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October 14, 2008


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I love your list ZMWB. I have been thinking about the exact same things. Wouldn't it be heaven to have our shopping done by Dec. 1st?! Is it only a dream or a reality? I'm with you, and I am going to try to make it a reality. I WANT the nights of sipping hot chocolate while Christmas music is playing in the back ground. I have HAD nobel expecationso of the perfect Christmas, only to find myself stressed and overwhelmed with my huge "to do" list.

Getting back to what is important and making a list is a great idea. And in this economy, I think most of us can agree that the magic is in the experience, not the gift. I know for my family, getting the shopping, or in your case ZMWB, the cards, done early is huge. For it IS really about family, magic and faith. The rest is just the icing on the Christmas cake.


My initial reaction was, It's 80 degrees outside; we have fires burning in the hills; and you want me to think about CHRISTMAS?!?! But the craft stores have already put away Halloween things for the most part, and Christmas is out in full -- because craft stores know how long it takes to get ready for Christmas!

Next I applauded your son's insistence on hot cocoa together on the first day (or evening) of winter... I like celebrating the winter solstice, which for me is the secular winter holiday. I can celebrate Winter to my heart's content and not feel even mildly guilty that I'm compromising the religious holiday of Christmas.

We too use Advent calendars of varying types to help us prepare for Christmas, as well as a couple of saints' days as benchmarks for our preparations. St. Nicholas Day is December 6th, and that's when we start decorating the house in earnest. St. Lucy's Day is a week later, on the 13th, and I bake Lucy Bread for that -- so while I'm at it, I bake the Christmas breads and freeze them. My husband has a tradition of baking German Christmas cookies, and they need to be made well in advance so they have time to ripen. Like you, I have some other cookies and special treats that are more than worth the time and energy involved.

My parents stopped sending Christmas cards and started sending out a Thanksgiving letter years ago, and I try to have mine done by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. I don't always make it -- but I feel a whole lot less stressed when I do!

Like you (and now your daughter), I make lists... lots and LOTS of lists! Without them, too many things fall through the cracks and I'm left feeling completely out of control. On the other hand, last year I found I was able to scratch some things off the list and simply live with the fact that the Christ Child will still come into our hearts and lives if item #16 on my list just doesn't happen this year.

Time to go start on that list!


I hate having to think about it this early, but I need to in order to enjoy the season. I've done pretty well at eliminating the things that just are not important to me. We've set some traditions that our family wants to continue and the rest is kind of, do if it we feel like it.

One thing I need to start taking care of right now is pictures. Last year I had my cards all ready to be mailed and I was frantically trying to get a picture of my boys. All I got was stressed out, no picture,lol. So this year I'll start earlier on that.

Great list!

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