O.K., I’ll admit it, I was starting to feel a little (truth: A LOT!) stressed yesterday with my to-do lists increasing in size by the minute. I had more than one of those ‘walk into a room and completely forget why I went into that room’ moments. Now, I know I’m not a spring chicken anymore, but come on! Determined not let all my early prep work (shopping, pre-making cookies/candy, wrapping, decorating, etc) go to waste, and spend the next five or six days worried that I’m missing something. I sat down in the afternoon while my little one napped and tried to logically look at the task at hand: Christmas.
As most of you know, I already make a monthly dinner menu plan. (Side note, I do share our monthly dinner menu with my subscribers as well as a blank printable. If you want in, all you have to do it enter you email over there on the right menu bar and I’ll add you to my list). I sit down and look at our calendar, kids activities, work schedules, etc and try to plan meals out that will work for us. Then I look in our pantry and freezer and plan my shopping list from there. There is nothing I detest more than having to stop by the grocery store on a one off for just one measly item in a recipe I have planned for dinner that evening. Flash-forward and I’m at the checkout lanes after getting my ‘one item’, confused as to how I entered the store for ‘one item,’ however my cart exceeds the number of items allowed for the express checkout lane. Am I the only one with this problem?!
Since my process for menu planning works well for me, it seemed like a valid place to start this list. After all, there is a lot of food involved over the next several days. A LOT! I felt the need to include breakfast, lunches, and dinners when attempting to organize this, instead of just dinners (which is what I usually do). Traditionally, we do a big breakfast after gifts on Christmas morning. We ALWAYS have waffles, some sort of egg bake, and grapefruit. Can’t mess with tradition! Also, I wanted to be certain that I included places to use up all of the inevitable leftovers. It sickens me to have to throw food out, we try to use it up whenever we can! I think I have everything covered (finger’s crossed), here’s how it turned out:
If you’d like to print out a blank version of my Christmas week menu to help you organize, I uploaded it here:
Next up, how am I possibly going to make all this menu happen in addition to all of the other tasks, and not forget something?! Enter: my task list. I started off making a list of all the tasks that I need to get done. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it was getting long and I was starting to get that overwhelmed feeling again. I’m sure yours is just as long, if not longer! I decided to split up the tasks the best I can among the days left to do them in. Anything that can be done before December 24th or 25th is getting tasked on the next three days. This is how the new list currently looks, more to be added after I drink some coffee 😉
I also made a blank version of my task list worksheet for you to use too, I uploaded that here:
You’ll notice that the dates on my task list don’t match the dates on my menu organizer. I did that on purpose. I assume that things will return to ‘normal’ for us at our house on the 27th, menu and activity-wise anyway. Also, I wanted to be sure to have some healthier/lighter meals planned for after Christmas. Dishes like baked fish and chicken breast salads will be increasing in regularity in the days and weeks following all the holiday gatherings. I love all the decadent food and treats, but I’ll be happy when they are off the menu too. Another component you’ll notice on the task list (which I hesitated to add) is at the very bottom: last minute purchases. My goal with all the planning thus far was to completely avoid having to step into another store until after Christmas. After New Years, if I’m lucky! I’m still hopefully optimistic, however, worst case I can cut off the bottom of the task list worksheet and hand it to my husband. He doesn’t seem to have the misfortune of ending up like I do, unable to use the express lane after entering the store for one item. Extraordinary!
x – Nicole