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Things I learned in December

This past month I learned that when I take care of myself, things fall in line much easier. December seems to be a time that I live day to day.

What I mean is that I am completely focused on the next event or task that needs to be done and do not plan too far in advance. I always feel like I am racing against the clock and am a bit behind. This month, I chose to do a few things for myself.

Christmas made simple

#1 I went to a cookie exchange party

While this doesn’t sound like an earth shattering experience. It was for me. I didn’t end up slaving away in the kitchen for days making 7 kinds of cookies. I made one kind and came away with 7 instead. I kept a small plate out the first night for the kids and froze the rest. I separated the gingerbread men and reserved them for Santa’s cookies. When my family arrived to celebrate Christmas, I piled them on a platter and voila!

#2 I purchased a store bought pumpkin roll

I baked them for Thanksgiving and just wasn’t in the mood to bake it again. The sugar all over the towel really cramps my style. So I chose to purchase it. next time, I plan to use paper towels to see if that is less messy. In addition, I will power bake them so that I do not have to  bake again the very next month. If you have any suggestions to help out, please send them my way.

Decorating Christmas Cookies

#3 Pre-baked cookies to decorate for Santa

Every year, we bake and decorate cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa. This year I pulled them pre-made out of the freezer and they were decorate ready! This was another fabulous tiny short cut that I took, but yet it made my life so much more relaxed. I was able to enjoy the activity instead of waiting desperately for the cookies to cool enough to decorate and staring at a pile of dishes in the sink.

Baked Ham for Christmas Dinner

#4 Ham, not Turkey

We opted for a pre-cooked ham this year instead of a turkey. Instead of defrosting for days and worrying about salmonella, we just heated and served!

#5 We cut out cards

Time slipped away from me a bit and it was the 21st before I noticed that my cards had not arrived from being printed yet. It seems that I never completed the transaction online! When I realized what had happened, I chose to let it go. Hopefully, I will not be getting the big ax from any Christmas card lists because of it.

These things seem so tiny, but they made a huge difference in my attitude throughout December, my ability to enjoy the season and therefore everyone else’s ability to enjoy the holiday as well. I am looking forward to making December of 2014 even more organized. How do you make your life easier during the holidays? I would love to hear!

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