That picture was from Christmas 2004. Nothing like a ten-year-old snapshot to give me a little perspective!

“I’m going to slow down this year, do less, and enjoy the season.” Have you ever said this to yourself right around Thanksgiving? I do. Every year! I’m certain I said it back in 2004, and I think I’ve said it a couple of times this year.

I’m not sure how it happens but every year it seems like it doesn’t happen, in spite of my best efforts. We were crazy-busy or out of town over Thanksgiving (at a wonderful horse show–I’ll post on that soon) and we arrived home late Sunday. Not only were there no Christmas decorations up, I still had a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving leftovers we’d barely been able to enjoy, and I was behind on just regular living activities, even grocery shopping! I have now succeeded in getting the Thanksgiving/fall things put away, but I don’t even have our Advent calendar up, and it is December 2.

I’m only observing what is the normal level of chaos around here–we have evening activities almost every night for the next two weeks, and at least four days of wrestling in the next ten. It probably isn’t much different than anyone else’s craziness. I officially bowed out of a horse show today when I realized that it was on the only empty Saturday between now and Christmas. Probably one of the sanest decisions I’ve made in a while.

I’ve already decided that the tree doesn’t have to be up for it to feel Christmas-y. I’m hoping to get the mantle decorated tomorrow, and maybe get our Christmas dishes out. That actually takes about three minutes because I know exactly where they are!

On the plus side:  not only do I know what I’m wearing to Bill’s company party next weekend, I have already purchased it. It is sitting in my closet just waiting for me to put it on, and it is super-cute. Given that my normal pattern is to (a) make a desperation run to Atlanta the morning of the party and try to find something, anything, that I like, or (b) scrounge in my closet for something acceptable, this is an unbelievable coup for me.

And I AM piling up the magazines and making lists to do some serious cyber-shopping on Saturday while I sit at a wrestling meet. The great thing about these meets is that if you bring something to do, you can get a LOT done while you sit on those bleachers. Not cookies or wrapping, but knitting or ordering or addressing Christmas cards. The wrestling matches don’t last that long!

What are you doing to slow the season? Are you ahead of the game this year? I would love to know how to avoid this–but I don’t really see a way around it until I don’t have wrestlers and football players and singers and guitarists and trombone players and riders and acolytes in my home, and I can’t bear the thought of that.