The Christmas crunch

I have reached the point in December where the volume of stuff to be managed starts feeling like a bit much. This was also a rough morning as the little guy was up for a while last night and then an older child screamed in the hallway early this morning, causing the little guy to wake up too early, so I sat with him for an hour in the morning as he dozed in and out on my lap. That sounds sweet except it’s hard to check that other people are getting ready for school and getting out the door from that position. The whole morning was off and I wound up remembering that I hadn’t packed a lunch for the 7-year-old while he was in the van getting ready to leave, so I was racing back inside to orchestrate that.

I have not entirely succeeded in my project of getting everything done for work so I can take next week off. But there is today and tomorrow.

Anyway, the good news is that the presents are wrapped. The children all wrapped (with some help) their sibling presents for each other (they will open these on the 23rd). We have matching family pajamas ready to go for the 24th. Children who are in the Christmas pageant have practiced their lines. Almost all the under-the-tree presents are wrapped, with only one present still outstanding, and the tracking information says it is in the USPS Philadelphia PA Network Distribution Center. So that’s a positive. I bought these cute little Christmas tree stocking holders for our mantle so we can actually hang stockings this year! My husband went to Wegmans last night and bought food for the extended family Christmas get-together.

It has been a very merry and full month. And there’s more stuff to come! But January will be slower. Life tends to come in waves. Though with five kids, there are always logistics and planning to be done (I started on the camp spreadsheet for summer…that is going to be a January project).

In other news: Please join me and Dorie Clark for a chat over at LinkedIn at noon, eastern, today! We’ll be talking Tranquility by Tuesday and time management in general. You can access the chat directly here (

Also, I’m hosting my annual time tracking challenge from January 9-15, 2023. If you’ve been looking for a good time to try tracking your time, this could be it. You can sign up here to get daily motivational emails.

And then, stay tuned for the first Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge! From January 20th to March 23rd we’ll be going through one of the nine TBT rules each week. I’ll have a sign-up for that coming in the new year.




6 thoughts on “The Christmas crunch

  1. Phew… nearly there.

    We fly tomorrow which was not a certainty until 5pm when we did a final covid test and I’m negative, my husband has the faintest of squinters, and kiddo is negative (never tested positive). It’s been a stressful week, but luckily we had pretty mild cases for our first covid rodeo. We did an early Christmas celebration to avoid hauling gifts, which was nice, glad we had a supply of Lego and books to keep us going this week. My son missed two Christmas parties but enjoyed mummy school, full on March 2020 vibes. He’s made tons of progress with his reading this week though, think he needed the individualised attention.

    My family is currently grumbling about my plans to take the tree down tomorrow am but I find it depressing to come home to a sad tree (it’s a real one and we bought it from the farm in early December so we’ve had time to enjoy it. But I just think new year, nice fresh start.

    1. @CB – here’s to a healthy Christmas! And I get it on the tree. Ours won’t come down until new years I’m sure but it does feel like a fresh start when it does.

  2. Good on you for getting through it all!

    Be glad you don’t live in the southern hemisphere, where Christmas celebrations coincide with the end of the school year, resulting in one big stressful mess! The confluence of these two major events meant that December for me was filled with:

    – Self-publishing Miss 12’s comics into a book because doing that means we have unique presents to give to family, friends and teachers.

    – Putting up the tree and decorations

    – Doing advent calendar readings with my kids over breakfast

    – Making Christmas cards (because I dislike the ones in the store and I also needed some for work and for my kids to give out )

    – Putting together lolly bags for my kids to give to their friends along with the Christmas cards. (Chocolate melts in the Australian sun!)

    – Organising, purchasing and wrapping Christmas gifts for family and extended family, as well as for some of my work colleagues. (Ugh, I’ve spent around three hours wrapping gifts this week and I’m still not done!)

    – Organising the gifts and printing the cards with messages from the class for Miss 12’s three teachers because I was class parent this year. (I didn’t know she would have three teachers when I signed up to be class parent :S)

    – Miss 12 was finishing primary school, which meant that we attended the musical her year group put on, she attended a farewell dinner and dance (which meant going on an outing to buy her new shoes as she only had sneakers in her current size), and attending covert dance rehearsals in the weeks leading up to the end of term as the tradition at the school is that the parents of the graduating year do a dance flashmob at the graduation assembly. (The dancing turned out to be more fun than I was expecting, even though the routine was a little more complicated than I would have liked!)

    – Family Christmas get-togethers (we do for scattered throughout December to cater to all branches of the extended family)

    – Work Christmas party, for which I (perhaps very foolishly) volunteered to perform a song as part of the proceedings (singing and playing piano). Fortunately I’ve been practising that all year!

    – Doing a neighbourhood letter box drop to advertise the Christmas services and carols at church.

    – Rehearsals for church carols, which also meant learning a low and high harmony line for “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, as well as a part for glockenspiel for “Joy to the World”. (NB: I’ve never played glockenspiel before this!)

    – Making egg nog for my husband as it’s the only time of year I do that for him

    – Knitting a “Bee & Puppycat” hat for a friend’s child because that friend asked me to do it as she wanted to give it to her child for Christmas. (She bought me the yarn though!)

    It’s two more days until Christmas, work is over (we have a compulsory shut down between Christmas and New Year’s), the days are heating up (it’s expected to be 30ºC over the weekend), and I’m so glad that the bulk of the above is over!

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. Thank you for all your thoughts and writing on time management things; I have benefitted greatly from them. I am in the middle of one of your books at the moment and am hoping to finish it while on holidays 🙂

    1. @Karen – what a list! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s too. I’m glad you found my books and writing!

  3. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, Laura–that picture of the mantle looks like a lovely harbinger of joy!

    I plan to do the time-tracking challenge this year too. College classes resume on 1/9 and 1/10 is my dear friend’s book launch and I’ll probably sleep over there to make things simpler so it’ll be a *very* unusual week to track!

  4. As much as I enjoy September through Christmas, it is a slog for moms between the start of a new school year and adjusting to it and the multiple and many holidays. I *love* January. I know it’s cold, but it’s quiet and peaceful and nothing is on the calendar. It allows me to catch my breath before the start of spring sports and end-of-year activities. Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *