Monday, November 30, 2009

The Holiday Marathon

Whew, what a weekend. We drove to Rochester, NY, on Wednesday to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my extended family. And I do mean extended - my mother's family is there, my father's family, my mother's husband's family - lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. So, our visits there are always packed full. I have backed off a bit on the agenda since getting CFS. We used to go to 3 different houses a day! It's still hectic, though, with lots of large gatherings. In fact, I have lots of friends from both high school and college in the area that I never have time to see because we have so many family members to visit.

We had a good time and enjoyed seeing everyone, but it was exhausting. I thought I was doing OK this morning, until about 10 am when I suddenly felt so tired! I'm not really badly crashed, just very, very tired.

At one point this weekend, I said to Ken, "I know I haven't done anything physical all weekend, but just sitting in a big group of people talking totally wipes me out." He said, "It wears ME out, and I don't have CFS!" The kids had a blast playing with all their different groups of cousins all week, but that was a LOT of physical activity for them. Craig was fine this morning, but Jamie is exhausted and said he woke up about 10 times last night - and that's with his sleep medications. I hope he rebounds quickly - he has an all-day trip to Washington, DC, tomorrow morning, leaving school at 5 am!

And now, tomorrow is December already! Christmas is only three and a half weeks away. Yikes! I haven't even begun to think about Christmas shopping. So much to do in such a short time. How does everyone else manage the holiday marathon?



You mention the Holiday Marathon. I start buying gifts that are appropriate for any holiday or birthday starting January of each year.

I total up the number of people I have to buy for; I keep a supply of holiday gift wrapping, and wrap as well as package all gifts and store in a gift closet.

I use sticky notes to remember what is in the box; I'm done shopping for Christmas by June of each year, and then I start addressing 10 cards a day since I buy my cards on sale in late December/early January.

By October, I'm baking and freezing for the guests.

I keep a gift savings account; I put money in the savings and use credit cards to make purchases that I pay off each month (I keep just one card for gifts only).

I've been doing this for 50 years; it's never failed me.

Buy gifts that don't require sizing problems; keep body lotions; creams, perfumes that you know the women like. The same with men - and also during the year pick up CD's - DVD's, and then finish up the last gift with pre-Christmas gifts that are for decorating the household such as candles; figurines that are holiday in theme, and you'll never fail to be on time when those 'crash days' occur throughout the year.

Sue Jackson said...

Great advice - thanks! I'll try to start much earlier next year because I really hate this last-minute rushed feeling.


Shelli said...

It is a marathon -- and Thanksgiving is only the first leg of it! I hope I remember the lessons I learned last year. Probably not. I'm already trying to figure out how I can get away with baking cookies.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time with your family! That's what the holidays are about, after all.

Sue Jackson said...

Shelli -

We figured out the cookie thing years ago. I realized the kids don't care of the cookies are homemade; they just want to mess around with frosting and sprinkles! So, now we buy Pillsbury cookie dough at the store, roll it out and cut out cookies, then the kids have a blast decorating them. All the fun with half the work!


Renee said...

Hi Sue
Sounds like you had such a great weekend!! Wonderful. Hope the resting will have you up to par quickly.
I used to buy gifts starting right after I ask our children to give us lists for grandchildren and order most things right from Amazon or when Joel can make one trip to the store.
I do go online in Jan. and purchase cards or newsletter stationary to prepare for the coming year as we send out around 125 cards and I also purchase some gifts that are seasonal at that time. I always watch for I purchased my sister a teapot with tea cups in a pansey pattern( our mother loved pansies) and purchased it for 75% off at Dayspring. I gave it to her for Christmas this year....savevd alot of money and time. Our son keeps a shelf in their home with gifts on it for occasions through the year...
Gift cards are GREAT too. People get to choose what they would like!

Pat said...

Start early in the season and have a plan. I start early and write, or think about how many gifts I have to buy, and the recipient and what I can find on sale during the year. The problem with that is more often than not I forget where I stash the item, and have to buy something else at the last minute, lol!

Last year when I did cookies, I plotted out which days I'd do them and even if I couldn't, there was enough time to move things around so everything got done. Unfortunately, I have several food allergies so I have to cook almost everything from scratch. Having the new cookie icings available when I baked was a huge help. Sprinkles scattered on the cookies before baking dressed them up with out having to bother with frosting