Now that the hustle and bustle is over with, I like to look back over the holiday and see if I'd like to do anything different next year or how things went this year that I tried differently. This year was amazing. I know my kids are older and that really helps. Shopping, wrapping, hiding gifts and keeping track of 3 kids when we went places was very stressful for me. Add in decorating, baking, cooking and cleaning. YIKES. Moms can easily get stressed. Now they help me!
Daniel put the tree up Friday before Cmas. HUGE help. I dunno when I would have gotten time to put it up. Sarah decorated it - just a few special ornaments. That was the extent of our decorations. No towels, soaps, rugs, runners, candles, lights on the house, etc. It was nice and simple. The tree is a self-lit one with white lights. It has the baby pinecones and berries on it. Very pretty even without decorations.
Baking - ?? I think Sarah baked 2 batches of cookies. Oh, we did some dipped pretzels and cheese balls for parties... but no baking to be given as gifts.
Cleaning - The kids pretty much help with that. They know it has to be done so that's taken care of. They are older, so we don't have toys laying around the house anymore. That is really nice!!
Cooking - Rich cooked a ham, I did green beans and cooked some wide egg noodles. Then we brought some other sides home from the family gathering on Cmas day. Works for me!
Gifts - this year I cut way back. WAY BACK. Let me just say that keeping a list of what you bought for whom and a running total of what you spent is eye opening. Not that my kids were showered with gifts, but I really over spent. I wanted them to have lots to open - that meant a lot of little things. Times 3 kids. Too much stuff - stuff they didn't need and stuff they never kept track of. They are older now so their stuff costs more. They also understand about the cost of things, the economy and budgeting :) I have smart kids who will be ready for the world when the time comes to leave the nest.
Engagements - We cut back on this too. Also, the time we spent at each party. Some we just didn't make. Sorry! maybe next year. We came home early from the ones we did attend. No more long, drawnout parties where you need 2 days to recoup. ugh. I sound old LOL It worked.
Wrapping - I try to wrap as I go. This year I did 2 major shopping days so I had to wait to wrap. I was able to get the kids to wrap for each other. I also took some time at night to ban them to their rooms because I needed to wrap. They either napped, talking on the phone, played games, or read. I was able to wrap at te table and spread my stuff out instead of taking it all to my room secretly and trying to wrap on the bed. No hurting back this time LOL
Memories - We were able to take things slow and have lots of laughs and remember other Christmas's. We all enjoyed the Holiday. It was very peaceful, very laid back.
Changes? I totally forgot to send out Christmas cards! I'd like to do a photo card next year - but it's not written in stone! I will keep a list again. Do all the same cutbacks.