With the holiday season nearly over, I find this a good time to sit, reflect, take notes, and plan. Here in northern Iowa our temperatures have plummeted and it makes wanting to do much of anything difficult. The best ideas to me are to snuggle up with my dogs and stay warm. My little guy apparently agrees because for two days he’s been following me around and climbing on me every chance he gets, so why not embrace it!
One of the best things you can do after every major event or activity that recurs year after year is to take the time near the end of each one and think about how it went. What did you learn? What did you like? Did anything go really well? Did anything flop? Great homemakers know it’s all about a good plan. Now this doesn’t have to be an ironclad rulebook, just a way to remember how to repeat successes and avoid failures. The holidays are hectic enough, wouldn’t a little extra help be great?
So, here’s my workflow… I start with opening my calendar for next December. I then start filling in anything that either I thought of this year I would like to try or things that worked well this year I want to repeat. For example I filled in my plans for all my meals for the eight days of Chanukah. My husband and I have an idea of what we would like to do for lunches the week of Chanukah and we will repeat the dinner we do annually. I also put in when I want to prep my Christmas Dinner next year and made a reminder as to when to order my goose and when to pick it up. I also put in notes as to when to do my Christmas cards to have enough time to order them and get them sent out so that it’s not such a rush next year.
As I was working on that I saw things like our anniversary and my husbands birthday and started filling in either things I needed to make for those events, like my husband birthday cake, or reservations that needed to be made.
Next up was thinking about all the holiday treats. There are too many. There I said it. I don’t want a house busting at the seams with cookies, candies and cakes. That being said it’s part of the season to have all of these delicious flavors. This can all be managed with a little planning. The strategy I am going to employ is a treat each week. This should help control the flow and keep me from having too much by the end of the season.
Lastly, it’s on to new ideas. This is the part that works really well bundled up with a dog on your lap. Thinking about all the fun stuff you would like to do in the coming years. What fun ideas do you wish you did this year? What could make it a little more special? Did one of your friends do something that you just have to try next year?
Even with the people who look like they ooze creativity have to have somewhere to jot down all their ideas. Trying to remember it all for later could cause you to forget some really great ideas.
The reason people got a Christmas card from us is not because I had tons of free time and thought it would be a way to fill that time. It’s because I had a note on my calendar to make my cards. Then I had a note on my calendar to fill out and mail my cards. We had goose for dinner on Christmas day because I called the meat shop just after thanksgiving to place my order.
You can plan as little or as much as what works for you but having any plan is going to make a ton of difference. It will easy the load. You don’t have to remember everything. It won’t be up to just you to do everything if others can see whats coming up or what the plan is. Just remember that a plan in not a rule. There’s flexibility with it. Its just a good way to manage your thoughts ad ideas so when you draw a blank in the moment you can look somewhere for a helpful reminder.