Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas "TO DO" Review

The smell of freshly baked cookies, a sparkly clean kitchen, stocked refrigerator, Christmas music, ...  Oh, you must still be visioning your ideal Christmas again, sorry to interrupt.

Many of us lose that charming Fa La La when we begin the part time job of preparing for Christmas.  Adding a Santa-Sized list to our already multi-tasking life can be overwhelming.  Authors Robinson & Staeheli composed this list for their workshops and book entitled Unplug the Christmas Machine

Grab your Ho Ho Pen (and some yummy hot cocoa)  and lets get started . . . 

Christmas To Do List - (1991) Unplug the Christmas Machine
  1. Masterminding the gift list 
  2. Inviting friends to the party 
  3. Buying stocking stuffers 
  4. Cooking for the party 
  5. Making or buying stockings 
  6. Cleaning for the party 
  7. Making travel plans 
  8. Shopping for the party 
  9. Helping out at church 
  10. Cleaning up after the party 
  11. Helping out at school 
  12. Buying or cutting down a tree 
  13. Shopping for gifts 
  14. Decorating the tree 
  15. Making gifts 
  16. Helping with Christmas activities at work 
  17. Buying wrapping supplies 
  18. Wrapping gifts 
  19. Making or buying decorations for the house 
  20. Mailing gifts 
  21. Family Advent preparations 
  22. Cleaning up after Christmas 
  23. Planning holiday menus for immediate family 
  24. Writing thank-yous 
  25. Getting kids to write thank-yous 
  26. Putting away decorations 
  27. Disposing of the tree (putting artificial tree away)
  28. Doing special grocery shopping for immediate family 
  29. Doing holiday baking for family 
  30. Getting ready for relatives 
  31. Taking down outside decorations 
  32. Cooking and shopping for family reunions 
  33. Planning family reunions 
  34. Preparing for holiday travel 
  35. Writing notes on cards 
  36. Putting up inside decorations 
  37. Planning a holiday party for friends 
  38. Volunteering for charity 

Step One: Review- Which tasks are primarily your responsibility? 
Step Two: Record- Which tasks elicit the "bah humbug" feeling?
Step Three: Remember- Which tasks most closely align with your value system? 
Step Four: Reflect- What small changes to your list would create greater meaning this year? 

Thanks for the terrific sharing of Christmas memories last week.  Please comment with any "aha moments" you experienced in reviewing the Christmas list.


  1. I realized almost all things decorating made me cringe. I think because that part of things causes conflict with my spouse and me: when things are brought up from the basement, how quickly they can be put up (one likes to put stuff where-ever on the tree, one likes to strategically plan locations), how quickly things are taken down, how things are put away - I'm shuddering as I write. My compromise is to usually decorate the one room that has the most visibility with the things we love most. On the flip side, I love the stocking stuffer process - often stockings are the only thing Huz and I exchange at Christmas. I'm actually going to be doing a one-week 'Stocking-stuffer Extravaganza' on my blog the week after next. I love how creative and personal that process can be.

    1. I need to learn the art of stocking stuffing! That idea makes ME cringe, but that's because I'm so uncreative with gift giving. I look forward to your post!

    2. The list makes me aware of why so many people are cranky this time of year. Love your concept about a stocking stuffer extravaganza, I will gladly link for those who adore this tradition and want new ideas! Great to hear from you both.

  2. On the way to Tulsa for a holiday office shopping and family holiday shopping extravaganza, I found this post. Guess what I was taking a break from? Making holiday lists! Garrett and I had to laugh. We were just talking about trying to minimize stress and ENJOY. By the way, I linked to this post in my blog today because your blog is so good at reminding people of balance. Thank you!

  3. The one thing I've cut is Christmas cards. I haven't sent them out in years. With social media I keep up with friends and family much better than in decades past and the idea of a Christmas letter or card just isn't as necessary as it was in years past. I know some people are really cheered by them, but for me it's a two second look and then thrown in a pile. So sorry if you're expecting card form me.