Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back By Popular Demand...

I'm still frantically writing the last 2,500 words of my novel (tomorrow's the last day), but several of you asked me to re-post my December resolutions in November. So here they are, just in the nick of time. As I read over them now I realize I so needed this reminder. Thank you for requesting the repeat. And I'll be back on December 1 with Twelve (more) Gifts.

Turning Those Rants into Resolutions

This year I resolve to:

I resolve to "just say no" to the alluring drug of every holiday obligation: office parties, piano recitals, school programs, art fairs, and anything else that pulls me away from my family during the evening. Instead, I want to spend December singing carols, reading stories, sharing scriptures, and feeling home.

I resolve not to turn into a "wicked stepmother" of fairytale proportions on December 24, suddenly panicking over what's not done and taking it out on those nearest and dearest to me. I will not yell at anyone to help wrap, help assemble, help mail, help deliver, help organize, help clean, help cook, help decorate. I will not yell. Period. I will speak in reverent tones and spread nothing but joy on Christmas Eve. I commit now to a stress-free Christmas Eve, whatever the cost.

I will not allow my burgeoning to-do list to eclipse my morning workout. I will not eat a dozen of my own fresh-baked cookies on-the-run every day because I can't make time for a good lunch. I will not eat a steady stream of chocolate from 8 pm to midnight to help me stay awake. I will simply go to bed. And get up early enough to incorporate a workout into my day. I will take care of myself first.

Next year I will not have a cow when we bring up the Christmas china, only to discover that the contractors were not gentle when they moved the crate and the entire set is shattered. I will just be grateful we have food, and plates to eat it on. I will be grateful we had contractors work on our basement instead of doing it ourselves. I will be grateful Christmas is coming, with or without the special plates. I will not let anything so immaterial as a material loss get in the way of my holiday spirit.

While I love my innate flexibility and utter spontaneity, leaving too much to the last minute, or worse, to chance, is one of my biggest weaknesses. I will plan more and fret less. I will make a list and check it twice. I will make room for the most important things first.

Sure, we did the "giving tree," the donation to the food bank, the children's book drive, the open house benefiting Mothers Without Borders, and enjoyed participating in all of them. But I want to feel like we made a sacrifice as a family that made a significant difference. I resolve to set aside money all year long to do one significant act to bless someone else's life.

That was one of the most meaningful things I did last December, and I already have at least three more posts already written in my head. I'm going to prepare a few early, write a few more as they come to me, and be glad I have that time to reflect, and rejoice in those of you who take time to respond.

I'm actually glad this hit me this way this Christmas, because NOW I'm totally worked up, totally motivated to make changes, totally on board to start making progress NOW.
It feels good to turn those rants into resolutions, and hopefully by next December those rants will become raves. I'd love to hear your rants, and how you plan to turn them into raves this year.


Kristina P. said...

In tried on a dress I hadn't worn in a while and it was depressing. Good news is that I made cookies yesterday for a cookie exchange and only had 2, one yesterday and one today!

Mrs4444 said...

I love these!

I bought a nice desk from a Craigslist ad last week. The people refused to take more than $10, and I was moved. I plan to pay that forward...

Lara said...

I've been thinking this way for a week or can I be angry with x when I have been given so much?

I love this idea, and I loved reading your thoughts.

Good luck with the rest of NaNoWriMo! :)

Sandy M. said...

Only a dozen? :)

I'm going to rant away, thank you! As soon as I have time :)

Heard a line from President Monson quoted at church today - something about not letting yourself get stuck 'being in the thick of thin things'.

(and get back to work :)


Kazzy said...

Great ideas for next year. I always wish that I were more prepared to be of more service each holiday season. Great goal. Love ya, and see ya Tuesday!

Happy Mom said...

Exactly! Just the reminder I needed this morning!

Good luck with your book!

Barbaloot said...

I love the December resolutions. What a good idea---I want to impliment that as well.

Melanie J said...

I love these. :)

deb said...

This was great. I've worked on some of these , still working on others.

I truly want to get the obligatory shopping finished early so that I can enjoy the season more instead of actually being afraid someone might pass by like I offered and all I'm thinking about is that I need to get to the mall or whatever.

best of luck with the writing

Dedee said...

Thanks darling girl. I needed this reminder myself.

Kimberly said...

I have so many of the same resolutions rattling around in my head and heart. Reading about them here has me feeling that kick of motivation as well!

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, how I worship you.

McMGrad89 said...

Great list. It has been quite some time since I have felt the urge to be perfect at Christmas. Maybe that's why I still have the decorations I never took down last year.