This year I'm skipping Halloween and Thanksgiving and just starting Christmas now. I understand this may bug some people - those of you who scoff indignantly at the holiday catalogs arriving, at the Christmas stock already nudging Halloween out of store aisles. It probably would have bugged me too before I was The Mom but I honestly can't remember back that far.
I mean, obviously most people are thinking about gifts and who to get what, and how to budget the next few paychecks. Christmas card pictures must be ordered (or taken and ordered), letters written. Travel is arranged. Party invitations are starting to arrive. There are stocking stuffers to collect, meals to plan and packages to mail. Which is EXACTLY why I'm starting now. Because last year, despite best efforts, I woke December 26 a little disappointed. The Christmas season, and especially that week, had been a little too busy, and not meaningful enough for my taste. So I'm trying to pace myself - get a lot of the To-Do's done in November, keep the December calendar a little more open, and seek traditions to test drive. I'm a bit aimless in the traditions department, but I have an appreciation for their role, especially around Christmas, so I'm searching.
I've been playing Christmas music, and putting a few new CD's on my wish list. Collecting children's Christmas books like a bandit - that will have its own post soon. Planning gifts (on a spreadsheet, using a code for Ed's gifts in case he sees the list, but every time I can barely remember how to decipher the code myself - lame!) Got my gift wrap ordered from the school fundraiser.
I just remember last year thinking, "Note to self: the kids got too much stuff, and December was too hectic." So I'm making very, very sure to scale back on the kids' things this year. What do they really need? Not much. And maybe December will always feel hectic to The Mom, but if I go into it with more To-Do's checked off, and a better plan for celebration and relaxation, maybe I - and everyone - can get more out of it. Or maybe I'll have to start even earlier next year.