Well, the official holiday rush begins with Thanksgiving. Every woman responsible for a Thanksgiving dinner is preparing her food shopping list and even checking it twice before heading to the store. Tomorrow we get our turkey and the various other food items. In the past several years I have started a new tradition for the holidays. I decorate the home for Christmas the week before Thanksgiving. Why not. Every store and shopping center in the nation is decorated so why not get into the mood early by decorating early. I actually got in the mood in September in Disneyworld when I saw all the lights going up in MGM Studios. I don't know why I didn't think of this when I was working fulltime. Cooking the turkey dinner on Thursday, shopping on black Friday and decorating the house on Saturday and Sunday always left me exhausted and cranky on Monday morning.This is my new schedule for beginning the holiday season.
I decorate the house the weekend before Thanksgiving while thinking and planning my Thanksgiving menu. Thanksgiving week goes like this: Monday bring home all the groceries and the guest of honor, the turkey. Tuesday start preparing some dishes ahead of time and make my pie dough. Wednesday do more cooking and bake the pies and pumpkin bread and cornbread. Thursday we watch Macys' Thanksgiving Day Parade while preparing the meal. Friday we eat leftovers. Don't ask me why because I can't explain it but to me everything tastes better reheated in the microwave on Friday. When not eating on Friday we are usually working on our Christmas cards while listening to Christmas carols on the stereo. This is a great day to address and sign them and begin your holiday letter if you include one in your card. You can get a lot done in one day and then you can mail them early to everyone on your holiday list. Experience taught me this. One year I was sending out cards after Christmas! Bummer. I've also learned over time to avoid shopping on Black Friday. Too many cars on the road, no place to park at the mall and too many people in the checkout lines can kill your Christmas spirit. Another great thing to do on Black Friday is bake a batch of Christmas cookies. The kids in the family will enjoy doing this with you and you can eat them or freeze them for later. As for the Christmas shopping.....early Sunday mornings seems to be a good time to do it. Of course, we don't buy much these days. As your children get older they really do appreciate getting money for Christmas and then going out to buy what they really want. And my husband and I buy each other the strangest things for Christmas. One year we bought a snowblower. Another year we bought picture frames. You get the picture. We opt for practical gifts and we don't need surprises at our age. If anyone has some good ideas for handling the holiday rush, please leave me a comment. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!