The presents have been unwrapped, new toys are strewn from one end of the house to the other, and the after Christmas wind down has begun. Before you put this Christmas behind you in the history books now is the time to look at what worked this last year, or didn’t work for that matter while it is all still so fresh in your mind. Now is the time to look critically at how your Christmas experience played out and to write down what worked or didn’t work for you so that you can remember next year. Writing down your experience, thoughts, and things you want to remember is important because while you think that you will remember it all next year let’s be honest you won’t remember it at all.
One of the first steps to taking stock is to look at what your personal thoughts were on this year’s Christmas experience. Did you feel like you were rushed the entire month? Is there something that you can do to help beat that rush? Did you really like how your family went looking at Christmas lights one night on a whim and would like for your family to do that again next year? Were there any other special little things about this Christmas that you want to repeat next year?
When I looked at my own experience this year I realized that I worked too hard before Christmas and next year I want to be sure to take more time off at Christmas. This may mean doing more work the months of October or November but when December rolls around I want to have more time off. Since I was so incredibly busy we didn’t eat as well as we should have, and ate out a lot. I think this can be avoided by preparing more meals that can be frozen in the months of October and November for use in December. If I prepare just two freezer meals a week during those two months I should have the month of December covered. As far as things that worked great this year I did feel less stressed on Christmas Eve and was able to get more sleep by having everything wrapped before Christmas Eve. Usually I am a let’s wrap it all in one night kind of gal but this year I tackled a dozen or so presents each night on the nights leading up to Christmas Eve so that by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I had all of my wrapping done.
Since you don’t celebrate Christmas on your own you can also recruit your family to share their thoughts on how this Christmas went. I did this by asking them to write down their favorite things about this Christmas and their least favorite thing about this Christmas. I also had them rate the activities we did before Christmas, by doing this I was able to determine which activities we will make a priority for next year and which activities we can skip.
After all of that I looked at the food. Were there any foods that we had there were extreme hits this year? What about that cookie that your friend brought to the Cookie Exchange you attended and that you would like to make next year? Now is the time to gather up those recipes and get them written down. Also be sure to write down a copy of this year’s menu, along with the recipes that you used, this will help in planning next year’s menu.
After you have made all of your notes on this past Christmas now is the time to put them away. If you have a household binder with a section for Christmas you can store them there. If you don’t have a household binder you can put your notes in an envelope and store them with your Christmas decorations, that way when you get out your decorations next year you will have your notes ready for you. After all, if you are anything like me you will probably forget that you made the notes in the first place!