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Sanity at last

Finally, I can breathe.  A lot has happened in eight short days.  I did all the Christmas shopping for 14 recipients, put up the tree and finished decorating for Christmas, made two quilts, spent Christmas @ my brother’s house, and the past three days at the in-laws.

This year was nuts.  Quite frankly, the December 22nd semester end date did not work so well for me.  That left two days to get everything ready for Christmas, something I normally have about a week to do.  I was exhausted and felt too rushed to really enjoy the time with family.

I now have almost two full weeks at my disposal before I head back to work on January 9th.  I know I’ll enjoy the time off, but yikes.  We have this late “get out for winter break” date again next year.  I’m going to have to seriously readjust my schedule for the next Christmas season.

One thing that we did do this year that worked for us was to bypass the big honking Christmas tree for a 3 foot tree that sits on the table in the living room.  No more need to move half of the living room furniture to accommodate the tree.  I can put out selected pieces from my Dickens Christmas village around the tree and the rest in front of the family room fireplace.  It looked really nice.  Bonus: once the old tree is donated to Goodwill, I’ll have a more storage space under the stairs accessible from my studio.

Notes:

  1. For me, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until the mantle is decorated and the tree is up.  Put it up by the first weekend in December.
  2. Handmade Christmas gifts need to be started sooner than December 23rd.
  3. Order gifts online around Thanksgiving so you don’t have to get in the crowds, pay exorbitant shipping fees or worry about things arriving in time.  The deals really didn’t get much better and the selection was definitely picked over by the week before Christmas.
  4. Host a dessert party or small dinner party for close friends if the holiday invites received don’t work for my schedule.  We were invited last minute to a friend’s get-together on Christmas Eve, but by that time I was too frazzled and grumpy to be a sociable guest.  I really missed the usual holiday festivities with friends this year.  Our schedules simply didn’t mesh.