Did you do it? Did you make a list of your three favorite things about the upcoming holiday season? Did you ask the other members of your immediate family to list theirs, too? I made my list. In fact, I had mine listed before I finished writing yesterday’s post. My husband is being a bit slower about this. Maybe it’s that way at your house, too? My only comment about this is something along the lines of “you snooze, you lose.” Always an appropriate holiday sentiment, don’t you think?! (big smile)
I know you’re all on pins and needles about my three favorites, so here they are: sweet potato pie—made from my favorite recipe (if you’re all really good, I might share it with you later), the Christmas Eve Communion service at our church and waking up at my own house on Christmas morning.
Not very complicated at all, are they? That’s kind of my point for this exercise. The holiday season is already filled with such big expectations that I wanted to focus on three very simple things this year. These are things that are doable and that do not depend on the cooperation of very many other people. Here’s the key, though. I’m headed to the calendar to list them right NOW. Excuse me a minute. I’ll be right back.
(you may hum the theme song from Jeopardy here, if you wish)
I’m back. I now have 3 new items listed on my calendar in red. Just so you know, I will be making a sweet potato pie on November 21st and on December 24th. I will be attending the Communion Service on Christmas Eve. (If for some unforeseen reason my church chooses not to participate this year, I will be showing up at church somewhere in our area to do this! If you live here, be on the lookout for me.) I will be waking up here in my own house on December 25th. How do I know that? My calendar now says so. Barring any God-sent plagues or floods, that’s my plan.
Here’s the beauty of this step: PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR TODAY! Write it in red ink, circle it, put a sticker on it—whatever it takes for you to highlight your plan on your calendar. This has at least 2 advantages, maybe more:
- One, it amps up the anticipation factor about 1000%! Once you put it there, consider it set in stone. Go look at it however many times you need to in order to make yourself be assured of it. This is really cool! You are making a concrete plan to actually celebrate the holiday season in a way that makes YOU happy. Trust me. This will bring a smile to your face for WAY more than the actual event itself. You can manage to get through a LOT when you’ve got something to look forward to!
- Two, when someone asks you to do something else on that particular day, you can tell them that you already have plans. You are NOT obligated to share what those plans are! They’re YOUR PLANS. It doesn’t even matter if your thing won’t take the whole day—this is your thing! Revel in it! This is part of your gift to yourself this holiday season! If someone even tries to make you feel guilty about this…send them to me. I will defend you to the death on this one! (smile) IF you are at all interested in having other people join you, remember that they need to join you—this is your schedule, not theirs. They will live to tell the tale…and they may even want to do this themselves next year.
- Three…yes, I thought of another one!…You can share this joy for and with each person in your household! Now, if you’re dealing with little ones, you may need to help them adjust their plans/expectations a bit, but let them pick at least one thing about the holidays that makes them happy this year. (Maybe it’s just as simple as making slice & bake cookies to have for dessert one night or to take to a neighbor/other family member.) Think of how important they will feel when they have their own event listed on the calendar! Make it a family thing! When it’s their turn, let them be King or Queen for the day with this one! (Last moment addendum to this one: Do NOT try to do this with every member of your extended family. This is just for the people who live in your house with you all the time. I have an extremely LARGE extended family with lots of opinions. Trying to do this and make all of them happy would take FOREVER. The goal is to pare down the schedule and still get the biggest bang for your joy, ok?! Simplify!)
That’s it for today. Doesn’t take a lot of time. Provides a lot of joyful anticipation. Makes celebrating the holidays an actual celebration with guaranteed smiles. I’m thinking win-win here, people!
Come back tomorrow for the next step…perhaps by then I’ll have figured it out. (smile!)