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Thread: Christmas Post-Mortem: What can we do better next time?

  1. #1
    What have I forgotten? kermitfan's Avatar
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    Default Christmas Post-Mortem: What can we do better next time?

    Many Supers were frustrated with themselves, other people, the mail, and so on over this past Christmas.

    What do you need to change from this point forward to make Christmas more organized, less stressful and more enjoyable for you?

    What systems do you already have in place that work for you, and might work for us?

    Let's work together so we all can have more fun during the holidays!

    Some Supers have suggested that we have a more year-round approach to getting ready for the holidays. Is anyone **gulp** ready to take on posting threads, reminders, suggestions to help us all out? I promise to help out with technical issues as much as I am able! Feel free to PM me with what you are willing to help out with.

    K
    Last edited by kermitfan; 12-26-2008 at 11:14 AM.

  2. #2
    The New Me EmilyD's Avatar
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    I think it is a great idea. I have already started my early reminder list.

  3. #3
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    The wrapping paper's gathered up, the family is on the road to home, and the kids and DH are happily immersed in "Rock Band 2." (Thanks, Santa!)

    There were more than a few hiccups this year, and a lot of them were weather-related. There was no such thing as "last minute shopping" and I consider myself lucky to have been able to make it out to Costco and the grocery store--a run that took all of one day to make due to weather.

    In fact, what really happened was that just about anything that was left for the last week before Christmas fell victim to the weather. There's a lesson there for me, certainly.

    We are on our third week of no trash pickup. )) Fourth week for us, as DH missed getting the trash out the week before this snow mess hit. Once they finally start picking up trash, it may well take another week for them to get to us. Combine that with Christmas for 8, and that's quite a bit of garbage.

    UPS came through with most deliveries, but the snow has put them impossibly behind and several things did not arrive in time. I have not mailed any of my items yet. (This was weather related, also.)

    The "YAY" list:
    --less baking during Christmas week. Worked out well, and there are just a few cookies and a wee bit of lemon tart and coconut cake left. We are not overrun with leftover goodies.

    --Amazon Prime. Worth every single penny I paid for it. The vast majority of my gifts were purchased this way.

    --Fewer, nicer gifts for the kids. Much less overwhelming for everyone.

    --Christmas Excel Spreadsheet where I kept track of gifts, menus, grocery list, etc. Brilliant.

    Stuff that Caused Stress:

    #1: Simple Lack of Preparation. I failed to think about and manage the holiday season in advance this year. I started behind, stayed behind, and then when weather came along, simply did not ever get caught up.

    #2: Overcommitment. (Who, me?? :lolcoffee

    #3: House and yard not maintained at an acceptable level for the past couple months left me with a lot of "catch up" work to do and no time to do it. I scheduled extra help with housekeeping the week of Christmas, knowing I was behind, but she got snowed in. (Goes back to #1, certainly, but as I literally spent two days doing almost nothing but cleaning, it was a major factor on its own.)

    #4: Overly complicated systems. For example, it takes forever to decorate the tree because the tree ornaments are mainly packaged in their original boxes or packaging, and each one has to be individually opened. UN-decorating the tree is even worse. I'm going to streamline that system, and look for other areas where I can do the same.

    #5: Lack of proper equipment, storage, etc. Items like a second small refrigerator in the garage, a place to store "christmas" dishes (all those serving platters and cookie plates/tins that only appear during the holidays), enough table linens that I can pre-iron them and then easily change them out...all of these things would have been helpful.

    #6: Clutter: I may not have had everything I needed, but it's equally true that there's quite a bit of stuff I don't need, and it tends to get in the way and make a mess at this time of year. Clutter that is merely irritating in January or June is a stressful pain in the butt in December.

    Clearly, I have some thinking and some work to do...
    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  4. #4
    The New Me EmilyD's Avatar
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    This year, we bought a three foot pre-lighted tree, hung the wreath on the inside door and I put the new Santas out. That was it for decorating.

    New outside lights put on the house and that was all the outside decorating.

    No baking, no out-of-town gifts sent. dh and I bought all our own gifts and by Christmas had forgotten most of what we got.

    Only 4 cards sent .. just the ones that sent to me first. I had the cards and the stamps but just too much effort.

    Next year:

    Put big tree up somewhere.

    Part of the Christmas money will be spent by the opposite spouse and the gifts wrapped and put under the tree.

    Most of the inside windows have film on them so we will see about inside decos.

    There are three nets that I would like to see on bushes next year.

    Try to do a little baking/candy making.

    There will be more I am sure.

  5. #5
    Administrator rskmom's Avatar
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    I need to be better about keeping an inventory of a) what I buy and b) who I (think) it's for. I shop year round and am thinking about taking pix, how sad is that? LOL! I can't always remember what I bought even when I put it on the list. Also, I need to note whether it's a medium or large gift since I try to even out the number and size of gifts for all the boys.

    I need to get cracking on stocking stuffers earlier. Dh is the hardest for that for me.

    I'm going to note what my current menus are for Cmas Eve, Cmas Day, NYE, and NY day. If nothing else they will be a starting point for thought next year.

    I am going to really, really try to be completely bought by the week of Tgiving, and then take the M and T of that week off to wrap everything while the boys are in school.

  6. #6
    What have I forgotten? kermitfan's Avatar
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    Time to put into writing what worked and didn't work over the holidays.

    What Went Well
    :1upblue: I followed my established plan for getting holiday wardrobes determined.
    :1upblue: I followed my established plan for getting holiday photos taken.
    :1upblue: Holiday decorating at the LilyPad is limited to a small tree and some glass vases with ornaments in them.
    :1upblue: I ordered many things online and had them delivered to my door.
    :1upblue: I order or pick up gifts for Tadpole on others' behalf and they pay me back.
    :1upblue: Bought non-perishables early and kept track of what I had on hand.
    :1upblue: I took advantage of bad weather days and did wrapping and baking then.
    :1upblue: Established early what my responsibilities were for holiday meals (family dinners x2 ... made the same dishes for two different groups)

    What Threw Me for a Loop
    I got really, really sick during my prep time. Any later and it would have been disastrous instead of merely stress-inducing.
    Delegated tasks were not completed. There were no gifts for some people to open.
    Major household projects were started in the holiday prep zone, much to my chagrin and despite repeated explanations of why this can't be done right now.
    I just plain could not talk myself into completing Christmas cards. Those of you who didn't get one, maybe Valentines Day
    I stashed one or two gifts in really, really good hiding places ... the kind of hiding places you find on Dec 28th.
    I received two panic phone calls saying the caller couldn't find the desired gift item and would I please go get it on their behalf.



    The good news is, I can probably rectify most of these pretty easily. It will be the self-discipline that gets me off track!

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