Does your Christmas season feel like a race?

The weeks leading up to Christmas feel like a sprint, and I’m in the final stretch!

I got all my cards sent. I have two more presents to order. I still need to pick up one present for Rose and stocking stuffers for the kids. I am still working on one teacher’s present but have the rest finished. I baked zitis for my carpool moms. But I still need to wrap presents for the church.

My goal is to have everything done by Friday so I can just enjoy being with the kids  — baking, sightseeing, taking in shows, building puzzles.  I don’t want to do anything but have family time the two weeks they are out of school.

Do the weeks leading up to Christmas feel like a race? Is that bad? How can if feel more paced instead of a sprint? Do you have a drop-dead done date?

35 comments Add your comment

Frothy Mom

December 16th, 2013
5:50 am

How about quit whining and just skip the holiday. Keep in mind it was once a pagan celebration and not the birth of a caucasian Jesus.

Sounds like a first world problem.

motherjanegoose

December 16th, 2013
7:24 am

I think we make it harder on ourselves when we pack in too much. I am guilty too. I am down to stocking stuffers. I have not done cards …yet. I have received about 8. Do people do them much anymore? We have enjoyed going out with together with friends….three times last week. Not something we usually do.

Mother of 2

December 16th, 2013
7:46 am

My kids are older than yours are, so I think it’s easier for me. We keep Christmas magical, regardless of the ages of my children. It’s no longer about having the house decorated perfectly. It’s about spending quality time together. My shopping was mostly done online. The gifts are almost all delivered and wrapped. Not having school parties really helps! But I do feel rushed in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The 2 weeks we’ll have off will be spent baking and cooking together. Playing games, doing puzzles, watching movies.

I didn’t do cards this year – it’s my first time! I will send out New Year cards instead so that my far away friends and relatives have a photo of my kids. I figure people will enjoy a late card.

Enjoy the spirit of the season with your family.

malleesmom

December 16th, 2013
7:52 am

I am not feeling exceptionally rushed this year but I could be in denial! I am waiting on one gift to arrive and need to get one more. We moved across the country during the holidays of 2011 so after that, the rest is a breeze. If we were still in GA, there would be a flurry of activity. Now that we live in MN, it all stopped.

motherjanegoose

December 16th, 2013
8:15 am

@malleesmom…I am trying to get back to MN and I would love to meet you, as you previously mentioned. I never received your contact from TWG. Hugs to you.

@ Mother…New Years Cards…now that is an idea!

Mayhem

December 16th, 2013
8:32 am

Once again you have over extended yourself.

We keep it very simple. We decorate the house the day after Thanksgiving. We send out cards the first week of December.

I got together with my girlfriends onSaturday, and we made ornaments. One day this week, some of us are going to the mall. We like to go down to Lenox at Christmas. That mall is beautiful.

We are making cookies and candies on Monday and distributing them to the neighbors. We make gift boxes with homemade candy, cookies, and throw in some clementines. All the neighbors gathered yesterday, we grilled steaks and watched the Falcons WIN…….

I’m finished with most of my shopping, other than stocking stuffers. Stocking stuffers are candy and DVDs……..

No stress, no drama!

FCM

December 16th, 2013
8:48 am

I just refuse to get worked up about it all…what gets done/bought will be…what doesn’t won’t. This may be because the last 2 years they had Christmas with their Dad. So I was able to do my shopping after Christmas. This year I started at Halloween and I have it done. Tree is up, lights are lit. Most of the Christmas/Winter Concerts are done…we do have church service Dec 22. They have a duet that day, one is singing with choir and the other playing her viola in service. We will do Christmas Eve as a family too. So all in all….no not running a race.

Kat

December 16th, 2013
9:30 am

Just returned from a brief vacation – very brief – and now I feel I’m behind on everything. Tree is up, stockings up (not filled, naturally). Usually, I buy gifts all December long. I’m hoping that by waiting, I will have fewer impulse buys, which drain the bank account.

justmy2cents

December 16th, 2013
9:55 am

I’m with Frothy Mom- I am not bothering with Xmas at all this year. No stockings, no presents, nada. That also means no stress. :) Happy Winter Solstice, the true reason for the season!

Becky

December 16th, 2013
10:06 am

No, not a race at all..Like others, I refuse to let it feel that way for me..I do Christmas shopping thru out the year, so I only have a few stocking stuffers to buy at this time..I don’t do a lot of baking as the kids aren’t allowed to take homemade goodies into anyone at school..The girl did all the presents for teachers Sat. No more concerts, so we are done..Theresa, take a deep breath and relax..

Patrick

December 16th, 2013
10:09 am

I tend to overdo myself year after year with the baking. I bake dozens upon dozens of cookies to give out to friends and coworkers. I have vowed that next year I may just do half of what I usually do, and only do one big tin for coworkers and have a small bag for home.

This year I baked a little over 400 cookies. Spent all this past weekend decorating all but maybe 50 of them. Will finish up tonight, then give out later this week. I put them all up in classic tins, and give them out. I have a friend buying three or four of them from me, but I think I’ll tell him that next year I’ll be doing a lot less.

What

December 16th, 2013
11:05 am

Enter your comments here

malleesmom

December 16th, 2013
11:25 am

@MJG – I sent details via ajc email and FB so hopefully you’ll get them. That would be fun.

missnadine

December 16th, 2013
11:34 am

I generally will not eat food from co-workers/neighbors. I don’t know how they keep their homes, how many pets they have, or if their kids are helping them (kids aren’t great at washing their hands). I will only eat from a restaurant if their health score is greater than 95.

Sk8ing Momma

December 16th, 2013
12:47 pm

Do the weeks leading up to Christmas feel like a race?
Nope! I’m go at my own easy peasy pace. I schedule to do things when I have time. I don’t squeeze too much in. In fact, I haven’t even put up our tree or decorations. We hope to get to them tonight. If not, we’ll get them up when we can/feel like it. :)

Thankfully, I don’t have a long shopping list. I think that contributes to me not feeling like I’m in a race.

How can it feel more paced instead of a sprint?
Make lists and pull out the calendar! I LOVE lists and can almost always accomplish things on my to do list in the time alloted. I think I’ve mastered the art of using lists because I’m not too ambitious. Time is finite; hence, I’m realistic in planning things I can get done in a day. Also, I’m an efficiency nazi — I plan my tasks/errands in so that I make the best use of my time, ex. I plan errands geographically, plan meals for the week, decide that I’m only going to the grocery store ONE during in a week (means I better have a thorough list!), go to the dry cleaners on the same day each week, etc.

Do you have a drop-dead done date?
No, not really. (Can you tell that I don’t allow holiday prep stress me out?!) If I did, I’d typically set a date 2-3 days before I want to have something accomplished. I don’t like waiting to the last minute for things that I HAVE to get done. I’m pretty laxed when it comes to “wants” and things I’d LIKE to get done…I get to them when I can/feel like it. Perspective matters. Is it *really* a big deal that I don’t have my Christmas tree up? Likewise, does it *really* matter if someone receives a “late” Christmas gift? No.

Here’s something that just happened yesterday: My 14.5yo is invited to a cookie swap tomorrow. I told her to set out her cookie ingredients last night in prep of preparing the batter this morning. She discovered that she was missing an ingredient. My response: You need to come up with Plan B. I’m not going to the store to get the missing ingredient. I’d told her a few days earlier to pull out her recipe to see if she had everything she needed, b/c I was not going to the store at the last minute. She missed my last run to the grocery store; hence, she had to find another recipe! Her lack of preparation did not create an emergency for me. :)

mom2alex&max

December 16th, 2013
12:57 pm

Not really. I just do what I do and what matter and the rest, whatever.

Honestly Theresa, I felt like I needed a nap after reading what’s on your to do list.

FCM

December 16th, 2013
1:06 pm

One more one how to have a paced not a sprint holiday: You have to let go of the OCD….You will probably not have a Norman Rockwell Christmas. That is ok most of the world won’t either. You cannot control how others will view the present, the food, the party etc….Just go with it. And ziti for the carpool moms? uh, ok. I give wine to the Moms….I buy a case of good (not great and not $2 buck chuck) at Trader Joe’s and give it to the various of age folks (not teachers b/c of school rules but we all know they should get wine or booze! for dealing with kids) through out the season.

A

December 16th, 2013
1:06 pm

Seriously, why are you baking ziti for carpool moms? You overextend yourself again and wonder why it feels like a race?

Gwinnett Mom

December 16th, 2013
1:19 pm

Fistof all Jesus was a christin so U no he was a white. Next X mas is abut the bith of Jesus and the celebation of Santa. U librals r tryin 2 ruin everthing!

jmb

December 16th, 2013
1:48 pm

Am I the only one so far behind? I have bought maybe 8 presents total and plan on doing it all this week and weekend. Am I stressed? Not really. I do this every year and it all seems to come together. I feel like I get the best sales right before Christmas every year so it’s become a tradition to wait. Also, all my kids/grandkids birthdays seem to fall from Sept to Dec with the last one being yesterday so now is when I typically start to tackle my shopping.

mom2alex&max

December 16th, 2013
2:12 pm

jmb: I used to belong on that boat and got pretty screwed this year. Went to Target to buy the kids’ presents and found the shelves picked clean. And I mean CLEAN. EMPTY. I was pretty mad.
So thanks to Amazon prime, now Amazon got all my Xmas money and the next time brick and mortars complain about people shopping at Amazon because they can’t compete with the prices, maybe they ought to rethink their inventory strategies.

Mayhem

December 16th, 2013
2:23 pm

I too shop all year long. We travel a good bit, so I’m always bringing something back for a Christmas present.

SEE

December 16th, 2013
2:57 pm

What stresses me out is all the gifts/parties/etc. for the schools. Just for my kids’ teachers, I will hand out 12 rounds of fudge and 7 bags of candied pecans (teachers, paras, gifted, speech…no one gets left out). I have bought and wrapped gifts for all my students and my para. I make fudge with my class every year, but this year I will be making it with two classes, so I need to buy all those ingredients. Of course, there are parties planned for my 2 elementary kids and my middle schooler in which we need to bring items (and buy a book gift for my K son to bring). Once school is out everything is a breeze. Every year I tell myself I’m going to cut back and not make items for the teachers, but every year I end up doing it anyway. That’s the biggest time killer. Six batches of fudge and three batches of candied pecans are no joke!

A

December 16th, 2013
3:32 pm

@SEE, as someone posted earlier, some people will not eat homemade treats for a variety of reasons, so maybe save yourself a bunch of time next year and buy gift cards. If I know the person well, then fine, but I will not buy baked goods from scouts and random groups doing fundraising because you just don’t know if everyone washed their hands, how clean their kitchen and utensils are, etc. Makes me shudder, actually!

FCM

December 16th, 2013
3:41 pm

@ jmb my dad always did his Christmas shopping on Dec 24th. No joke.

malleesmom

December 16th, 2013
4:12 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but I consider homemade gifts treasures. Someone took the time to share their treat with me. I “get” the cleanliness factor but honestly if one only knew how filthy commercial kitchens are…. Accept the gift and take it to a pot luck or event where it will be shared. I baked for my husband’s office. My youngest wanted to help. She washed her hands and wore a hairnet since she has long hair. I’m sure people at the office skipped the trays. That’s okay by me. I know others enjoyed it as well. JMO

SEE

December 16th, 2013
4:37 pm

I’ve had teachers ask me if I will be making the fudge (which is probably why I still do it). Any teacher that doesn’t like it can pass it on.

SEE

December 16th, 2013
4:40 pm

I brought a tray of fudge for teacher appreciate day. I was told that the fudge was the first thing to clear, so someone must like it.

aon

December 16th, 2013
4:46 pm

Losing the extra week to put up decorations has been stressful. I’m doing a lot of decorating only because we are hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas, if we were not doing this I would have only put up one tree. Anyway, decorations all up and I’ve just started my shopping. I’ve decided that the college kids are each getting 3 gifts to open on Christmas morning and that is all the gift giving we are going to do. The focus this year is going to be on spending time with family and friends.

Denise

December 16th, 2013
5:58 pm

I never thought about the “not eating from coworkers” thing as a cleanliness thing. I just don’t eat everybody’s cooking and there is nothing worse than having the cook watch you eat something that you think is gross. You can’t spit it out and you have to smile and say something nice. I always ask what is in something so I can pass something up and not have to have that “oh yuck” look. I guess I would pass up something if I knew it was a coworker that I knew had cats in the kitchen but shoot, my brother worked in a restaurant for 12 years and I have heard some of the stuff that goes on back in the kitchen. Hasn’t stopped me from eating out so I wouldn’t just NOT eat something homemade unless I had something particular to be concerned about.

My mom is having surgery on Wednesday (pray or send good thoughts please) so I won’t be getting any fudge for Christmas. I’m jealous of your kids’ teachers, SEE. :-)

usually lurking

December 16th, 2013
7:30 pm

@Denise – hope your Mom’s surgery goes well. We moved Dad from rehab to skilled nursing today – hoping he is able to handle leaving for a few hours on Christmas Day to be at home with family. This Christmas is going to be a lot different from previous years. Quite frankly, shopping, decorating, teachers’ gifts, and cards are not high on my list this year.

HB

December 16th, 2013
9:03 pm

SEE, a lot of teachers feel iffy about homemade goods, but clearly that’s not the case here, so keep on making your fudge. :) I bake a big tin of cookies for my office every year — they only lasted an hour in the kitchen the other day and 5 people asked for recipes, so I’ll keep baking too. On the other hand, there’s a woman in my mom’s neighborhood who puts a lot of effort into baking plates of cookies and delivering them to all the neighbors every Christmas Eve. It’s her special thing and she’s very proud of her tradition. They’re the absolute worst cookies I’ve ever had (honestly, we can’t figure out how she makes them so bad), and everyone dreads receiving them.

motherjanegoose

December 16th, 2013
9:43 pm

Not a big baker nor do I like to receive baked goods. Even if they are from close friends or relatives. I started baking when I was 14. I baked pies, cakes, yeast bread and cookies. Not much any more. I am not interested. I would much rather meet or take someone to lunch for a salad/soup and visit. That’s just me. Lucky that my daughter loves to cook and bake. I am thrilled she will do it.

Holden Caulfield

December 16th, 2013
11:26 pm

I have banned the commercialism… no Christmas Cards sent out, who cares…. no gifts to people who earn enough to buy their own stuff, after all, who remembers what someone bought you last year – its all junk at your expense. No gifts to teachers, no gifts to neighbors or car pool moms who won’t remember your name in 6 months – no way, baby! Spending money on people who won’t know your name in 6 months is just insane – and it hurts financially. I refuse to fall slave to the marketing people who manipulate Christmas.

If you stress yourself out, its your fault. Hear those jingle bells… they are telling you to buy mindless stuff to feed the beast of capitalism… show someone how much you care for them by spenidng money on them which they won’t remember in one month, all to celebrate the birth of Christ, the ultimate non-materialist.

Its just silly and stupid….. Go into debt…. Cheers! Or waste your savings on people that won’t remember you in a few weeks….

FCM

December 17th, 2013
11:28 am

OH I see nothing wrong with a bottle of wine or a starbucks card for Moms and teachers….just a small token. However, Holden you have a point considering she is moving to NY here soon.