Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Organizing My Way to a Peaceful Holiday 1

The past few years I have been working really hard at being ready for Christmas early.  It's just no fun if you're rushing right up to the moments before Christmas.  I'm striving here to avoid nights with little sleep, and tense moments wondering if a gift will arrive on time.  In past years I waited to really get started thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  This year I'm starting early. I've really been inspired by Fly Lady.  I've downloaded her Holiday Control Journal and I'm doing my best to stay organized.

 I have almost all of the gifts bought and sorted into boxes for mailing, or bags for each recipient.  Starting on this weekend I plan to spend 20 minutes a day wrapping presents so it doesn't become an all nighter after the tree goes up. 

I've written out a list of the gifts I still need to get, and plan to have them purchased (or ordered) this weekend.  I am saving a little bit of money in my Christmas budget to do some shopping with my sister and mom on Black Friday.  However, this year, Black Friday will be much less about finding gifts, and much more about spending the day with those two wonderful women. 

We bake a lot of cookies around here.  The majority of them are destined for gifts, but I also like that during the busy holiday season knowing that dessert at least is done.  There have been previous years when we've done a marathon baking session, but usually by the time we're finished we're all exhausted and grouchy.  The kids and I are going to get a head start on our holiday baking on Sunday.  We plan to make three varieties of cookies each weekend, so we should be done by the second weekend in December. On Monday when we were driving to school we planned out the varieties we would make.  On Tuesday, I gathered all of the recipes and wrote my list and then  on Wednesday, when I did my regular grocery shopping I bought the ingredients we would need for all of our holiday baking.  This turned out to be a real bonus because there were great Thanksgiving sales. 

The only thing I haven't done is write a wish list out for myself.  I've had a hard time coming up with ideas for myself this year.  Everything I thought of was very utilitarian - as much as I want a new stock pot, I just don't want to recieve one under the tree. 

So, here are the things I've placed on my list.  What do you hope to see under the tree?

My Wish List

Into the Wild sound track by Eddie Vedder

Do you know about this book and movie?  So inspiring, yet so sad at the same time.  This is probably one of my favorite albums ever, but for some reason I've never owned a copy. 
Any music by the band Muse.  I'm particularly interested in their new album.

The Thy Hand Hath Provided Cookbook.  This blogger is one of my favorites.  She's a great friend and an inspiration.  I, just, cant, wait to have this book in my hands.  New cookbooks are one of my favorite kinds of presents.  I know that I'm going to use this one again and again until the cover falls off. 

Soap Making Supplies

This year I really, really am going to learn to make soap.  I have most of what I need, but I need to get a:
Digital Scale
8 cup pyrex measuring cup
Digital Thermometer
Oils:  Palm, Coconut, Sweet Almond, Lavender

Cheese Making Supplies

And... now that I'm getting local milk, I want to make cheese making (at least the soft cheeses) somthing that is just part of our daily lives.  We'll see...

Chevre Direct-set starter
Citric Acid
Liquid Rennet
Mesophilic Starter

I also want to do some more knitting this winter.  I plan to learn how to make hats.  I'm swimming in yarn, but I'm going to need some new needles.

How are your Christmas preperations coming?  Have you started yet?  Do you think I'm nuts for getting ready so soon?  What are you asking for?

Oh, if you're still looking for gifts for kids.  Check out the company Mindware.  I usually toss all catalogs for the kids directly into the recyling bin.  This is one catalog that I let them pour over.  Almost everything is reasonably priced, and there isn't a stupid item in the catalog.  It's all things that will help them learn and grow.  Soccer Boy has his eye on some solar cars that you build from a kit, and Reading Girl is hoping for some barret and bracelet making kits.

If all goes as planned by the time December is here I'll be ready to just do the fun parts of the holiday - bake, decorate and spend time with my wonderful family - can't wait!

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