Holidays, Life

Christmas prep day

I feel like a new person after a couple days off. It definitely was a good call to take a re-do vacay day yesterday. I took a leisurely morning, headed out to finish up some shopping during the day (which was a SUCCESS, yay- it’s always a relief when you find good stuff! Especially 3 days before Christmas 😬 ) and then spent the afternoon wrapping presents.

While I wrapped, I watched the older movie Serendipity on Netflix. That’s probably one of my favorite all time movies!!! I don’t know what it is about it, but I’ve always loved it. It came out during my first year of college I think and I saw it in the theater right before Christmas. I actually have the DVD somewhere in my house. It’s just so cute, it’s set in New York City, I like the cast, I like the theme of “fate” and “serendipity”, winter in the big city…. (If you haven’t seen it, apparently it’s being taken off Netflix on December 31st, so hurry and watch it.)

I took Ethan out to finish up his shopping, too. (The boys always buy something “from them” for my parents, Ivan and each other. I was pretty impressed with how much thought and effort Ethan put into Asher’s gift, considering that sometimes they have been a bit “bickery” lately…..He bought him a $20 gift, paid for with Ethan’s own debit card.)

The mall is so sad these days. I’d say almost half the stores are empty/ for lease! Most stores also close by 7 pm. I remember as a kid, the mall had extended hours until like 11 pm the week of Christmas! And it was always packed.

Santa was there, but we passed on that. 😉 I did get this picture of him by the tree. We hit up Barnes and Noble, Dick’s and Bath & Body Works.

I had a realization yesterday, when thinking about why the holiday season always feels extra challenging lately:

1- of course, the volunteer job.

But 2- When the boys were little, I worked as an inpatient nurse. I worked 12 hour shifts, and I had a set schedule. Anyway, long story short- if I took just TWO (12 hour) vacation days (a Thursday/ Friday) before my weekend off (I worked every other weekend), I could get a 10 day stretch off. I used to schedule blocks like that every couple months, scattered throughout the year. And I always took one at the beginning of December.

I had totally forgotten about that!! Of course I had more time to get Christmas done back then- I had TEN days off of work! Now, with a 5 day work week, I rarely take big “stretches” of time off (unless we are going somewhere on vacation). I feel like I should keep this in mind though, and plan at least 2 days or so after a weekend in December every year. Makes the whole prep process a lot more relaxing to have some dedicated time.

Things left to do:

  • Groceries!! Need to finalize our “menu” and get food.
  • Buy more Scotch tape 🙂
  • Finish wrapping some gifts for the boys. They still want us to split the gifts so that some are from “Mom and Dad” and some are from “Santa” (we do family gifts Christmas Eve, Santa on Christmas Day). I always hated trying to decide what should be from “Santa”…the big guy got all the glory with the fun stuff, while M&D gave the socks and hoodies. 😉 At least that part is easier now that they know it’s all from us. lol.
  • Bake some cookies! Last week I picked these up at the grocery store, thinking that just in case I couldn’t make cookie baking happen, at least we’d have some festive cookies to set out, plan B style. haha. We’re planning to bake at least a couple batches of our favorites tonight, though! (Mexican wedding cookies + the boys want the frosted sugar cookies).
  • Get going on watching the Christmas movie classics!!! Our movie watching game has been weak so far.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for paid vacation time.

3 thoughts on “Christmas prep day”

  1. That winter scene (tree + red barn) is SO cute.

    So glad you got a handle on remaining Christmas chores; isn’t it so nice to have a stretch of open time to just work on getting all sorts of things done systematically? I find it far more satisfying (and efficient) than trying to do it in bits and pieces.

    I’ve taken both kids out to shop for their sibling this week and the results are just…so sweet! Lots of bickering at our place too and I actually thought, when I saw how thoughtful some of the gifts were, that they must really love each other deep down because they really, really wanted to please each other with their selections.

    Enjoy all the festivities – movies, food, gifts and more! Only a few more sleeps to go…


  2. Glad to hear you are feeling better already. Once you tackled those task that feel urgent and overwhelming you feel better. It must have been challenging to work 12 hours shift, I feel I’m too old to be out of home for so long. Oh I loved that movie, it’s just so light and romantic, leaving you with a happy feeling even though you know it only happens in the movies.


  3. I loved Serendipity, too. I went to the restaurant with that name that is in the movie – the place with the frozen hot chocolate – when I visited some friends in NYC I met while studying abroad. I love John Cusack so that movie is a hit for me!

    A podcast I listen to talks about taking ‘elf days’ in December to get ready for the holidays! I can see myself doing that down the road. I had several days off in December when Will was sick and had his bad allergic reaction. And then I had a day where I had 3 doctor/dentist appts for me and the boys. So not ‘fun’ days off. I am hoping to take some time off in January but I need to get through the busy weeks at the start of the month.


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