitable organization and several businesses.  The school in our neighborhood was providing this service.  They also set up board games, books, coloring sheets, and Christmas crafts for the kids to do.  It is a service provided for all kids ages 0 – 18 regardless of what school they attend.   My oldest daughter and I helped the first day.  It was a smaller crowd, but we helped make reindeer pencils.  Then I took all three of my kids the Thursday before Christmas.  We played Santa and passed out gifts donated from Starbucks.  My oldest daughter played Play dough with some girls.  My son jumped right into of a game of monster trucks with some older boys.  I greatly enjoyed talking with some kids, young people, and moms from the community.  I loved doing a community project with all three of my kids!

6.  I will stay home from a holiday party if I am already drained and exhausted… 

I had to miss one party because of my husband’s evening work schedule.  I was a little disappointed at first.  But I was so tired that night that I fell asleep before 10 PM.  So maybe I needed the extra rest.

7.  I will start working on my handmade gifts in mid November (already started on them!)

We got everything done in time.  It helped I had to do a presentation on handmade gifts at my mom’s group in early December.  That was a good motivation to get things done.  I did make three different photo calendars this year.  Which got a little crazy trying to complete them all before the coupons expired, but I managed to complete it in time.

8.  I will do a special holiday related activity with each of my children.  I did this last year and it was the highlight of my Christmas season.

I took my son to Five Guys Burger and Fries –one of his favorite restaurants.  We visited a Christmas lights display and he got to visit Santa Claus.  I took my older daughter to see Arthur’s Christmas which I totally recommend.  Loved it!  I took my younger daughter to a coffee shop that has toddler toys and a play area.  These special outings are always highlights for me during Christmas Break.

9.  I will do the Advent Calendar with my children.  I will not be overly hard on myself if we miss a few days.

Even amidst our busy holiday season and numerous nights out, we managed to do the Advent Calendar most nights we were home.  Aside from a little bickering about who got to eat the candy, it made the meaning of Advent come alive.  My oldest especially asked great questions about the Nativity.

10.  I will watch National lampoons Christmas Vacation with Rob even though I have seen it at least 27 times…

We watched it Friday night!  I think it was more funny hearing my daughter say, “Is this a true story?”

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