Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Bustle needs to Hustle!

Ever have one of those years? Ever have one of those decades?

We are the people everyone usually envies this time of year. We have the tree up right after Thanksgiving, the house is decorated nicely, but not overly so, and by now we have at least three types of cookies resting in huge tins to keep them fresh for gift-giving. Ninety percent of the gifts are bought, and the only things I usually have left to buy are the stocking stuffers and maybe some new ornaments for the tree that were on sale.

But that was over ten years ago.

Year by year we've done things a day later, then two days, then a week, and now I'm not so happy to say that we just got our Christmas tree. Not that that's a bad thing- many people get their trees as late as Christmas Eve, but for us, this is way too late- two weeks, to be exact. We'd planned on getting the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving!

So far we have the lights on it, but that's all. the house still bears a lot of clutter to clear before we even decorate, and the boxes of decorations are stacked about the floor waiting eagerly for someone to open them up. But not yet. They'll have to wait a little longer.

There are no cookies made yet, but I have most of the ingredients bought. There is a list, and I don't mean Santa's. I love lists. Lists are the best things in the world for someone like me who forgets things a lot. Now if I can only find them, I'd be in good shape.

I have a list for cookies I want to make, a list of the chores that need to be done, and a list for the goody baskets I want to make. But the oven is still a cold hole in the wall, because I have yet to make a single batch. Why? Because my kitchen also needs some straightening up before I start!

I should hire a cleaning service, but they can't do what I really need them to do- which is get rid of my clutter. They have no clue as to what papers are important (like my daughter's drawing of a dragon sniffing flowers), and I'd be afraid these treasures would be thrown out. Of course any bill would be happily tossed, if just for the liberating effect; my husband pays them online anyway, so the paper parts are only needed for filing. I consider the recycle bin the biggest of my filing cabinets. At least that thing gets emptied once a week! So hiring someone is out. I just have to get it done myself, or get the kids to help me. I'm not sure which would be more detrimental to my health at this point.

Sorry about the rambling....Back to Christmas.

Most of the presents are bought, thank goodness! I still have a bit more to buy than I usually do, and there's even some Christmas sewing to finish up. The shopping should only take a single afternoon (I'm a fast shopper), and the sewing projects are fairly simple- I just need to dedicate the time (about three hours total), and I'll be done. But then there's the gift baskets to make for family and friends once the baking is done, and the house to decorate before the baking. And I have two weeks. Maybe a little more than that, but still, I'm almost panicking here! And I hate running late for anything!

Parties are another thing. I have two to attend that are family affairs (and family parties are usually mandatory), and one we're having ourselves- but ours is after Christmas but before the New Year. We've made it a tradition to have an open house a few days after Christmas, just to relax and chat with friends and family- and it isn't mandatory. That week is usually my busiest, because I go all out in making party food; Handmade pie crusts tucked into mini cupcake tins for mini quiches, pigs in a blanket, those ham wraps with the pickle and cream cheese filling- you name it, if it's down home snacks that don't require capers, I usually make it. But then I'm too tired to enjoy my company!

This year will be different. I hope.

This year I plan on making (ahead of time of course!), homemade breads, savory dips, cookies, pigs in a blanket (they can be made ahead and frozen for convenience), dessert breads, and homemade chicken bites that are good hot or at room temp, so I won't be cooking all day. Everything will be prepped beforehand, so when I see something running low I can just pop whatever it is in the oven when needed. No forks, no fancy china- just pretty plates and napkins and a large trash can for easy clean-up.


I just hope to have the house decluttered by then! If not, then a lot of my stuff will be draped in lovely Christmas fabric from my quilting stash. Either way I'll have it covered (forgive the pun!)

I hope your Christmas isn't as hectic as mine! Take time out for a nice hot cup of cocoa (or anything chocolate!), and take a deep sniff of that yummy rich goodness God made especially for women, smile, and relax. Even if it's for five minutes. Think of me and be glad you aren't me (if you have less to do), or be comforted in the fact that you aren't the only Christmas nutball on the planet (if you have as much or more to do!) Then drink (or eat) that chocolaty yum-yum and get back to work! :)


Vintage Whimsy Studio said...

Great post, as always! Will feature this on the Ruby site and blog with links back here ;o) Then if you want to be admin over there, you can post your stuff whenever you want to! Hugs, N

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