Monday, November 26, 2007

Making a List . . .

Checking it twice. . . goodness, I love that song. It's traditional and filled with simple childhood joys. It's everything I want my holidays to be, and everything holidays now so often are not.

My LIST right now does not consist of gifts, although I have one of those, too. The LIST that I most enjoyed putting together this weekend consists of all the activities I want to do; the type of things that sneak up on me and get swallowed up by all the little daily necessities. I want to really enjoy this month, and that takes some compulsive list-making on my part. :)

So far I have:
1) Watch the "Charlie Brown Christmas" (I always seem to miss it!)
2) Put Nat King Cole and Dean Martin Christmas music in the truck, along with Alvin and the Chipmunks! Makes all my daytime driving fly by.
3) Watch the "White House 2007" decorating special on HGTV
4) Gather supplies for gingerbread houses and gumdrop trees.
5) Make time in the next five weeks for movie nights! We don't go very often, but there are a bunch of good ones (The Golden Compass, The Water Horse, National Treasure II) coming. Oh, and Enchanted? Fabulous!
6) Take the children shopping for the angel tree at Wal-Mart, where they pick out new toys for children and teens.
7) Only pull out the decorating essentials (there are, after all, three new and quite manic kittens in the house.)
8) Take my parents to dinner at a beautiful restaurant, full of antiques, which will be decorated with at least half a dozen Christmas trees (even a Barbie tree!) Next Sunday, check!
9) Finish buying the gift cards everyone asks for and add a little something baked, so I feel like they've actually given them something . . .

Tonight starts it all! It's our annual town Christmas parade. One daughter playing in the band, one daughter marching and carrying a banner, and the youngest drinking hot chocolate with us and enjoying the dazzling lights. Our small downtown decorates their store windows beautifully, so it will be so much fun!

What's on your list? What should I add to mine, in order to make this holiday fabulous, instead of frantic?


Alice Audrey said...

Oh Lord, it's Christmas already? I'm still reeling from Thanksgiving.

Actually, looking at all the snow outside my window I can believe it.

Next weekend we put up the lights and the tree. Then it's time for the gingerbread cookies. Got the office party coming up and I better have something for my boss by then. Oh boy.

Maggie Robinson said...

Each year I do less and less, and I recommend you do the same *g*. We'll have the family over for a Christmas Eve graze, all appetizers, then go to one daughter's Christmas Day. I have Christmas cards all bought from sales last year, but will send out very few. Maybe just a tabletop tree, since I'm loaning my ornaments/lights to above daughter. She's a new mom in her new house and needs all the sparkly stuff I can give her! We're not really exchanging presents this year either. We all have most everything we need---each other.

Anonymous said...

This tops my list: :0)

Grab two cups of hot chocolate for the dh and me. Snuggle up on the couch in front of the fireplace. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" for the bizillionth time, and remember "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."

Happy holidays!

Lenora Bell said...

Wow, that's quite a list. I haven't even thought about Christmas yet, except to buy my airline tickets to California to spend it with my BF's family. I think instead of telling you what to add, I'll steal a few items from your list, like the Nat King Cole and Dean Martin mix and the gingerbread house supplies. Sounds fun!

Gillian Layne said...

Alice, you have snow?? I miss snow, it's such a hit or miss thing here.

Less is More, right Maggie? ;) Actually, with that new baby in your family, you guys will have a magical holiday season.

Ah, Maura--that sounds wonderful! I need to put "quiet time w/hubby" on my list!

Hi Lenora! I'd say if you've got travel plans made then you've taken care of the biggest headache.

And our gingerbread houses are fun, even if we only make them from graham crackers. If you use a small box to glue them to for stability, they even last a couple of weeks!

Terry Stone said...

Gillian, you are too organized! I just go pell-mell into the season, knowing I forgot something right up until Christmas Eve. I need to start making lists and checking them twice.

We do the gingerbread house, but I am afraid mine always looks more like a Halloween decoration that Christmas! But the kids enjoy it, and I'll be sure to steal your idea of a small box for stability.

Gillian Layne said...

Terry Jo! (hugs)

You should see my sister-in-laws' gingerbread house. She makes in occasionally with my middle daughter (who also cooks beautifully). Real gingerbread, molds, the works. They are so pretty.

Mine usually consist of a store-bought kit or graham crackers, along with my little trusty boxes to icing-glue the sides to. I mean well, but they do look funny. The process is a ball, however :)

doglady said...

You are entirely too clever and organized for me, my friend!! Now that we have our Golden Heart entries in the mail, we have no choice but to jump into Christmas,do we? I would suggest you be sure and take some time for YOU! And of course take some time to write! I will finally drag out the ornaments, decide which theme to go with (I have several) and get to it! Still have a little shopping to do and Christmas cards to get out. I just want to survive Christmas at Wal-Mart again. And like you, I really miss SNOW!

Gillian Layne said...

The thought of anyone accusing me of being organized would send my husband into hysterics, dear Louisa! :)

I'm thinking special thoughts for you this holiday season for work; I know Christmas here at our Wal-Mart is non-stop, and I'm only viewing it from the perspective of an overwhelmed shopper.

But yahoo! We've entered now for the first time, so it never has to be the first time again! :)

India Carolina said...

Unfortunately, cleaning my house tops the tip top of my list.

But then there's visiting my son pre-christmas so it's just our time (we missed Thanksgiving while he was climbing a mountain). That ticket is bought and Colorado will be so much snowier than Arizona. Check!

And I do hope to see Leigh (from fanlit) and her new baby when I'm in Colorado (She lives in the same town as my son).

Then there's decorating the house and tree when the kids finally arrive, and joy, a day off two days AFTER Christmas (I'm on call Christmas day).

One year I was at the hospital on Christmas day and a priest came around and offered to bless everyone's hands. Although I'm not Catholic, it was a lovely thing to have my hands blessed. Maybe that will happen again this year.

Happy Holidays, Gillian!

Gillian Layne said...

And happy holidays to you, India!

The thought of someone blessing your hands is truly beautiful, for both of your occupations.

Tessa Dare said...

Wow - I want a Gillian Christmas! Sounds wonderful.

I'm always happy if we manage to get a tree up and a few presents bought. My kids are really enthralled by all the Christmas lights around the neighborhood... maybe we'll actually put some up this year!

Gillian Layne said...

Tessa, that's so nice, thanks!

Usually it's the whole "one Christmas for my side of the family, one for his side of the family, and our own small Xmas on Christmas morning" that kind of gets overwhelming....:)