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Dear 2011 Self

2010 December 22
by Pamela

Dear Pamela around Christmas-time in 2011:

You might not remember much about Christmas 2010 a year from now since you’re going to be a little busy with a new baby and all.  I’m writing you this in hopes of jogging your memory.

By the way, I hope your new baby is sleeping well for you and you’ve lost all your pregnancy weight.  You ate plenty of cookies and fudge in 2010 and felt fat and miserable.  You won’t want to feel like that again this year. 

This Christmas has been the least stressful for you since becoming an adult.  You pulled the “pregnancy card” quite a bit and in 2011 you might feel like you can’t be such a minimalist.

Even if you aren’t pregnant in 2011, there are some things you’ve learned and practiced this season that could be put into practice again.  Trust me – and you can thank me later.

First things first:  you don’t have to do it all.  Every good idea can be just that, a good idea.  They don’t all need to find a home in your home.

Start saving for Christmas again in January.  It was nice to have the money available to start shopping early.

Keep a notebook with ideas of things to purchase for loved ones so you aren’t scrambling for ideas.

Choose just a few things to do with and for each family member.  It creates memories, loving ones instead of stressed-out-Mommy-who-isn’t-any-fun ones.

Some things your family did this year and loved:  living nativity at Christ the King Lutheran and dinner afterwards, cookie decorating with the girls, the Advent calendar, making gluten-free pierogis and cookies for Bob with your moms, and gingerbread houses at the library.

The pre-formed sugar cookies from GFS were wonderful and worth the money.  The kids only like decorating them anyway.

When someone offers something, say yes.  When your Mom offers to host dinner, say yes.  When Bob offers to put up the tree and wrap the presents, say yes. 

When someone asks you to do/attend/make/be a part of something that seems wonderful but might end up being exhausting, say no.  Remember that your kids and husband are only going to remember you being stressed out.

Take at least one snow day next winter.  Remember the day when you were all trapped in the house with the first blizzard.  Plan ahead by having the house clean, cookies ready, dinner prepared, hot cocoa, popcorn and games available.  It was a beautiful day for everyone.

Get your cooking done early when possible.

Martha Stewart is most likely not coming to dinner so you don’t need to decorate, bake and cook as if she is.

Start everything as early as possible.  You had 75% of your shopping done in November.  What you could cook ahead of time, you did.  Christmas outfits were purchased in November, the Advent calendar was completed then too. 

You spent an extra amount of time cleaning your house and it made you feel rested and prepared in both heart and spirit.

Plan lots of playdate trades for the week before Christmas.  It has been helpful to you and so fun for the kids.

Look around you and be aware of needs.  Find tangible ways to meet them.  Remember how you were blessed beyond measure this year by doing this very thing.

Have some books in place for your own time of Advent reflection.  

Christmas is not going to be more enjoyable and more festive by DOING MORE.  The time has meaning only when you have time to reflect on your dear Savior’s birth. 

So do less, but do it with full intention and with full meaning.  Remember above all things that you are dearly loved by the One who made you.

Oh and buy yourself a couple of candles from Bath & Body Works again.  You loved the “winter” and “spice” scents!

3 Responses leave one →
  1. John B permalink
    December 22, 2010

    You’re AWESOME, Pam. I love your blog so much.

  2. December 23, 2010

    You are just so cute Pamela, love it!!

  3. Kelly permalink
    December 30, 2010

    Can your 2011 self remind my 2011 self to stock up on batteries before Christmas morning?

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