challenge..........the not to-do list

How is your week? Filled with spiritual, uplifting Christmas happiness?
Except often times it is more stress, lack of sleep, frantic trips to the post office, rushed trips to the box stores you swore you weren't going to shop at this year.

It's here. The mad dash, the final stretch. 8 days left.
I love it. I love this week. As a lifelong procrastinator, this week, this week is where I thrive.
Shortly after I had my first child, I felt very sure that all of the sudden, I needed to do all things expected. Send out handmade personalized Christmas cards, bake the best sugar cookies for the neighbors, learn to make caramel's, and purchase personalized gifts for my loved ones. Not to mention, sew intricately pieced matching stockings for each of us and help with a church performance. I did it all. Even the caramels! And it was horrible. And I haven't done it since.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the satisfaction of accomplishing so much. But, I didn't enjoy what I should have enjoyed this time of year. I didn't enjoy the simplicity of helping another.

I was so busy thinking of all that I needed to do, that I forgot about what was done hundreds of years ago in that humble lowly stable.
Sure, I hummed hymns, hung up a picture of the manger scene, and even crafted a little nativity of my own, but I did so much more than that. So unnecessary. So much more that I didn't let the real meaning of Christmas be the simple perfection to my holiday.

challenge.......the not to-do list

Out of all of the many, many things you surely have on your agenda in the next week, let a few go. Even just one.

A few years ago, I became wise and changed our routine. I don't send out Christmas cards, and I don't take the neighbors a plateful of goodies. *gasp* *shocker*
We changed our routine to what has become a fun tradition. We send out Valentines in February and take around treats then. It is fabulous. It is stress free. It is just as good as delivering treats on December 23rd.

Mrs. A, the older lady down the street really doesn't care how cute my sugar cookies are, but she really could use someone to talk to her, to break up the monotony of day after lonely day.

This next week will be busy, but even for a procrastinator like me, still enjoyed. Because it isn't so much about all that I am going to accomplish, but very much about what I'm not.

So, what aren't you going to do?


  1. What a great idea...Valentine's day cards. I was feeling guilty because I didn't get a picture taken of all of us to send out for Christmas. Now we can take a picture in January when it's really pretty around here and send it then! Thanks!!

    What am I not going to do? I'm not going to stress about the cards anymore. I'm not going to make anymore cookies or caramels because I took care of the people I love first and then I was going to bake more for the neighbors and bishop and all that jazz. Now I'm not...because you said so! :)
    I'll wait until V-day when everyone needs some cheer!

  2. I'm not going to freak out about the fact that my apartment is still sporting the we-just-moved look instead of the it's-Christmas-time look. I'm not going to let it bother me that we haven't set up the tree yet, and when we do, I'm not going to get mad every time the little ones take the ornaments off and play with them.

  3. I'm not doing a thing. No decorating, no goodies, no lights, not a Christmas card in sight, and barely any presents. I gave myself the year off... and I don't feel a bit guilty! I've been doing the super Christmas mom routine for 8 years. I decided with no husband around this year, I'm going to work on being patient with the kids instead of being a raving lunatic.

  4. We are not getting a tree this year. When we finally got time, it was too cold to take the babies out.

    I'm also not getting gifts for my siblings. I figure if I want to do something for them I can do it any time of year, I don't need to get stressed in December trying to find something for each one of them. We're also not getting gifts for my husband's siblings.

  5. I'm not doing a lot this year. I'm not even putting up a tree! We're leaving tomorrow to spend the week at my in-laws, and we live in a rather small apartment, so I didn't bother with one this year.

  6. Love this! I'm going to try to focus on making memories with my kids this last week before Christmas instead of worrying about all that I thought about doing but just didn't have time! Thanks for giving me permission to skip a thing or two this year!

  7. Not doing Christmas cards.

  8. I had a very long to-do list.

    I just finished a few last minute things and well...it is Christmas Eve, I'm ready to enjoy the evening! wahoo.

    next year I'll probably trim my list down a bit..although I cut out all BAKING. I didn't bake anything all season. wow. Good thing my neighbors did or else I'd feel bad for my family!

    (Oh...Christmas cards...that will happen next year)

  9. One other thought: my Christmas letters are NEVER ready to go out on time. But I figure that's okay, isn't it more fun to get something in the mail in the middle of January? After all, there usually isn't much going on in January. It's just a cold, dark month. So a little extra mail is nice, right?