The season of lists is upon us! At least, that’s the way I cope with the many events, worship services, visits and potlucks that squeeze in during this holiday season. So let’s talk about how you cope (or don’t) with celebrating minus the stress.
1. Keeping your ducks in a row: Tell us how you manage the craziness. Lists? That faithful old-fashioned pocket calendar? Smart phone reminders? Wall calendar?
I am a hybrid on this one. I have a large wall calendar in the kitchen that has all of the family appointments, dates and reminders on it. Now that our daughters are young adults, there are fewer things entered on it, but the important ones (when classes are off, family vacation, doctor and dentist appointments) still get written on this calendar. THEN I also enter them on my smart phone to give me a little reminder. Usually I do OK.
2. Must-Do Events: What is one event on your list that you look forward to every year and NEVER miss? Not church services — something else that makes the season bright. Bonus points for a picture from a previous year’s event.
Somewhere in the mad rush between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we have a cookie baking marathon. It depends on other things exactly when we do it (for instance, studying for classes, work schedules and vacation can shift it around a bit.) We make the standard family favorites: sugar cookies, bar cookies, and all kinds of chocolate-added cookies. It’s total havoc but lots of fun.
3. Kitchen disasters of the funny kind: Lighten the mood with one of your best kitchen disasters. What ingredient did you forget to add, or what dish was left to turn to charcoal in the oven? It may not have been funny at the time, but now it always makes you chuckle!
One time I baked an apple pie and forgot the sugar. Of course I used the nice, tart Granny Smith apples because they bake up in a pie so nicely. It was inedible until we peeled back the top layer of pie crust and sprinkled sugar on top of the apples. In my defense, it was after working a 16 hour overnight shift and I was a mom-of-very-little-brain.
4. “Honey, I can’t find the __________!” Every year we turn the kitchen upside down looking for the turkey baster and the cotton twine for roasting the bird. Do you have a similar kitchen gadget or decorating frustration? Or have you solved a perennial problem and can give us a tried-and-true tip?
I have decided THIS YEAR to bag all of the necessary turkey roasting equipment together and put them IN the large roasting pan when I store it away. Now, how to store the ornament hooks so that I can find them when we decorate the tree… I’ll get back to you.
5. “I’ll never forget…” Tell us about a sweet holiday memory that you want to always ALWAYS remember!
We have a tradition of putting up the creches (manger scene figures) early in Advent. (Yes, I have more than one.) We follow the practice of not putting out Baby Jesus until Christmas morning. Sometimes this meant a mad dash by yours truly before I went to bed to find all the Manger-Babes and put them in place. One year when the girls were fairly young, they made it downstairs ahead of us on Christmas morning, and we heard them exclaim with glee – JESUS IS HERE! JESUS IS HERE! What better way to announce the joy of Christmas!
BONUS: For those of us leading Christmas Eve services, what is on your “MUST HAVE” list for the evening?
I have forgotten these items and am always scrambling, so NOW they are entered on my phone reminder: matches, music, extension cords.