Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Too Soon Tuesday

How many times have you been “surprised” that Thanksgiving and Christmas are “just around the corner”? Granted, Thanksgiving scoots around here and there each year on the November calendar pages, but Christmas is ALWAYS on December 25th, rain or shine. Yet, like a buzzing mosquito, we are aware of its presence in a back-burner kind of way until ZAP! And no matter how hard we swat and scratch, we’ve been bit!

Allow me to be the bearer of ominous tidings -- today is November 1st. You now officially have 23 days until Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 24th), and 53 days until Christmas. That also equates to 30 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. Oh dear, I just heard a bunch of thuds, and I fear it was the sound of some of you falling off your chairs, as the rest of you join in a heartrending chorus of “Too Soon! Too Soon!” Sorry! Don’t shoot the messenger!!

Don’t be afraid – now that you are clear about timeframes and dates, you can plan appropriately. Exercise your short-range and long-range planning muscles. Get a November calendar out and highlight the 24th. Now think of the long-range plans – Thanksgiving. Imagine exactly what you need, whether you are going away, having a celebration/meal at your home, working at a shelter, etc. Okay good. Now… the next step is to think about all the things to need to arrange/get/make between now and then. If you’re going away, start looking at airline reservations, or if you’re driving, map things out, figure out travel expenses, etc. Once that is done, determine what clothes you’re going to pack, what you may be bringing if you’re cooking/baking for the event, things like that. Break all that down into bite-sized daily chores. Can you begin packing anything now, just a little each day? What can you purchase this weekend for the trip? Get the idea?

If you are the one hosting a Thanksgiving celebration, begin now by planning your menu. Can you pick up items in the next several trips to the grocery store to spread out the expense, and save on the last minute “give me that last can of pumpkin puree or I’ll hit you with my cart” insanity that plagues every market the last weekend before Thanksgiving. Can you cook this weekend and freeze any items? Again, it’s finding little things each day that won’t overwhelm you. Can you clean one room thoroughly from top to bottom over the next three weekends so that you won’t have to worry about it the actual week of the big event? Plot all this down on your calendar. Plan it so that everything that can possibly be done before the week of the occasion is completed, so you aren’t running around like a whirling dervish screaming banshee woman -- and remember to DELEGATE IF YOU CAN! I have a confession – last year I purchased my honey ham and some of the “fixins’” the day before Christmas – yes, there, I’ve said it. I may be drummed out of the “Donna Reed Wannabe” club, but you know what? It was delicious, easy to do and I spent far less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends.

As far as Christmas goes, begin making purchases now to save yourself from charging up a storm on gifts and then spending all of 2012 paying those credit cards off! It’s NOT too soon to begin planning for the upcoming holidays, and it’s certainly NOT too late. Start today. You can do it… baby steps!


Oh, and P.S. – if you have any questions about cooking a turkey, click HERE the link to Butterball!

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