December 8, 2014

Ahead of the Curve, or Beating Self Imposed Deadlines and NAILING it for the Holidays!


Ya'll... it's almost December 10th!

December 10th!!!

Maybe you are new around here, or don't know me in real life - if so, this may not mean much to you but to me and my family, December 10th has long been my self-imposed Deadline to go crazy and have a mini melt down in order to finish All. The. Things.  

Whatevs.

This year, thanks to maturing,  (no, sadly-- not that...) -thanks to Advent, I am approaching the season with a slower pace... but still - December 10th is just around the corner, and I am feeling just ahead of the curve. You see, December 10th is the last possible day of Crazy that is allowed in this house.

For over a decade now I have given myself a self-imposed 'deadline' to be all done with the Christmas shopping and decorating and party planning and wrapping of gifts and all the bossy lists of things to do this season.  

December 10th... I set it at first because back in the day, I was that girl who was mostly done by August anyway... (I know, right? I don't like her anymore either!)  Well, rest assured, those days are long gone.  I think they faded quickly when my Little was not so little, her wants were not so easily purchased months in advance in a toy aisle, and as we added to the list of nieces and nephews!

Still... December 10th is still doable.  Even if I don't start until mid-October Black Friday (which is now exactly how it goes!) ...I can do this!

All of this simply means this fun fact:

The last few days (which means December 7-10th) can get a little cray cray around here... lots of rushing around and it seems insane to all the unlookers and people who don't live here because - well - I DO realize that it is still weeks before Christmas.  However - I normally push through the tense muscles, the deep breathing, the midnight wrapping, and the too-much-coffee-consuming-while-trying-to-make-and-address-all-of-these-cards parts and I make it! 

I get through the whirlwind of December 10th and then... gloriously have nothing to do until Christmas Eve. 

No, wait... did you hear me?

No. Thing.

I'll just be sitting here, sipping something yummy.                      
I know, haters gonna hate...                     
I mean - sure... there is the baking, and the parties, and the caroling maybe... there's the Christmas movies and hot chocolate and driving around looking at all the pretty lights... there is all of the FUN stuff... but there is nothing else, nothing stressful or bossy!


(See?  Brilliant, right?)


So today... I am feeling a bit ahead of the Curve... December 10th is 2 days away and I am feeling less stress, less 'cray-cray' and I think it is partly thanks to Advent... this teaching me, once again, of Waiting... of what's really important, of anticipating and finding miracles in my everyday... looking for ways to, as Ann says, receive the gift, and then BE the gift. 

I have a few stocking stuffers to buy, a trip to the post office, and a couple of items to wrap. (Thank you, Cyber Monday!)  Last year, I even took The Nesters' lead and skipped sending Christmas cards. (Ya'll - that was HUGE for this papercrafter - but it saved me so much glue and time and money!) This year, I decided to make a few of them myself and simply send out to a smaller list. I missed the connecting, but I didn't miss the stress!  This year, I'm not so sure that I will write our annual family Christmas Letter. (I know, right? You're so surprised that I do this!)  With all things Social Media, I feel like people know what we've been up to already... our Little is no longer little, or even living at home, and while that doesn't mean we are sitting here by ourselves, moping in the dark... there is definitely less activity to write about and less news that would be, well, new.  

Instead of rushing around in a near panic, attempting to meet this deadline, I will be making dinner and maybe watching a cheesy Christmas movie on Netflix... maybe we'll just enjoy some jazzy Christmas music and sit in the dark, with the lights twinkling and a candle lit... enjoying being done, yes - but more than that... we'll get to enjoy being together!

In all of our rush to be ahead of the curve, may I suggest a little preplanning and preparing far enough in advance (-I'm not talking crazy talk like August... remember, we already agreed, we are not that girl!) ...I'm talking early to mid-December.  Even if you find a day crammed too full, it will be worth it to give yourself room to breathe, to slow, to linger... give yourself grace to actually enjoy the holidays and create anticipation not in that they will soon be over, but in that they are still coming!

After all, it's Advent right? And Advent is all about the waiting... it's all about His coming... and so I stick by my self-imposed tradition (and reserve the right to break my own rules, because - of course!) I will still be done with the running around of Christmas, just in time to slow down and breathe in all that matters! I will make time to wait... 

Because... He's always, always worth it!



Updated post. Originally published on 12/10/13


I am also linking with the Unforced Rhythms Community 

and with Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday


Oh... and I'm feeling FESTIVE too, and since I am pretty much done with all my shopping, I thought I would help a reader out! CLICK HERE to enter to win a Giveaway. (Hint: If you like Handmade cards, paper/scrapbook crafts, jewelry, or Christmas music - you're gonna want to enter to win!)

22 comments :

  1. I love the idea of being done with the cray cray by December 10th!!! I'm a little late for that this year but I might have to join you next year!! I am taking things slower this year though and writing is helping. I am reflecting on the Reason for the Season in a far deeper way than ever before. Thank you Jesus! Enjoy your cheesy movies and hot chocolate :)

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    1. Sarah - I love that you are taking it slower already! Writing definitely helps... and making time to read- the Word and other Christmas and Advent things... and just being able to still and quiet our souls... (and cheesy movies and hot chocolate help, too!) Thanks for stopping by! Come back tomorrow to enter to win a Holiday Giveaway!

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  2. Girl, you are inspiring. I've tried to set a deadline of December 15th every year, but with our financial situation, I am always out on Christmas Eve morning getting stocking stuffers, NO KIDDING! Thankful you are enjoying the slowing of the season. My heart is getting wrecked in a good way with Advent. Post coming soon!

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    1. Barbie... yes - those pesky finances (or lack thereof, it we are completely honest, right?) can get in the way of the best intentions! It forces us to get creative and to cut back and that is not often a bad thing anyway! My favorite part of that comment was "Post coming soon!" xoxo

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  3. Cheese Christmas movie recommendation "The Christmas Kiss". Yep. It's cheese, but I love it. I stopped sending out Christmas cards or letters several years ago. It just got to be too much, and most everyone knows what's up in our lives anyway. This year my baby is taking a sabbatical from college and she's been such a blessing--she's baked dozens and dozens of cookies, helped me decorate, made bread twice this weekend, oh the list goes on and on. And it leave me feeling very tankful for the time she gets to spend at home this year.

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    1. Hmmm - love a good recommendation! I will keep an eye out for that one! We don't have cable or anything - so I am missing all the Good 'cheesy' Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel... I am limited to Netflix or my own holiday collection! So glad you get to spend the holidays with your Girlie! You know I have a soft spot for that kind of gift! Thanks so much for stopping by! Come back tomorrow and enter to win the Holiday Giveaway!

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  4. Advent is all about the waiting...love that! So true. (Kinda hearing Meghan Trainor in my head, "Advent's all about that waiting, that waiting, that waiting.")

    ANNDDD...I don't have any shopping done yet. A little nervous

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    1. (And now I hear Meghan Trainor in my head, TOO!) LOL... no worries - it will all get done! It always does, right? Just remember to make room to BREATHE! Happy Holidays! Come on back tomorrow and enter to win the Giveaway!

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  5. I am not done and won't be for many days but I will still enjoy the wait. The cantatas. The church drama. The dinner out with friends. The dinner party with church leadership. I am going to love every minute of this holy season. xoxo (I love your homemade-crafted cards - they are beautiful.)

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    1. AMEN, my friend! Enjoy every minute of it! Don't forget to stop in tomorrow and you just may win a few of those handmade Christmas cards! ;)

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  6. I'm not completely done but almost! I still have presents to wrap but I enjoy wrapping presents; sitting in front of my tree with Christmas music on in the background or a Christmas movie. I also need to mail cards too but I don't send as many as I used to. With social media, I can post my letter on FB or wherever and tag my friends that I think might like to read what's happening in my life. I want to slow down and wait patiently for the birth of this precious holy child.

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    1. I love to wrap too! I particularly love it when I have purchased all new wrapping supplies... all the wrap and the ribbons and the bows! (That was not this year... but still!) I agree with you on the social media point... in fact, this is the first year since our girlie was maybe 2 or 3 that I am not planning on writing a Christmas Letter. I still may change my mind - but I doubt it! I figure if they want to know - with Facebook and Instagram and Twitter - they most likely already DO know what's up with us! Come back tomorrow and enter to win a Christmas Giveaway!

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  7. I just get done what i can and hope for the best. This is the first year we are going home for Christmas in a few years so maybe it will get more stressful as it gets closer. I haven't finished getting all the gifts, but I'm not worried. There are always gift cards to fall back on. I'm thinking of taking a few weeks off from blogging. I'm small and just starting out so I think it will be nice to take a break and start back fresh next year. :)

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    1. I think that is such a great way to approach it... do what you can, and hope for the best! I mean - that is really the only thing that all of us can do! I love that stress-free feeling that approach offers! Praying you have a great time visiting home... I think taking time off of blogging is good for the soul... and for the writer... and the reader, too! (No matter if we are 'big' or 'small' - we all need to pause and refuel... to refill in order to pour out! Happy Holidays! Come back tomorrow to enter to win the Holiday Giveaway!

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  8. I've realized in the last couple of years that I wasn't really thinking about Advent at all, and the shift to focusing on the anticipation, on the waiting, on the pending joy of His coming has made a real difference in me as well. There is more reflecting this year. More reading. More writing. And probably a lot less "stuff" to do. I'm feeling quite alright with that. So pray plenty of rest and peace for you this season. Thank you for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

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    1. Amen, Beth! There really IS a lot less stuff to do when we remember what and why and WHO we are really celebrating! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. I am enjoying Advent. I wish I was done. Perhaps, next year.. Blessings. Diana

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    1. Oh Diana... there is still time to get done earlier but the most important thing is that you are enjoying Advent! Merry Christmas!

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  10. Awesome, Karilee. I think you're going to enjoy Christmas a lot more since you've adopted this new attitude! By they way...December 10 is a big date for me too...it's my birthday! :)

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    1. Well Happy Birthday tomorrow! I still have a few things for stockings to pick up but even if I don't get it all dne by tomorrow - I am enjoying teh slower pace... Merry Christmas!

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  11. You are one smart lady! I'm mostly done with all things Christmas, by happenstance. And by not having little ones of my own to shop for. ;) But still, what a brilliant idea! This will be a goal to keep in mind for years to come....thanks for the idea!!

    Enjoy the fun Christmas things now!

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    1. Amen! I have never regretted this decision... even on those December 10th's that required me to be out too long and up too late... (this year was not one of those years!) #Swoon

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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