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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Paty Jager


Click here and tell us when Paty writes her holiday letter for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Holiday Frenzy

At this time of year it seems like the days are literally shorter, not just the daylight. Candy and cookies to make, not to mention the infamous fruitcake if that’s one of your family traditions. Buying and wrapping presents, decorating… It all seems to cause more anxiety than what the holiday originated from.

I’ve found that by prioritizing what needs to get done and tackling the major things first I can find the time to relax, enjoy a good book or short story about the holidays. I also listen to upbeat Christmas music while I’m tackling the holiday tasks.

I like to make gingerbread people for all my immediate family members. Before our kids were married it included my brothers’ and my husband’s sister’s families. Now it’s my children, their spouses, and the grandkids, plus the great grandparents. This is one of the first things I tackle because I hang them on the tree. They are part of my ornaments. For the families that can’t be here, I put their cookies together for a photo and send it to them.

Baking is done in the evenings while I’m watching TV. (My kitchen opens into the living room) The holiday letter is written in November so I can get it out early. Cards to friends go out the middle of the month. (both mailed and e-cards).

Decorating happens from Thanksgiving on. I pull a box of decorations out and put them up as I feel like it. When that box is done, I pull out another one. The process of decorating is ongoing through out the month of December. After all, the only ones who see it until the actual holiday season are my husband and I.

Gifts—I pick those up starting in October and go until the first of December. I keep a list of what I’ve purchased and who gets what so I can keep an even amount among the grandchildren and make sure the adult kids are happy, too.  I could save myself time, money and effort by sending gift cards to the families in Alaska but then I couldn’t give each of them my own special love. I always try and make something for the grandkids. My mom has been gone for twenty years, but my girls still have pillows and dolls she made for them. 

Now that I have my list and know when to do what, I can sit back, listen to Christmas carols and make the bookmarks for my newest release- Bridled Hearts.

How about you-Are the holidays a time to enjoy family or a time of anxiety and frenzy?

Award winning author Paty Jager has seven books published with The Wild Rose Press. Her first contemporary western received the EPPIE award and her second has been released and is available for purchase here.  Paty not only writes the western lifestyle she lives it. She and her husband of 32 years have 160 acres they ranch when not chasing around visiting grandchildren.

20 comments:

marybelle said...

I find if I am organised I enjoy the preparations so much more.

marypres@gmail.com

Linda Swift said...

You sound very well organized, Pati. And managing your time so well must give you extra time to enjoy the holidays. We could all take a lesson from this blog, I think.
Happy holidays, Linda

Paty Jager said...

I agree, Marybelle.

Thanks Linda. We laugh all the time about how organized our oldest daughter is, but I think a little of it came from me. LOL If I don't have a set schedule in my mind I just spin in circles and accomplish nothing. But when I have a list of things to do, I feel like I accomplish much.

Robin Covington said...

Paty: I start early (September) with gift shopping, cards etc. Then, when it rolls around, I'm able to relax. I did the crazy thing for a while but with two small kids and a full-time job and a husband and an aspiring writing career - I need to start early! : )

Paty Jager said...

Robin, That's when I started the early routine, when I had kids at home. But it also helps to keep the routine now that I'm also writing and you never know when a deadline can fall during the holidays. Also by buying gifts early you spread the cost out over a length of time rather than crashing the bank balance all at one time.

Kathy Otten said...

I always start out organized for the holidays then somehow it starts to unravel. This year my job sent out my yearly bonus (which is my Christmas money) three weeks late. Then we got 73 inches of snow in six days combined with high winds. No one could go anywhere. My schedule devolved from there until I was staying up until two am everyday the week of Christmas.
BTW I love your new cover. :) Can't wait to read it!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Kathy!
That would put a kink in the works with so much going wrong! I'm glad you survived. Thanks! I like this cover, too.

Estela NW said...

Wow Paty! Love your time line... I may have to follow it next year :o) I tend to be a little organized and I usually have a plan of action, but this holiday season kinda tapped me on the shoulder screaming, "SURPRISE! I'm here!" I just had enough time to host Thanksgiving dinner, decorate the house for our annual BYOO (Bring Your Own Ornament) Christmas party... then I fizzled and ran out of steam. So I didn't get a chance to buy anyone Christmas presents... SO everyone is getting New Year's gifts instead... hahaha!! I think I'll make that a tradition :o)

Paty Jager said...

Estela, Good to see you! Actually my husband thought we should postpone our Christmas until after the New Year and then we could buy everything on sale! Guess who pinches the pennies in our household?
There are some years when holidays do sneak up on you.

Estela NW said...

Hahaha Paty... I didn't even think of all the sales after the holidays!! Your husband is BRILLIANT!!! ;o) Hahaha.... and thus a new tradition is formed in my household. Everyone will get a "Merry Happy Christmas New Years" gift from me around January 5th!

Christine Young said...

I truly wish I could be as organized as you are. I find even though I have been knitting or doing needle work for everyone, I still have things to buy and end up shopping that last week. Lukily my husband is great in the kitchen. Since retirement 8 years ago he does most of the holiday baking. I'm only left with the cinamon rolls and fruit salad for Christmas breakfast. Happy holidays everyone.

M Pax said...

Yaay on the new release, Paty! All success and best wishes. :D

Paty Jager said...

Chris, When do you find time to do the knitting and needle work? I wish my husband cooked anything. LOL

Paty Jager said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks!

Patricia Preston said...

The holidays are very low-key since I don't have any family nearby. I just enjoy having the day off from work.

Paty Jager said...

Patricia, Low-key sounds like mine after we did the big Christmas thing on the 23rd this year.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Getting to this blog a day late describes my holiday planning this year. I USED to write my Christmas Letter the day after Thanksgiving. This year, we got it done on the 21st and DH and I stayed up until midnight on the 22nd getting everything stamped and addressed. With the kids both staying on the East Coast this year, we did the escape the house holiday and spent five days on the central California coast. It was heaven. No decorating, or worse un-decorating. I highly recommend it.:)

Paty Jager said...

Maggie, that was us last year. Only we went to our daughter's for Christmas and let her decorate and undecorate. ;)

Sherry Gloag said...

I do strive for organised, but somewhere along the line it all disintergates.
I love you book cover pic.
Happy new year.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Sherry!