(clipart/photo is courtesy of vkme over at www.photobook.com)
The official countdown to Christmas has begun ... only 25 days!
So, today's Waste Not Want Not topic will be effective use of time during this very busy season.
It may be 25 days until Christmas, but I've only got 22 days left to get ready!! All my guys, Mr. B, the big boys and Grandpa, will begin a parade of incoming flights on the 23rd. Our family's personal taxi service, ME, will pick the first up the morning of the 23rd and pick the last up the evening of the 24th. They will be flying in from all over the U.S., some from the west coast, some from the east coast and some in between. They all will be home for a minimum of EIGHT DAYS !!! (Whoo! Hoo! - you all should be jealous - I'm getting at least 8 whole days with the most wonder fellas I know!!!) That means the littles and I have a lot of prep work to finish before the 23rd.
This single most important tool I can utilize in managing the next 22 days effectively is to WRITE out a plan. Yeah, for the past couple weeks I've been mulling ideas over in my head, but today is the day I will write out EVERYTHING I need and want to complete before everyone begins arriving.
After getting all my "to do's" down on paper, I will then prioritize all those tasks. What do I need to do vs. what would I like to do. For instance, the greatest gift I can bless my boys with are their personal favorite home cooked, from scratch meals. Therefore, I MUST have my meal plans, kitchen prep work and shopping for those meals completed before they arrive - otherwise, I will end up spending ALL my time isolated in the kitchen resulting in no time with my family. I have to finish some gift shopping (only 3 to go - all the rest was completed while in my p.j.'s, via a wonderful little tool called the internet) and have a few homemade gifts to finish up. I also want the house to be tidy and organized before they arrive. When you are expecting to go from only 3 to 8 overnight, things need to be in good order so the new arrivals will have a place to stash their luggage and personal belongings during the visit. And of course, I'd like to put up a few Christmas decorations, which means a trip to storage (we've already packed all our seasonal belongings and put them in storage in preparation for our move). There are a few others, but I think you get where I'm going with this.
I have three weeks to complete my prep work. So, I will yet again prioritize my list into three weeks and assign myself various tasks that need to be completed each day. I will divide my weeks into 5 days. This will allow us to maintain our Sabbath and give us 1 extra work day for "make-up" work each week, just in case something goes awry.
I know that for many "making a list & checking it twice" is not your idea of holiday cheer. But I promise the hour or two I spend writing out this plan will keep me focused during the next three weeks enabling me to utilize my time effectively. When my boys arrive on the 23rd, I will have everything I need to complete and most of what I want to complete finished. My family will come home to a wife/mother/daughter who did her "homework" resulting in a joyous, relaxing time of fellowship and togetherness.
So, get off the computer. Get your note pad, pencil and calendar and start planning for your family's big get together. I pray you and your family have a BLESSED Christmas season!