{SQT} The Season of Preparation Before Advent Known As Panic

While sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office, eagerly anticipating a solid thirty minutes of enamel scraping, I had to endure last-minute election commercials and Christmas advertisements. I had to pause, look around, and ask myself, “Did I die in a car accident on the way to the dentist office? Where am I?”

Is it really time to start planning for Christmas? According to some of my favorite bloggers, all of whom are posting their family’s Christmas card shots, I guess so. If there  was any doubt, I can turn to my Pinterest feed. It’s 24 / 7 holiday decorations, gifts and, the always festive, ‘unrealistic expectations’. So this week’s Quick Takes are seven ways I’m thinking about, possibly, maybe preparing for Christmas.

1. Freak. out.

I figure if I get it all out of my system early, come December 24th I’ll be too exhausted to have an “oh my word we didn’t take the turkey out of the freezer” panic attack. And then I remember we have ham for Christmas. It’s happened enough to no longer be funny.

2. Organize myself with a planner so I can feel like I have lots of time, when in actuality, I will wake up three days before Christmas wondering if Amazon Prime will save me. (It’s won’t, but we just say we’re sending Epiphany gifts to out-of-town family.)

3. Speaking of planners, I’ve used this one in the past with some success. I don’t know if you want to bother downloading it now since it started OCTOBER 21, but most of the prep work is just breathing deeply into a paper bag so you should be okay. I also noticed Tsh of Simple Mom has started her “Six Steps for a Relaxed Christmas” series, beginning with a printable budget sheet. I really want to associate being “relaxed” with Christmas, but until that third glass of wine at my friend’s yearly Christmas Eve party starts to work its magic, I will have to settle for being slightly frazzled and/or deranged. I mean, I just typed Christmas and budget in the same sentence and now my eye’s twitching.

4. Lots of great feast days fall during December, all of which we observe fervently (or is that frantically?), which complicates matters, the way land mines can throw off ground troops. I can’t focus on Christmas plans until I purchase the baklava for the feast of St. Ambrose, make St. Lucy cake for the 13th, stock up on taco shells for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and good grief, I almost forgot,  have we kept up with all the ornaments on the Jesse Tree????? “Kid’s we need to read the entire book of Exodus, color these three pages of ornaments, and hang them prayerfully on the tree! I SAID PRAYERFULLY!”

5. I’m going to start making a snazzy wooden Advent calendar we can reuse year after year. It should be ready by Advent 2013. Until then Tony and I will try to make do with this. The kids get last years paper calendar with the flaps taped shut. I’m hoping they’ll be too busy with the Jesse tree to notice.

6. Dusting off my ugly Christmas sweater. Who’s up for an online ugly Christmas Sweater Party? Everyone I know has already seen mine and I’d love to scar scare show you too. Barnyard animals might be involved….oops, I’ve said too much already. I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

7. I’m not making gifts this year. Okay, well maybe one or two..no wait! NONE!  I so desperately want to show my love by crafting doll clothes for my daughters’ American Girls or decorating framed scrapbook pages for the grandparents. But, to be completely honest, the sight of me making Christmas presents the last few years has killed the love of making gifts in this house. My kids think crafting requires late nights, cursing and generally not enjoying life. If we go to an arts and crafts festival, they’re usually surprised to see smiling people making things. I’m really going to try to just purchase handmade goods, honest. If I don’t blog the week before Christmas, you know that I’ve failed.

I shouldn’t complain too much. We do take most of December through the first week of January off school. It’s a nice break until Jan. 2 when I realize I still have three months worth of lesson plans to whip up. But somewhere along the way, we do mange to make some good memories, and we’ve established traditions I hope our children will pass on. Perhaps I need to design my own “real life” Christmas planner. Something for homeschooling moms with lots of kids and no money and zero time. Creating such a thing of beauty could take all of Advent, but I’ll get cracking on it. Until then, swing by Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes than you can shake a snow globe at.


  1. HAHAHAHAHA, ROFL at #4: “I said prayerfully!!!”

    Last year I bought a Jesse Tree book on Amazon that supposedly contained paper ornaments. I think it arrived here (Korea) on Dec 17 or so. With no stinking ornaments. So, yeah. That didn’t happen.

    But thanks for getting me excited for Advent. I love that season!

  2. Love it! This is my first time commenting – I couldn’t resist! YOu just nailed my stream of consciousness, minus a few things (I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there isn’t going to be baklava for St. Ambrose. sorry St. Ambrose.)

  3. Jesus’ purpose in coming was to save sinners like us. Put “rejoice” on each day of your planner. It only takes a few seconds, but makes the craziness bearable. I love hearing about your life!

  4. I’m with you on #7. I hate crafts. I’ll just buy stuff other people make. And if I run out of $, the people left on my list will get a homemade, uh, hug. 😉

  5. I’m with you on the hyperventilating. Our Christmas starts December 8th with a visit to my inlaws, plus nephew, niece, and my husband’s grandparents. THAT’S LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY. Aagh aagh argh.

    Can I give everyone photographs of our babies and maybe Smitten Kitchen’s caramel crack? http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/04/chocolate-caramel-crackers/ I think I can.

    Oh, help. I just remembered that two of our best friends are getting married four days after Christmas, and I’m a brides… matron. And that my oldest son wants everyone in the family (including the babies) to have stockings this year. Thank the Lord that a dollar store just opened near us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.