When time pressed during the holidays, what do you cut out?

A friend with a new baby has posted lately several funny notes on Facebook about what not to expect from her at Christmas.

She is letting friends know early that you probably won’t be getting a Christmas card from her.

Then she posted that she wouldn’t be using any tags and only wrapping some presents. She said she would mark the kids’ presents with Sharpies so they knew what belonged to whom.

So it made me wonder, what do you leave off the Christmas to-do list when time crunched?

Another friend loves to bake for neighbors but then always complains about how it’s too much to do. I try to convince her just don’t do it anymore! It’s OK. There’s enough on your plate that you don’t have to bake for your street or just pare down to your favorite neighbors. But she keeps on baking.

Do you cut back on your charity time, your baking, your crafting, the holiday cards? What are the first things to go when you’re time starved at the holidays?

44 comments Add your comment

Augusta

December 7th, 2011
12:39 pm

I am incredibly organized and very efficient with my time. I start planning holiday festivities in October. I pull out the calendar and get it all organized.

Annual cookie party this Saturday.
Next weekend my neices and nephews are coming over for a movie marathon and will spend the night.

The following weekend we will have Christmas with my parents and siblings on Christmas Eve. We will have our own little family Christmas at our home on Sunday, just us and the kids, then hit the in-laws on Monday. Three full days of Christmas with various family members. All live close by, so we don’t have to travel, and on Monday, we should be home by 3:00 to enjoy what’s left of the day.

I’m taking the entire week after Christmas off to stay home, enjoy the holidays and my kids….

We will take Christmas down on New Years Day.
I started my shopping back in July and this weekend I’ll dash out to get 3 more presents to complete all the shopping.

My daughters and I like to wrap all the presents at one time, while watching A Christmas Story. We will do that on the 21st….

Me

December 7th, 2011
12:41 pm

I don’t think my wife cuts out anything — just seems that my “to-do” list gets longer…

YellsBells&Smells

December 7th, 2011
1:09 pm

All in favor of Augusta being summarily executed say “Aye”. ;-)

Pressure's on....

December 7th, 2011
1:09 pm

I will NEVER understand why people get stressed out at the holidays. You have all year to prepare for this, Christmas comes the same time every year.

Do you stress out like this during Easter? Valentine’s Day? Why Christmas? Is it because two major holidays are within 40 days of each other?

Grab a calendar and start planning for next year. If the stress is just too much, then take a freaking vacation during Christmas. That is exactly what I do. I get out of town and go someplace warm…Usually Hawaii…..

E Harmony keeps matching me with fat chicks

December 7th, 2011
1:33 pm

I cut out the holidays. I find it amusing and absurd that as a race, we all feel compelled to do what is told, then complain about nearly aspect of it. Just don’t do it…..I know I don’t.

Becky

December 7th, 2011
1:47 pm

I do what I can and if something doesn’t get done, oh well..Of course, I don’t do any crafting and very little baking for the holidays..I send out cards and mailed my first batch on Mon. after Thanksgiving..

I Christmas shop all year long, so by this time, I have very few things left to buy..You just have to stop worrying so much..Like Pressure’s on said, Christmas comes at the same time every year..

K's mom

December 7th, 2011
1:53 pm

my comment got lost…oh well…

Augusta

December 7th, 2011
1:58 pm

They arrested that scum bag who killed that little girl in Canton.

20 year old maintenance worker, worked at the complex. I hope they hang him. Quickly. So he can rot in hell!..

Luther

December 7th, 2011
2:02 pm

jarvis

December 7th, 2011
2:12 pm

Mash Temp 155

December 7th, 2011
2:17 pm

You’re in need of therapy Jarvis.

K's mom

December 7th, 2011
2:26 pm

I will try it again…I am with Augusta, if you stay organized there is no need to stress and no need to tell everyone in the world how stressed you are. I wish folks would figure out that sucks the joy out of the holidays for others.

I think is stinks for this woman’s other children that they are not getting wrapped gifts and they will be doled out by sharpie. If you choose to have more than one kid, you choose to plan well enough so that the older ones are taken care of too and that includes Christmas. I threw a b-day party for my stepdaughter when my son was 3 weeks old and I will throw one for my son when our baby is 3 weeks old. Guess what I found I was pregnant on August 30th, so that gave me about 8 months to get in gear and get the b-day party done before I leave for the hospital, with the exception of grocery shopping. It is not hard folks. And I do not claim to be super mom, but I do not want to short one kid because of my decision to have another child.

One thing i do not do at the holidays is bake. I hate to do it, so I let Mrs. Publix take care of that for me. I enjoy wrapping, christmas cards, parties etc and so I do those things and leave the baking to someone else.

And if anyone want to add me to the execution list, so be it, but I am sick of this attitude of feel sorry for me because of my poor planning!

Mysterious Poster

December 7th, 2011
2:31 pm

Here’s what I found on his facebook….

“About Ryan Hello! I’m Ryan I live in Canton GA I have a wonderful Life/Family/Friends.Im very outgoing not shy at all so if ya wanna get to no me hit me up. :-)

——————————————————————————–

Interested In Women

——————————————————————————–

Relationship Status Single

——————————————————————————–

Sex Male”

Luther

December 7th, 2011
2:36 pm

Enter your comments here

Luther

December 7th, 2011
2:37 pm

Yeah……Reading his info on Facebook, he doesn’t seem real bright. The “If you want to get to no me” remark says it all.

Augusta

December 7th, 2011
2:51 pm

I wanted to “message” the bat rastard on his FB. But no need, I’m sure someone will take care of him in prison. At least his life will be shortened. I hope he dies a L O N G, violent, painful death. And I’m not usually like that, but ANYONE who harms a baby……let alone kills them…Well I just think we should take him out back and shoot him right now. No need to wait 5 years for a trial, just take him out of our misery…….Then again, what goes around comes around and he will get his. Karma, it’s a beyotch….

The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan

December 7th, 2011
2:56 pm

I blame his parents. I bet they were too busy during the holidays.

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
3:02 pm

The holidays are a SNAP compared to my regular life. I can put my suitcase away and act “normal”.

I can actually watch TV, eat a casual dinner, meet friends and drive around to look at lights with my husband. I am on the fence with cards this year. I have received 2 so far. Last year I got less than 20. I write a family letter ( go ahead and groan) and the years I have not written one, I get inquiries from folks who ask if everything is o.k. as they missed my letter. I enjoy getting the letters from other folks but that is just me. I despise a regular card simply signed THE WHITE FAMILY…with nothing else. I love the photo cards but that did not happen here with 4 adults, 3 residences, 4 jobs and 2 in college.

I am going to finish my shopping by the weekend. I took a friend to dinner and a play last week,other friends out to dinner on Saturday and our daughter joined us from college as she knows them, we went to a school play on M for our neighbor, out to dinner with friends tomorrow, a play with my sister on Fr and so on. I love taking time to visit with friends and neighbors whose company I enjoy.

We heard an interesting sermon at church last week, it was about circumstances or consequences. While many folks say their life is rough as their circumstances are difficult, it is often more about the consequences of not preparing and used the verse of sowing and reaping. The preacher said, “if you sow carrots you will not harvest beans!” If you let things slide to the last minute, you will not be calm and relaxed. FYI…you do not have to agree with it or listen but it is the way it is. I lived on a farm and if you dilly dally around you cannot get caught up. No fun for you!

I am pretty organized with most things and make a good effort with others but there are things I just let go, as it it too much on my plate and then I get really cranky! WE use a lot of RECYCLED gift bags as it is easier to pop something in a bag with fresh tissue plus less waste. We throw the ones out that look bad but the ones that are still nice go into the WRAPPING PAPER ROOM which is really the cubby under the stairs in our basement. They were going to box it in but I asked for a door and not it is storage.

I bought pumpkin pie at Costco Sister Shubert’s rolls and did not bake for Thanksgiving. I am not baking pies for $6. In my youth, I picked blackberries or gooseberries myself and made pies from scratch. I also made homemade bread from scratch and sewed almost all of my own clothes ( this IS true). No more! There are other things I would simply rather do than cook and clean.

mailings....

December 7th, 2011
3:11 pm

MJG – you could just have your receipants read this blog every day. They would be all caught up on your life, all 50 states you’ve been in, how long you’ve been on the sidewalk, where your kids are each and every day, and how responsible they are on their own. Your friends fail in comparasion to your super Mom/wife/educator skills. I’m sure they are all looking forward to YOUR letter.

We have friends who have written to my parents every year for the last 30 years. Every yearly letter is a 4 page rant on how wonderful their daughter is. The best letter, was the one about 20 years ago, when they decided to tell everyone in this yearly letter, that their daughter was a lesbian. The following year the letter was all about her relationship with her girlfriend. Next year, how they broke up, etc……Blah, blah blah……We call their letters the Yearly Jessica Update.

NO ONE CARES!!!!!

jarvis

December 7th, 2011
3:19 pm

@Mash, you don’t know the half of it.

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
3:36 pm

I knew someone would complain. There you have it.

The old saying, “birds of a feather flock together…” applies to me. We do have friends who have kids the same age as ours and many of them have children with wonderful accomplishments. Far better than anything my two have come up with. A friend of my son’s was a national finalist for the ATT scholarship and he is in law school. I believe I have mentioned a neighbor’s son who had a PERFECT SAT. We also have several on our street who were Valedictorian or Salutatorian ( again NOT my two) . All amazing kids and super parents… I am proud for them. One neighbor has two kids in GA Tech and that is no small feat! Our other neighbor’s son was the star role in the elementary play and we went on Monday to see it. He is a GREAT kid and we enjoyed the play.

I stay in touch with lots of people who enjoy my letters as I enjoy theirs. It is a great thing to have kids who have worked hard and are attaining their goals. We are close with lots of people who have outstanding kids and their accomplishments amaze me!

Some here might remember the story I shared earlier about the little girl with the friend in her class that had 2 outfits because she was taken out of a meth home and moved into foster care. That little girl had a remarkably big heart and I was so proud of her when we ( as a group of teachers I was working with) were able to contribute to some new clothes for her classmate. That family sends me their Christmas letter and they live over 1000 miles away. I enjoy reading it!

There is lots about my life that you would only know if you knew me personally. Luckily, I have had the honor of hanging out with some here who DO care to spend some time with me. Again, “birds of a feather flock together”. Not everyone is interested in my life nor me in theirs but this is not a members only blog and thus we can skip over the posts we do not care for. Just sayin…

Me

December 7th, 2011
3:41 pm

mailings....

December 7th, 2011
3:44 pm

We may not be interested, but that doesn’t stop you from telling us…..

Shannon W.

December 7th, 2011
3:50 pm

The cards. My oldest kid is 8 and I haven’t sent cards in 7 years. I have never done Christmas crafts. I enjoy baking cookies so I always manage a few batches but not nearly as many as before I had kids. The level of decorating inside the house depends on the time available but the tree will always get done. I like to cook something special for Christmas morning breakfast and for dessert after mass on Christmas Eve but those get scrapped if I’m pressed for time. Santa has never wrapped presents in our home so that is a big time saver.

Anj

December 7th, 2011
3:59 pm

Let’s see. I stink at shopping, so I chip in on “big” gifts for others.
Baking is generally done communally on Black Friday, so “we” do it then and “I” don’t have to do it all by myself.
Decorating is done mostly by the children. If they want to decorate, we decorate. Of course, they have to do a lot of the work.
Wrapping is easy. Mom keeps a stash of gift bags for the frugal and lazy and wrapping paper for the frugal. We take the gifts unwrapped and bag them there. After the gifts are unwrapped/debagged – the gift bags are stored for next Christmas.
Since we have a small car, it’s also easier to let someone else do the shopping and hauling and simply donate cash.

..whatever I have the time, energy and motivation for. Real stress comes from doing something you don’t have the time, energy or talent for – but feel you MUST do anyhow.

mom2alex&max

December 7th, 2011
3:59 pm

Nah I don’t stress at Christmas. I love everything about it. I don’t do anything I don’t want to or enjoy doing. I don’t bake because I suck at it. I don’t do Xmas cards because no one cares that my two children are the most brilliant minds of their generation or that I traveled to Haiti to build orphanages.

I enjoy seeing my friends and family, I enjoy shopping and wrapping gifts, I enjoy cooking holiday meals, parties, and taking my children ice skating and the light show at Lake Lanier.

The only thing I hate doing is my husband’s Christmas party. And this year I am not going because I can’t find a babysitter. That’s technically true because I haven’t looked for one either!

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
4:00 pm

@ Me :) back at you! Thanks!

Contributing to the discussion ( no matter what the topic) and only complaining ( about other posters) are two different birds that do not seek each other out IMHO.

HB

December 7th, 2011
4:03 pm

My friends and family are spread out across the country, so sending cards is really important to me. I tend to shrink each task a bit to save time rather than cut any one thing entirely. My card list is shortened some years to only out-of-town folks I won’t see during the holidays, medium tins of cookies are given out instead of large to save a batch or two of baking, gift bags are picked up at the last minute to save time on wrapping…those little things can add up to a lot of time saved if I find myself getting stretched too thin. I try to plan ahead, but things sometimes pop up ans throw off my schedule, so I try to build in flexibility. As soon as the holidays start to feel stressful rather than fun, I trim back a bit.

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
4:04 pm

@momtoalexandmax…I want to meet your children…I love children with brilliant minds…there are not many around any more. Glad you have them and congrats!

I forgot that we have a new tradition here…we make a HUGE Christmas Eve dinner and then eat off of it for the next several days. There are 5 of us and we have at least 15 different options. Then, we hang out and play games. We like it!

The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan

December 7th, 2011
4:14 pm

@ MJG

If you knew someone would complain, then why post it?

Before you answer, just remember all of your snide remarks in the past to other posters you disagree with…….

LM

December 7th, 2011
4:48 pm

I used to get into the holidays, loved to decorate the house, yard, roof and tree. I was the queen of being organized

When I became a single mom, yeah I knew it was coming around every year, but work, the childs busy schedule, family and life can get in the way of being orginized.

This is the first Christmas in years I am not feeling as if I am fighting to get things done. I’d love to do more, bake and host parties, but our house is so tiny we can’t even have full sized funiture and the countertop in the kitchen makes everyday food prep difficult.

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
4:53 pm

@ REV…I meant that I knew someone would complain about the letters in general, not specifically mine. TWG asked what we are cutting out and this is something that I am considering: no cards or letters via the postal mail. I can send some via e-mail. We have had this discussion here before. To each his own. I thought I was making a contribution to the topic.

This is kind of me not liking to receive home baked goods as gifts from those I do not know well. It stems back to when I was teaching school. Some here are fine with any baked goods…I am not really interested. That is just me. I really do not like to receive home made baked goods from anyone, even family. This could be due to the fact that I am more of a salty than sweet person.
I was at the bank yesterday and one of the ladies asked me to try some of her cookies. I like her a lot but I really did not want to. I did end up eating one, so I did not appear rude. I do not disagree with baked goods, I just do not care for them. This from someone whose mother literally made thousands of cookies each Christmas. Maybe that is it…another bad memory from my childhood :>/.

On the other hand, I loved getting ornaments and still have many on my tree from over 20 years ago. Not all teachers like ornaments but I do and I enjoy the memories of the child attached to the ornament, for the most part!

Razz

December 7th, 2011
5:07 pm

MJG why is your mother baking a thousand cookies each Christmas a bad memory? not trying to be rude like some past posters…just wondering, most children would love that?

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
5:35 pm

@ Razz…because she gave all the cookies away to everyone else and we were not allowed to touch anything. The ones we did get to eat were carefully rationed out. She was always about baking and putting on a show for others and never about making memories with us. I have no memories of her ever saying to me, ” I am so proud of you and lucky that you are my daughter!” This is something I make certain my two hear! I text them I LOVE YOU.

She had dozens of tins of cookies that were proudly passed out to others. When she died, the freezer was full of stuff that had been there for no telling how long. My sisters and I try not to carry the awful memories of our childhood, into our own lives. Some things just stick with you I guess.

I have shared this before but one of the funniest memories I have was when we lived on the farm and sometimes wore overalls. We were having family friends over for Christmas dinner and eating in our dining room. My Mom insisted that we get dressed up as it was a holiday. We may have worn skirts I am pretty sure were cranky about it. Our friends arrived with their girls, who were close to our age. They walked into our house wearing brand new overalls. “Look what we got for Christmas…our Mom said we could wear them!” HILLARIOUS! Yes, THEY got to eat in the dining room in overalls! Not much she could do. I also remember their Mom telling our Mom not to be so hard on us…that did not fly over well.

Hedda

December 7th, 2011
9:03 pm

MJG…just stop. Seriously. You are, hands down, the most annoying person on this blog.

Ally

December 7th, 2011
9:51 pm

Oh, leave MJG alone. She’s fine.

I always do Christmas cards, but that’s because I like receiving them (and they are photo cards). I always decorate. I mostly do a gingerbread house that the kids decorate (for some reason, I didn’t have time last year). We always visit Santa and ride the Pink Pig. We have gone to Callaway Gardens once and enjoyed it, but have not had time to make it a yearly tradition. I don’t mind baking (not exactly enjoyable to me, but I’ll do it), but no one eats the results except for me, so I stopped because I was the only one getting fat. I might do that this year. I always pull out the Christmas books. We always have a shelf elf. We love advent calendars and have another tree to add an ornament to daily, so each child has something to do.

My only comment about how being organized and efficient will enable you to do anything you want is that: while I agree with the concept, it rarely works out that way. For example, this year my 8 yo just broke her foot, so I’ve spent the past couple of days in doctor’s appts and that blew my “efficient” schedule to heck. Plus, this year I’m involved with new things at school that I wasn’t involved with last year, and that sucks up a lot of my time that I had last year. Being involved in these things are much more important to me and my children than baking cookies. Trust me, they have many other fond holiday memories that don’t involve flour, butter and sugar.

p.s. I have ALWAYS written the name on the wrapping paper in Sharpie. Tags are annoying and boring. My kids LOVE searching for the name, which I hide in the pattern on the wrapping paper. It’s part of the fun of unwrapping and one of our favorite rituals!

motherjanegoose

December 7th, 2011
11:26 pm

@ Hedda…glad to have you…looking forward to YOUR interesting contributions! I have not seen you here before. Maybe I missed it! I guess I can safely say that we are not birds of a feather, nor will we be meeting for lunch. No problem.

Becky

December 8th, 2011
9:19 am

@Ally..Love your p.s. note..I also write names on my gifts in either Sharpie markers or glitter ink..The kids love it…Of course, I wrap (sometimes) in brown bag paper draw all over it..I have also cut letters out and glued names on gifts..Seriously, all of the wrapping gets trashed anyway, so why pay big bucks just to have it thrown away..

Figment

December 8th, 2011
10:03 am

Really people, it’s not that hard to skip MJG’s posts if you don’t want to read them. No need for the attitudes.

I’m horribly unorganized outside of work so I usually never get things done like letters and such. I do good to get all the present taken care of and keeping the house kept up with. No plans yet on where the family is gathering for Christmas. My mom works a lot so we just have to fit it in around her schedule.

oneofeach4me

December 8th, 2011
11:02 am

“Real stress comes from doing something you don’t have the time, energy or talent for – but feel you MUST do anyhow.”

I agree with Anj. I do what I can, no more no less (and I can do more than most). If I feel like I am getting stressed, I will quickly pour me up a Jack & Diet Coke and sit my behind down and relax. My kids would rather see me happy and relaxed than to have a thousand cookies. Of course, they do ask for at least a dozen for themselves! ;-)

benita wheeler

December 8th, 2011
1:56 pm

xmas starts in summer because i like to enjoy it without the pressure. i like to create a moment and focus on charity.
so this year, it is thomas but we will be branching out to spider man.
anyway, i want to create a party vibe. great music, a banner, glow sticks, and board games for my son. a all day eating buffet.
yes, i will be running in place the next day.

Jessica Brand

December 8th, 2011
2:40 pm

Cards are definitely out. To date, I have only received 2, so I imagine I’m not the only one. It’s nice to get them, but they end up in the garbage.

Jennifer

December 8th, 2011
2:45 pm

I just cut out cleaning. My apartment is messy but festive!

JOD

December 8th, 2011
4:00 pm

Based on the comments here, I wonder if I should give up on Christmas cards. I used to send a ton (mostly because Hubs’ family is huge and he got bent out of shape if I left anyone out), but have whittled it down the last few years. I was just planning to send store-bought (not photo cards), but they all have handwritten messages in them. Hmm. Maybe no one appreciates them?

I haven’t had to cut anything out due to time or stress, but I have lists and a schedule so I spread everything out over a couple of weeks (or days for cooking). I really enjoy making a big production of Christmas – our house is full of family, and I like that.

I think it was another blog, but I completely agree about the 3-day rule for houseguests. Doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s friends or family, by the end of the 3rd day I’m ready for whoever it is to go home! :o)