Monday, December 30, 2013

Update on Christmas '13 Bucket List

I rarely reach my goals…either I aim too high, succumb to laziness, lose motivation or change my mind. But this Christmas was different. Bucket list kicked to the curb! I managed to achieve all the goals I had set! YAY!!!

Here's how:

1. Plan and prepare a no-stress Christmas meal.  I enlisted the help of Bruce to bake the ham and make Paula Deen's famous Lady Mac and Cheese. Debbie (SIL) and Jo (MIL) helped by bringing pink salad and broccoli and rice casserole. I made green bean roll ups, cornbread casserole and chocolate delight. Thanks to friends we also had enough candy and other holiday goodies to open our own candy store and thanks to Sister Schubert…we had yummy rolls. If you haven't met Sister Schubert….you are missing out. She lives at Walmart in the frozen food aisle. Go now and meet her.

2. Go Christmas Caroling This was something that I really really wanted to do. I've tried the last two years and because of illness it never came to pass. So…I called a couple of friends and made a list of a few people who I thought could use some holiday cheer and weren't too particular on pitch or musical accuracy. We loaded up our daughters and the seven of us went caroling. Next time I'll invite everyone…visit more people and make a big night of it. It was so much fun. 

3. Watch lots of Christmas movies with the family Thank you Hallmark Channel, Family Channel, Lifetime, ION, Up and various other networks who helped me achieve my goal. My DVR won't be clear of Christmas movies until July 4th.

4. Bake for the church staff I love these people. They are hard workers who deserve more than my baked goods. Lucky for me they are easy to please. Snickerdoodles, Ultimate cookie bars, pumpkin and heath candy bar muffins and raspberry bars….delivered just in time for Christmas. 

5. Make a few handmade gifts  For Christmas I made homemade napkins, a really pretty gift book for my mom, helped the kids make nativity blocks and a pillowcase. Nothing too exciting but I really enjoyed making them!

6. Buy less I bought less…and honestly I didn't like it. I love spoiling loved ones and friends at the holidays. But focusing more on the season allowed me to reach these goals and that was part of the success. So….I will buy less again next year if it means I have time, effort and energy to do the more important things.

7. Take a decent family Christmas photo  Thanks to my friend Felicia and the awesome Christmas program background scene at church, my family got a fantastic Christmas photo….it was like a Christmas miracle.

8. Read and meditate on a portion of the nativity story each day of December  one more day…but I have to say this was very instrumental in helping me get through the holiday season with the right frame of mind. We had 7 funerals within 2 weeks that Bruce and I had a part in. Most were people in our church. Broke my heart to see so much grief and sadness, but every single one of these families had the HOPE that is so clearly represented in the nativity story. What a gift at Christmas. 

9. Take my time in Walmart…ignore the long lines and just breathe  I did this….it was hard…but I just decided that at 10pm, when the crowd was smaller, I could be nice and happy and choose to not complain. And I actually enjoyed shopping!

I hope you accomplished all your holiday dreams and are ready to tackle the new year with your own Bucket List for 2014!

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