I always like to look back on the Christmas just past and see how well everything worked, or where improvement is needed. As mentioned, I use the five simple questions from a form available at Organized Christmas. It looks like this:
1. What worked this holiday season? What changes did you make to create simpler, less stressful holidays?
There were a lot of decorations that I did not take time to put up. I didn't get any of our own ornaments out of the attic, but used vintage ones found in clearing out my childhood home. It was actually enjoyable to use those old ornaments; it made for a very pretty tree and it kept things much simpler.
I also worked to get all of our Nevada packages sent out relatively early in the month, and did them all using Click'n'Ship and carrier pickup. That in itself reduces so much stress!
2. What was the worst aspect of preparing for the holidays this year? How can you avoid this problem in the future?
* I committed myself to an activity that, in retrospect, I should not have done. I ended up getting way too stressed over something I should not have taken on. Next year I won't get involved.
* I didn't plan carefully enough with gifts for several of the local grands, and ended up doing some very last-minute shopping. It all worked out well, but obviously I must plan much better next year.
3. Were you satisfied with your family's level of giving and/or spiritual observances? How could next year's holidays more closely reflect your family's values?
I was quite satisfied with our family's level of giving, and satisfied too with the spiritual aspect of our Christmas celebrating. There are certain activities I'm not sure about for next year, though.
4. How well did your household function this year? Were you calm and cozy, or stressed and strung out? What improvements could be made next year?
In general I felt pretty calm and cozy. I did get just a bit stressed when I saw that I wasn't going to make the December 1 deadline for handmade gifts, but when my sweet husband saw how much it meant to me to craft a few simple gifts, he relaxed the customary deadline and told me to take all the time I needed. I finished these mid-month, by the way. The problem was that I hadn't even begun to plan these gifts until November. So obviously, improvements would include starting to plan for any handmade gifts much earlier.
|A scarf for grandson Nathan|
5. Honesty time: how did your holidays go? Did you experience the magic, the expectancy, and the sparkle of the season? If not, what changes could you make to recapture the joy?
In general, we had a wonderful season! I took great joy in making a few gifts. I tried several new recipes and enjoyed every moment. I loved decorating the tree, even though I did it mostly by myself, with vintage memories from my childhood. I posted in both of my blogs every day in December -- partly as a gift to my readers, but as a gift to myself as well. I managed to get out and walk many days in November and December, which I'm sure lifted my spirits and lowered my stress level a great deal. I even sewed a new tree skirt out of some wonderful fabric our daughter had gifted me with!
So ... there you have it: my debriefing for Christmas 2018. Have you done an exercise like this? It can only help with planning for next year!