|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.|
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.
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.