And then - back to those lists, and checking it twice. This season, my list gives a lot of insight about ME.
- Get Christmas Tree and Decorate - (The tree farm we went to was a great experience for the the whole family)
- Outdoor Lights - Mark hung them around Thanksgiving.
- Secure the kids Christmas attire - Purchased on line, unlike past years outfits from Gymboree. (I wanted a dress someone sewed for Marly. My mom sewed for me. I will never have the time to learn the skill to sew like my mom did. Marlys can only watch from heaven, and can't do it for me. I know she would if she could!)
- Outdoor Holiday Decor - The is wreath up, and pots out front adorned with fresh evergreen cuts (free from the tree farm) & ribbon to match the wreath. (Because I want the neighbors to think I have it all together. And, I THINK IT LOOKS LOVELY when I arrive home from work and truly enjoy it!)
- Shop for Gifts - I already mentioned I did most of my shopping on line. The last two gifts created for the Grandparents should arrive today or tomorrow. I am missing one gift for Chris yet. (I am happy this year I think my dad is going to love his gift! He doesn't need/want anything, and I typically donate to charity in his name. This year, he will really enjoy his item, which can actually be wrapped. It's still not here though)
- Wrapping - Most wrapping is complete... but you can't wrap things that haven't arrived. (This year, most gifts have a Dayton's seamless wrap and hand made bows, but the paper is all mix and match, unlike the Andrea of year's past.)
- Decorating Indoor - Mostly complete. I am sure I will find something to put up, or out right before guests arrive on Christmas afternoon. (My kitchen/living display shelves and buffet are festive and follow a red/white theme with touches of silver and green this year.)
- Stockings - The stockings finally got hung on the mantle Sunday night. (I needed more Command hooks.) I have the items for inside. (Wait... there is nothing for Mark's...)
- Christmas Cards - Ordered/shipped! Every year I spend countless evenings trolling various Internet sites for the perfect card for our photos. This year I spent 5 days searching for the right lay out for our church photos, then ditched my photo choice. Eventually I ordered this design from Tiny Prints. I am not sure WHY I spend to much time on the card. (Okay - I do...Somehow I want our lives to look picture perfect on paper, when in reality, it is far from perfect. We are blessed, but surely we are just who we are and nothing more. That is acceptable.)
- Christmas Cards Mailed/Post Office Drop - I addressed them last Thursday and they were in the mail Friday after work before 5 pm. I have no idea why I don't create an Excel list and print labels. (Okay- Again... I do! Somehow I find pleasure in buying a new red and green pen each season at Archivers, so I can hand address them in my kindergarten style text.)
- Holidazzle Parade - We hit the streets Saturday night.
- Volunteer - This morning I helped serve breakfast at our church. We are a host church for homeless families for one week through Family Promise of Anoka County. (I wanted an opportunity to actually SERVE those less fortunate then me. Selfishly, doing this is a reminder of the abundant blessings in my own life.)
- Pack to go to Brett and Rachel's where we will spend Thursday night before Christmas Eve.
- Come up with a food item to bring to Rachel's. (May NOT actually accomplish that. She will understand!)
- Grocery Shop - I am hosting the Thompson Family for Christmas Dinner. Yes.. we are staying over night at Brett and Rachel's on Thursday. We won't be home until around midnight Friday Christmas Eve. Yes - This does sound a little crazy. (Okay... only wine, cheese, Christmas Breakfast items, and fun additions needed. See below.)
- Cook the Christmas Meal (Nevermind - I took the less stress/less wine required route. This morning I ordered the complete ham dinner from Kowalski's. The kids and I will head to at Minneapolis location to pick it up tomorrow. The first Kowalski's I called was SOLD OUT.)
- Pick up wine - I am going to need wine as I rush around to create a lovely holiday for family on Christmas Day! (Oh wait, I can just enjoy a glass when I am heating up my delicious pre-made meal, setting a lovely table, and ENJOYING the family guests.)
- Head to Hector, First Lutheran, and Aunt Carol and Uncle Loren's for Christmas Eve as tradition. (Church at First Lutheran with all my family is one of my favorite things about Christmas. Due to weather, we were unable to attend last year. See note above about staying at Brett and Rachel's)
- ENJOY my wonderful family.
All this being stated, I am thankful and feel blessed this holiday season.
My blessings to you all!