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Monday, November 3, 2014

Scheduling Christmas

There is so much to see and do at Christmas and I don't want to miss a thing!  Every year I try to get my family to make their plans so I can be sure to avoid any conflicts with family events, but boy, sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get everyone to commit!  Last year I missed out on opportunities because my family procrastinated in making that decision.  This year, I blocked out the last two weekends and told my family they could have us for one of those.  Then I went ahead and scheduled all the events around those two weekends.  I am happy to say that my family has scheduled their holiday on one of those two weekends and now I have another weekend I can plan!

One of last year's events
How do you go about getting your extended families to plan for the holidays?  I am always looking for ideas!

At both sides of the family for last year, instead of exchanging gifts, we did a stocking stuffer exchange.  We bought guy gifts and gal gifts and kid gifts, stuffed the stockings and had fun unwrapping the gifts!  We still bought gifts for the little ones.  So much fun!  We didn't set a limit, but most of the gifts were under $5.  We got ink pens, sharpies, bubble bath, candy, ornaments, barrettes, earrings, hand lotion, and nail files.  The guys got batteries, flashlights, socks, flash drives, hand lotion, hand sanitizer and other goodies.  We brought our own stockings and brought them back home again. 

Stockings are stuffed and ready to open!
What are your go-to events?  Our neighborhood has a tree lighting ceremony, a homes tour and a craft show.  Those are musts.  Then our larger, neighboring city has a bunch of concerts to choose from.  This year we are seeing Trans Siberian Orchestra (new show!), Manheim Steamroller and Straight No Chaser.  The local college puts on a play and this year it is A Christmas Carol.  My PEO, DAR and DKG chapters all have Christmas parties.  There are always a few one-of-a-kind events that occur, this year it is at the library, Jan Brett is coming to discuss her new holiday book! The Polar Express is coming to town, as well.  A train will take travelers to the North Pole while hearing the story, eating cookies and driving hot cocoa.  I convinced my 29 year old daughter that she needed to do this with me.  We will wear our pajamas on board, too!   My friends from out of town have chosen my new town as their shopping trip for the holidays so I will get to entertain my friends this year.  My husband's company will have a holiday meal.  It hasn't been decided yet, though.

Busy, busy, busy, but.... I still have time for reflection and the winter months will come along soon enough where I will stay home and hole up.  Time enough for winter activities later!

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