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It’s almost December. Here are my plans.

It feels kind of like I just finished with my summer bucket list and now it’s December.   What the what??

I’m going to do a brain dump of what I want to do in December here, and if you want to do the same, feel free to have at it in the comments!

Buy and decorate a Christmas tree.

We’ll get a real one from the local fire department (don’t worry, it gets composted by the county after Christmas.   No landfill for the trees!)

FG Christmas tree

last year’s tree

Although, if we let the Christmas tree dry out, and then chop it up, it would make for some fun fire pit material (pine needles burn so dramatically. Like last year’s Christmas wreath.)


Listen to Christmas music.

(at least, while Joshua’s not at home. He gets tired of Christmas music pretty fast. 😉 )

We use Pandora for this, which is great because a) it’s free and b) you can make customized stations.

Decorate sugar cookies with our kids.

This is a long-standing tradition that our teenagers have not gotten too old for.   Yay!

Writing this reminds me…I need to buy candy eyeballs.

fg Christmas cookies

Eyeballs will really up your cookie game, people.

Put up outside lights.

The first warmish, dry day we get, this is on the agenda.   Way better than doing it in the cold!

Bake some gifts for neighbors.

Gonna need to do one gluten-free option for one of my neighbors.   But I’ll probably go full-hog gluten for the rest, because, bread.

homemade sliced cinnamon rolls

Make a calendar for Mr. FG’s grandma.

I usually do this every year, but I didn’t last year! I need to rectify that.   Luckily, I already started.   But before I finish, I need to get a snapshot of all six of us for the December photo on the calendar.

(Good thing my nose has shrunk from its previous Very Swollen state!)

Go see Christmas lights.

I’m not sure if we’ll just drive through neighborhoods or if we’ll visit a display…but either way, I’d like to make it happen.

Be kind. And not crabby.

If I get cranky during the Christmas season, it’s usually because I am trying to do too much stuff.   So, if Crabby Kristen comes out, I’m going to try to remember to take something off my plate.

Better to not get a Christmas something-or-other done than to be an unpleasant household member.

Remember that nothing is all good or all bad.

(I wrote a whole bunch of words about that concept here.)

No Christmas season or outing or gathering or family activity is going to be all good, because we’re a bunch of imperfect people.

But luckily, it’s usually not all bad either.   Life is a mixture, and it’s good to adjust expectations accordingly.   Some things will go wrong, but some things will go right too.   So, I’m going to expect some bad and enjoy the good and remember that the good/bad, easy/hard combo is NORMAL.


Ok! That’s it for me.   Share your list in the comments if you’d like.

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Thursday 1st of December 2016

Australian traditions are a bit different. We have very few decorations out. I refuse to go down the snowy path. Today will be 40 degrees, so 100 plus, it looks ridiculous. I have hung a battery lit wreath on the front door and that is the lights done in my book.

Today we will bake another dozen or so Christmas cakes for my daughter to take to work. I have a pudding to do. Finally I will face ours! I make shortbread for my boy as he loves it.

Happy Christmas everyone.


Thursday 1st of December 2016

I always wonder about that...all those Christmas songs about cold and snow must make no sense when you live in the southern hemisphere!


Thursday 1st of December 2016

I love this ,time of year although it can get pretty stressful.

1. Although Thanksgiving is not in December, that is when my to do list begins. My oldest daughter and I cooked and transported dinner to my mother-inlaw's this year. She is 93 and just can't cook that big meal any longer. We will be doing the same thing for Christmas dinner. Lots of baking.

2. Instead of fighting crowds on Good Friday, that is now our annual craft day. We make ornaments, soaps, and hard rock candy. Lots of fun.

3. I have several granddaughters in baton, so we will be going to their performances at parades, caroling, and parties. There will also be Christmas programs at the elementary school where 5 of them attend. Lots of Christmas songs.

4. A few of my colleagues and myself are making a shopping trip next week. Lots of friends.

5. Since I have such a large family, I try to make a many gifts as I can. Lots of crafting.

6. We attend Christmas Eve service at our church, before everyone in our immediate family congregate atheist house. We play games before exchanging gifts. Lots of worship and family fellowship.

7. After Christmas comes a massive cleanup to ready the house for our New Year's Eve party. My husband cooks his famous prime rib and shrimp dinner. Many family members stay to play games before ringing in the new year. Lots of fun again.

As you can see, this is a very busy time of year for me and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Thursday 1st of December 2016

These are a tasty holiday cookie... that happens to be gluten-free


Thursday 1st of December 2016

Hi Kristen, Good to know you are feeling your usual self again !

I know you buy Calico critters and I saw one of your readers mention it being part of their Christmas shopping list. I showed my daughter Sonia-Zoe's collection on your blog and she wants them now. :) While looking around online, I realized Michaels sell Calico Critters that can be bought at 1/2 price using their 50% off coupons (coupon is good until this Saturday). Their 40% off coupons would come in handy after Saturday. Just wanted to let you know.


Thursday 1st of December 2016

Oh! I had no idea Michael's carried those...I've never seen them before.

Tamara R

Thursday 1st of December 2016

One Christmas, some years ago, I found myself so overwhelmed by all the demands I'd placed on myself I was literally in tears as we all sat down to dinner together on December 25. So not what the season is meant to be about!

As a result, I shed many of my self-imposed holiday expectations - perfectly decorated home, both inside and out, holiday cards, filled stockings for everyone (even though no one lives at home any longer), lots of beautifully wrapped presents, all meals made from scratch, midnight services even though I am NOT a night person, and hosting from Christmas Eve through Christmas night.

Now I focus only on what I truly enjoy about this special season, meaning I lightly decorate the inside of my home and leave the outside to my husband, gifts have been significantly downscaled in quantity, stockings disbanded, meals simplified, and hosting duties shared with my now-grown-and-on-their own daughters.

Added to my list instead are activities that give me joy - attending a friend's annual tamale making party, attending oodles of holiday concerts and plays, hosting a holiday lights walk through our festive neighborhood that culminates in dessert back at our house, and resurrecting an old tradition of hosting a cookie exchange party for the ladies in my neighborhood.

Prioritizing experiences over things has really tipped the balance back to now looking forward to this time of year instead of dreading it. (!)

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