Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Next Year...

Every year when the Christmas season has come to an end and it's time to pack away holiday treasures, I start to think about next Christmas. Being a "planner", I make mental lists of what I'll do the same, what I'll do differently, what I'll add, and what I'll cut from the list.

*I am going to start researching trees. I am tired of getting a tree and it being a droopy, brittle mess by the time Christmas morning rolls around. I love having a real tree...but what's the point if it looks like the Charlie Brown tree on the 25th? Surely there is a living tree that doesn't crap out a week too soon.

*I liked the simplicity of the jarred peppermint bark we made this year. It wasn't too costly or time intensive, yet it made for a lot of gifts that looked really pretty. I am going to keep my radar tuned for other similar gift ideas.

*I'm going to start working on stockings and a tree skirt now. Especially the stockings. I have an intense dislike for our stockings. They are lame. Boring. Lacking anything close to character. This must change.

*I want to have a simple advent calendar. I have a few ideas floating in my head, I just need to narrow it down and bring it to fruition.

*We will have more lights on our tree next year. I don't string as many as I would like because I know the extra weight will make the droopy-tree factor even worse. Hopefully solving the tree conundrum will allow for more glitz on the boughs.

*The ornaments and decorations that we made this year were really pretty and fun to make. And it was so simple. The banner pictured above is one of my favorite additions. The Offspring went to Mom & Pop's house for the weekend and made "ornaments" from paper cut outs and pictures. There were too many to put on the tree, but I still wanted to showcase them. I ran them through the laminating machine at school and decided to crochet a simple chain, string it across a door frame, and hang them with ornament hooks. Instant holiday kitsch. Love it.

*The Offspring made all grandparent and great-grandparent gifts and will do it again next year. They put a lot of thought into what they were making and the gift was more meaningful to the recipients and to The Boy and The Girl. Plus, it was a big stress relief for me. Added bonus.

*Me and Santa are going to wrap all gifts in the Sunday comics next year. My grandparents always did this when I was growing up and I loved it. Not only is it cheaper, but it can be recycled easily. The packages are colorful and bring back such fond memories for me...and will hopefully create another holiday memory for The Offspring.

*I didn't send out Christmas cards with our family newsletter or picture this year. I'm torn on this one. Part of me feels guilty. But it was an expense that I decided to cut because all those stamps, cards, printed pictures, and stationary gets pricey! Most of my friends and family are on Facebook or read this blog, so they know what's going on in our world...but some, like my grandparents, don't own a computer much less have Internet access. I think next year I will split the difference and just send them to the technologically-disadvantaged crowd.

*I will read more Christmas books at home. Being a teacher, I read tons of books in school but not so much at home. Call it burn-out or laziness; I have no excuse. Next year I will be better. This is one of those "simple things" I want to tie into the advent calendar.

That's my list thus far. And it's only five days out.

What tweaks are you making to next year's festivities? Or is this another example of my craziness?