Holiday Preparations, List Making and Stress

blocked and ready to be wrapped

For being mid December, I am chugging away at what I'd like to accomplish before Christmas day.  Years ago, dare I say decades? I discovered that I am at my happiest when I'm not stressed out.  I do not thrive on procrastination, I am not exhilarated, that feeling is dread and panic.  I perceive the flight instead of fight in any case of stress and sadly I get worse as I age.

son's socks that are wash and dryer safe!!

 So I accepted who I am and have found what works for me.  I'm sure you know where this is going..yep, I make lists.  I have a notebook where my central list making occurs.  For the holidays, I aim to be finished with outside family members by the end of November, I ship all the boxes the first week of December.  For my dear family, I finish by December 15th.  I take advantage of on line shopping and FREE shipping.  Keep in mind I have children who give me Amazon wish lists and that makes my life easier.

my friend gifted me a charlie brown christmas tree!  I love it :)

One of my new goals this holiday season was to not shop on the weekends.  So far, I haven 't stepped foot in any mall and I must say this will be a yearly tradition.  I stand in enough lines Monday through Friday!  Crowds get on my nerves and waiting makes me cranky.

So I am faced with the wrapping and I have those socks in the above photo to finish.  The Master Menu for the next five weeks is not complete.  I've inventoried my freezer, refrigerator and the pantry.  I need to now create the menu while the house is full.

Oh......and I haven't baked a single item.  I'm waiting for the reinforcement troops to arrive!

I wish I knew what I did to have flowers!!

How are your holiday plans coming along?  On target?  Do you like to feel the pressure?  Or are you like me??


  1. We quit buying (and receiving) Christmas presents about fifteen years ago. That alone removed about 90 % of the stress. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. We still enjoy all the other aspects of the season.

  2. Well, you know me, we like the slow and simple holiday. We make as much as we can and only really have to buy a few things, most of which is done online. I had to step into a bookstore and still have to hit up the chocolate shop for my hubby who has a major sweet tooth. Other than that I avoid it all costs. I dislike crowds, and the hustle and bustle. I much prefer quiet days at home and lots of time in nature :)

    Happy weekend Karen.

  3. I am definitely like you! I abhor stress, dislike crowded stores immensely and want to have everything done well in advance. I do mail my Christmas cards out early, as well as the only gift I have to mail - which is to my godchild and her sibling in Germany. Otherwise we do not exchange gifts with extended family. The baking has been done ( a batch of cookies here and there since I don't like a "cookie baking marathon" either), the food has been bought, and all of the gifts were ordered online. Last year we started going out for lunch on the 24th of December and I really enjoyed that. Made the day so much more relaxed. We will have a nice meal on the 25th, but again, it will be only the four of us, so it will not be stressful. :-)

  4. I do not like crowds and malls. My shopping is done - on line too. My grocery shopping will be on line from now on if we need anything. A busy time of year for my husbands work - he only gets Christmas day and Boxing day off and we hope to spend it at the beach. Your header photos are pretty but oh soo cold Keep warm over there. Love Leanne Nz

  5. I refuse to go to a mall at all. I try and get most shopping done online which makes things easier. Overall I don't like stress - but in my knitting it seems to motivate me, which is strange because knitting is how I relax. I love to take on bucket loads of projects, especially at the last minute. When it stops being fun, I am done. I am going to try and get some cookies baked this weekend and finish the wrapping. The wrapping seems to stress me out!

    You got flowers because you are THAT awesome! Enjoy the season!

  6. Hate the stress---mall???? who goes to the mall???? haven't been in years; haven't missed it. (You can imagine, though, what a fashionista I am!!) But somehow the stress sneaks those 150 mini hats (i know, i know....i couldn't help myself! but that's to sneak them around town!); the baking is well under way....of course, so is the eating---trouble!!!!
    your flower must have been talking to mine----it bloomed in spite of all my neglect.
    Happy weekend, Karen!!!!

  7. Funny, we have a couple of Charlie Brown trees here too. My girls keep carrying them around the house though, lights and all! You are well organized for sure! Merry Christmas!

  8. Baking is on track - we baked up a storm with some friends this week - always fun to fill up the goody tins with friends :o). All my Christmas shopping -food and gifting- is done. Crowds get on my nerves too so I was determined to avoid the Christmas rush this year. The high street store will do for any odds and ends that we might run out of until after Christmas, or better still, online shopping!
    Enjoy your weekend Karen ;o)

  9. Christmas cacti are persnickety. I bet it was all the love you gave it. ;-)

    I love your Charlie Brown tree.

  10. Oh I am so jealous of your Christmas Cactus flowers at all on mine. Wish you knew your secret and could pass it on. I love how you make lists...I am a list maker too. Enjoy your weekend.

  11. I have been rocking the online shopping this year too. And loving that I haven't been in a mall and have no plans to! I think I just need a run through Target for last minute little things - new sheets for visitors since we don't have the right size, toothbrushes and other stocking stuffers, candy... I mean ;-)
    My mom's Christmas cactus "summers" out on her back patio and is always happier for it. She was telling me today there are several buds on it now.
    Happy weekend!

  12. I love lists, they make me focused and stress free! I'm done shopping, except for one thing I will pick up in town next week. NOT on the weekend, I'm with you on that one. I hate shopping at the best of times, and Christmas brings out the crazy in people.

  13. I hate stress, but love Christmas cactuses! Blooming depends on light and temperature. They're short day plants meaning they bloom when have darkness at least 14 hours long and daylight periods are between 8-10 hours for 6 weeks. They will also flower if you expose them to prolonged cool temperatures between 50-55 degrees F. I have ten Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter cactuses and I put them outside in semi-shade all summer, then bring them in to our unheated mud porch before the first frost. I'm in NJ, so that's usually around Oct. 15th or so. They all bloom profusely every year if I treat them this way. Some people put them in closets or cover them with boxes at night to ensure the 14 hrs. of darkness, but that's too much trouble for me. I'm lucky to have the unheated mud porch to provide the right temperature for blooming. I can get Christmas cactuses to bloom, but don't deal with Christmas shopping nearly as well, even with lists. If only I could come up with better ideas for people on my list!

  14. We sound a lot a like... I am the queen of making lists. And, while in my younger years, I would thrive on stress and pressure, these days I just can't cope. I get everything done way ahead of schedule whenever possible. That way, life is more enjoyable... I think anyways.

  15. Oh my, I, too, avoid the mall and crowds. We did visit the mall for the Hobbit the other night, and I took advantage of that to stop in Old Navy for an outfit for the baby. :) List making is what gets me through life, my friend; that and my calendar. I noticed last night before turning out the lights downstairs that our Christmas countdown magnet thingy had ten days left before Christmas! Ten whole days!! I have one more thing to order (Amazon Prime will get it here quickly) and one more thing to pick up for the husband's stocking, other than that, all we have left to do is bake and get the Christmas card letter written (and that is happening tomorrow so cards can go in Tuesday's mail). Peace is the word here. So thankful!


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