Week Two - List Week - Oct 20-25
After considering your goals and priorities for your Christmas season, this is the week to do some practical planning.
1. On your calendar or planner, mark down every scheduled event from Thanksgiving to the New Year. This could include trips, family gatherings, work parties, and church events.
2. List the activities that are not on a specific date. For example, on my list is cookie baking with my children and singing at the nursing home. Either write these activities in the margin of your calendar so they are not forgotten or go ahead and pencil them in on a date. They could be changed at a later date.
3. Now start lists. Write lists of anything and everything you can think of.
Some list ideas:
Goodies to bake
Card mailing list
Menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years...
The back of your planner or a notebook is a good place for your lists. The back of an envelope is not. You want this paper to hold your brain for the next weeks.
Once I have lists - I can more easily see what I need to be doing next and what purchases need made.
Now take your lists and compare them to the thinking you did with last week's questions. How well do you lists reflect your priorities. Is there things you need to scratch out or add?
For example, I am going to ask my children which is their favorite Christmas cookie. These recipes will go to the top of the list. Then without guilt, I'm going to omit a few recipes on the bottom. I love to bake Christmas cookies, but my list can get a little out of hand. If we each pick our very favorite, that will give us enough variety.
Also look for ways to make your lists easier. Last year I finally entered all of our mailing addresses in the computer. Ed has been telling me to do this for years but every year I don't have time (I think) to type out addresses so I continued to hand-address our Christmas cards. Finally I made it priority - and it was SO simple to print off address labels. I don't know why I didn't do it ten years ago.
But don't feel bad if Christmas cards are one item you have eliminated from your to-do list. I know that with social media, mailing out Christmas greetings is becoming obsolete. But I still love receiving family pictures to hang in our kitchen all year - and I actually enjoy writing an end-of-the-year letter to friends - so this is one tradition I'm hanging on to.
Now to look at preparation in Scripture.
"11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee."
(1 Chronicles 29:11-12, 16-17)
In 1 Chronicles 29, David tells of his preparations to build a temple for the Lord. He stockpiled huge quantities of gold and other valuable items. But David remembered that all He possessed came from God. All of it.
My downfall in planning can be that I get smug in my plans. I need to remember Who it is that gives me life, health, and days. I need to open my calendar up before the Lord and like David, offer my days back to the God Who gave them to me in the first place.