Some sweet friend I like to call "Hot Beverage" (what, you don't call your friends by menu terms?) called on me for a little accountability on my holiday list posted in November. Its so fun to know someone cares enough to check in with me on my goals, because you know...its easy to list them, but the follow through is the challenge. Some would call it checking up on me, but she is so the "checking in" type, not the checking up kind and yes there is a big difference! So anyway, I went back to my list to see how being intentional was going.
Things I will do this Christmas season:
1. spend time with 10 little girls making gifts.- Done and what a treat it was! They made no-sew pillows, bracelets and a very meaningful jar, decorated and filled with notes to someone special in their lives. Before we left, each gift was wrapped and addressed to someone they chose and FYI exhausted moms, you will be relieved to know that when pre-teen girls think of someone they'd like to give to at Christmas, Mom makes the top of the list everytime
2. Spend time creating a special gift for a very special friend. Can I just say it wasn't just me and what fun we had and the gift will be presented tonight, Thursday the 17th and I will have to hold this post until afterwards or it will be spoiled. If I can get my techno mojo going,there will be a link on this blog so you can view it. If not, well, you'll just have to trust me! It was a BLAST! Giving really is the very best part of presents!
3. Leave early enough for every errand, that I can pass by a parking place (Oh, but for this post I was ready to bumper-wrestle a guy at the mall the other day, conviction it was, holy conviction that reminded me to keep all my parts inside the car and smile sweetly) or let another driver into traffic without having to threaten him with bodily harm. Have enough time when I am out, to let someone in line, help someone carry something, (I realized I haven't been out much, but today with the Deeds & Dot we did a little loitering at the grocery store looking for some grandmas and grandpas that could use a couple of extra hands getting their groceries to the car. And have a purse full of candy canes to offer every child I see. The Deeds took care of that at Ross and the mall last week and it was oh so fun!
4. Plan a NERTZ party for after the pitcher gets home, cause I miss all those friends of my kids, scheduled for Sat the 19th, but haven't gotten too many rsvps yet, of course I do believe the twitter/text/facebook generation doesn't do the rsvp thing in language I understand, so perhaps I have 20 hundred tweets that I cannot read expressing their excitement
5. Plan a Christmas gathering for some girls, cause I miss my friends. PJ's slippers and food, cause a girl just needs to take a break this time of year...can't wait.
6. Make a Christmas budget Missed the opportunity. After the fact, I can at least say that D and I had a verbal agreement so that kinda counts.
7. Stick to the Christmas budget eliminating the post Christmas credit card bill, stress & regret I have used the CC..., but with each purchase I have subtracted the charge from the check register, thereby putting the money aside which is kind of a victory.
8. Make room in the budget to surprise perfect strangers with something and keep my eyes open for just the right opportunities. I have only done this once so far and forgot to tell the lady at the coffee bean to keep the gift annonymous, so I was thanked profusely, which is not nearly as fun as being sneaky. After the sweetest grandma waited patiently for the Deeds to take her groceries from her cart to the conveyer belt and then after she paid, he walked her to her car and he put the bags in the trunk of her car, we found an inconspicuous spot at Starbucks, prepaid a couple of beverages, remembered to tell the clerk we were annonymous, bought the Deeds a chocolate milk then spied on the targeted strangers. I put on an old pair of sweats yesterday and found some cash in the pocket which I believe qualified as our budget for today. Again, giving is the most fun part of presents!
9. Spend several occasions snuggled under a blanket reading a book in the living room where the Christmas tree is, with carols playing in the background or if I'm lucky while Dann plays his guitar. So far one afternoon, but there is still time.
10. Plan a brunch for a special group of mommies where they can share and hear about each other's family traditions, and provide childcare for them so they can have a few hours off. It was so fun and heartwarming to hear them share the ways they want to celebrate the holidays and what a priority Christ's birth will be. Those are some amazing mommies...wish I had what they have at such a young age. Awesome, intentional, tender hearts.
11. Bake something yummy when Dann is home, so he remembers his mom and her holiday baking. Need to plan this for next week. 12. bake something yummy when my kids are here so they have similiar memories. hmmm not sure when all of the kids will be here except on Christmas... bound to be something yummy smelling that day.
13. See the movie "Everybody's Fine" with as many of my kids as can make it. It looks like this has been replaced with the Family Christmas at the Rubicon on the eve of Christmas eve.
14. Wish everybody Merry Christmas, everybody. I tried this early on, but people think it is kind of weird on Dec 3rd to wish them a Merry Christmas 21 days early...so perhaps it is now time to smother them in good MC wishes.
15. I will put my amazing husband at the top of my list of people to give my time to and thank him for being so patient when I let my life get out of control. FOCUS...FOCUS...FOCUS. I have to admit this is my weak spot on the list. But with time left, I need to get this together and make sure he knows how much he means to us. My weakness does NOT reflect the amazingawesomegreatness of him. He has just left our home at 9:45pm to go back to church to make sure the coffee pot was turned off after he spent 2 1/2 hours there rehearsing for Christmas sunday worship because what is more offending for two non-coffee drinkers than the smell of burnt coffee in the morning. Amazingawesomegreatness and he chose me to spend his life with! Glory & grace.
So I challenged you to come up with your own list of do less & be more. If you did...carry on, don't give up. If you didn't, its not too late. With a week + left, make a short list, reasonable, doable, enjoyable. Include one thing that will pamper yourself, one thing that will bless your family and one thing that will bless & surprise a perfect stranger. Fill me in if you have a chance.
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