Monday, January 30, 2017

Preparing to Prepare: A Commitment to Spend Time Each Month Preparing for Advent and Christmas


I know.  I know.  You have just read the title of this post and are thinking, "Christmas?  Why is she talking about Advent and Christmas?  That time of year is months away."

Well, let me assure you, I have a sound reason to be thinking about Advent and Christmas.  For, I admit it: I am not the most organized housekeeper and a mere day or two before turning the calendar page to February, Advent and Christmas items were still exploding throughout my home.

Now, I know some of you, like me, purposefully leave certain decorations out until Candlemas.  however, I am not talking about having an intentional Nativity set or two still out.  No, I am ashamed to admit that my family and I had been
slaloming through Advent and Christmas bins in my hallway, wading through stacks of Advent and Christmas books, separating our homemade12 Days of Christmas ornaments from other ornaments that we took down after Epiphany and finally wrapping them up, and more until I made huge push this past weekend to get the Advent/Christmas chaos under control.

Yes, with humility, I admit I am not a gifted housekeeper, and, I often let tasks literally stack up.  Yet, with hope, I plan to change that.

One of my goals for this year is to finally break the cycle of disorganization that has plagued me (my children, my husband, and our home) for years.  And, one of the ways I have decided to work on that goal is to invest time up front to prevent seasonal explosions from derailing the rest of the year.

Thus it is that I have determined that I will NOT spend late November and early December of this year pushing to prepare for this year's Advent and Christmas seasons and, likewise, I will not still be tucking away the majority of our Advent and Christmas items away as February nears next year. Rather, - God-willing - this November will find my family and I peacefully prepared for Advent when it rolls around in early December this year, and, then, equally able to slide right into a joyous Christmas, before heading into an organized Ordinary Time with a smiles on our faces and but few intentional Christmastide about the house.

Great intentions, right?

Indeed.  But, they are only as good as the effort behind them.

So it is that, as of today, I am committing to doing extra preparation and organization each month this year in an effort to make my family's next Advent and Christmas among our most organized and peaceful ever.

My first step has been an easy one:  Creating an Advent and Christmas Corner.  

Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind

 I re-delegated a portion of my attic to storing 18-gallon totes with our:
  • Advent and Christmas Books
  • Jesse Tree Ornaments and other Advent Decor
  • Nativity Scene Figurines
  • Christmas Ornaments and Lights
  • Christmas Eve through the End-of-Christmastide Decorations
  • Christmas Gift Storage
  • Christmas Craft Items

Then, I began the process of sorting, purging, organizing, and cataloging items - as well as carefully labeling bins - so as to ensure that I know exactly what was in each bin stored in our attic and how those things may be used intentionally in the years to come.  (This is actually something I hope to do with ALL of the things in our  home - sort, purge, organize, catalog, and label. Wish my luck!)

I have finished that process with all of our items except our nativity sets (which I leave out until Candlemas) and our picture books, which are sorted, but not catalogued and tucked away yet. 

So it is, the process continues

Your Invited to Follow My Progress - and Prompt Me to Keep Going

Once I get our nativity sets and picture books tucked away until this year's Advent and Christmas seasons, I do not intend to stop the organization process.  Rather, I plan to do a little each month so that I am not scrambling to prepare on December 1st of this year. 

Yes, since Advent begins this year on December 3rd, I have decided to give myself interim deadlines of the 2nd of each month to make further progress on preparing to prepare, and I plan to share about my progress as I go.

So, please continue to pop on over on the 2nd of of each month to hear how I have been moving along with my next steps of preparations or to prompt me - please! - to progress if need be, and if find yourself scrambling to prepare lessons, heart, and home just before Advent each year, join me in parallel efforts at your own home.  Maybe what I share can inspire your efforts.

May we each be disciplined in getting through tedious tasks in order to better prepare our hearts and homes!


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