Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Spreadsheets: Christmas Prep Points to Thanksgiving Gratitude

The Holiday gift giving spreadsheet came out today in our house today. On Excel, my spreadsheet gets a new tab, revisions are made to the people to shop for & the budget starts coming together.  I can see the number of years this annual tradition of mine has been in the works, and it does bring about the memories of Christmases past.

Yes, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet.  But, the spreadsheet usually comes out mid-November, along about the same time as the Christmas list making (and disseminating) begins.  Its the time the request of folks and family (who like to start early) start coming my way...mostly in order for people to take advantage of crazy shopping spree days, coupons, and online specials that are brewing for Black Friday.   It's a holiday tradition (and one that annually causes me to sigh).

Once the spreadsheet comes out, it seems Christmas is unavoidable at this point.  Don't get me wrong.  I like Christmas.  My children love Christmas!! But Christmas means that snow is probably somewhere close.  (But thankfully, not the 70 inches that New York got recently!!)  It's when the Christmas "To Do" list starts spinning on it's own accord at breakneck speed.  It's the "most wonderful time of the year," but a very busy time of the year.  It can take some gearing up, most certainly!

Given that, I was struck today when I ran across this picture on my Facebook feed from Momastery.

I like it.  Of course, given the hours I just put in organizing our family of 4's Christmas list, I see this would have been a far simpler approach indeed.

In looking at my kids' requests (most certainly not "needs"), I'm struck by how fortunate they truly are, and how difficult it becomes in this media-soaked era of gizmos, gadgets, store circulars, and commercials.  We certainly have become a very "commercial" society.  Charlie Brown knew that back in 1965 with his TV Christmas special.  Some messages still hold true, decades later, though I do think more intensified.

I know I'm part-driver in my home and could (and probably should) move more to a 4-point list like this...but I know doting aunts, uncles, generous friends, and grandparents would want more of a list than this.  I know it, because I've experienced it.  And I circle back (after envisioning my totally-toy basement and turkey-esque stuffed garage)--we truly need nothing.  There is a certain sense of gratitude in know we have enough--too much, which might be especially fresh of mind as we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday.

But it causes me to think.  To slow down.  To reflect.  What are my gifts of which I have that I'm grateful for....and what are the gifts I can give myself (by way of time, patience, and simplification) this holiday season ahead?

Pictures from:
Christmas Spreadsheet from
Thanksgiving Santa image from: 
Momastery Pic from

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