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Friday, December 25, 2009

Command Center AKA My Christmas List Was Strangely Calm


If you were reading my blog last year you know that right after Christmas I resolved to simplify things because I almost killed myself with too many commitments and too much cooking and entertaining. I'm happy to say that I kept that resolve. How did I change things? Here goes.

First of all, I omitted a couple of parties. These particular parties were things we went to because we felt obligated to do so, not because we particularly wanted to. This year we politely declined.

Second, we usually have a quick lunch with our good friends on Christmas Eve. That was when we exchanged presents. We never had enough time because we had to rush away to cook for a dinner that night. (You really wouldn't believe my schedule. If you'd like to check last year's blog you can see for yourself.) This year we had dinner with them on the twenty third instead. We had plenty of time to exchange gifts, talk, and enjoy each other's company.

Third, I ordered some food this year instead of cooking everything from scratch. Our local grocer baked my turkey, cooked my stuffing, and made the gravy. A local bakery baked pumpkin and apples pies for me, and I bought frozen sausage biscuits, brownie bites from Atlanta Bread Company, pita chips and artichoke-spinach dip, and a fruit cake from Costco. My tropical fruit salad came from a can.

I did a ham from scratch as well as a macaroni, but that's it unless you count coffee and tea.

Was the food as good? Almost, but not quite. The fruit cake was awful, though, and the pumpkin pie was nowhere as good as mine. Did it matter? No, not at all. Everyone ate, drank, and laughed just as much as if I'd done the whole thing from scrach as I did last year.

I gave as many gifts as ever, but I ordered some of them instead of going to the store to buy them. I also gave gift cards to some of my hard to buy for people instead of wracking my brain looking for something they wouldn't like anyway.

I didn't skimp on decorations, and I still used my Christmas china which I had to drag out and wash the same as usual, but these things are too special to skimp on.

Will I do the same thing next year? You betcha. I like having enough energy to enjoy myself instead of feeling exhausted. I even plan to go shopping tomorrow to exchange a couple of gifts.

I guess what I've learned is that I should pick and choose where to invest my time and energy. Some things are worth going all out for and some aren't. From now on I'm going to figure out which is which.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

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