In the corporate world, whenever there is a major conference or event, those who were in charge of the event get together afterward and do a debrief. It is a time to discuss what worked and what didn’t, while the event is still fresh in everyone’s mind. As I have been working on my mental outlook and made some changes for this Christmas, I thought a debrief might be a good thing to carry over from my past corporate life.
What worked well?
- I enjoyed having all the kids and significant others and grandkids over on Christmas Eve. We aimed to eat at 3 pm, (didn’t actually start til 4!) but this gave us plenty of time to prepare in the morning and time to hang out and still everyone got home at a respectable hour.
- We did a traditional meal. Hubby chose to cook the turkey a day in advance and debone. Had to be careful not to dry it out, but it worked well and didn’t tie up my only oven all morning!
- We didn’t give nearly as many gifts this year as we have before. The grandkids were just as happy and they weren’t overwhelmed with stuff. Our kids received some different gifts this year, either in the form of tools of trade, or of experiences. This will either be very useful or will be memorable!
- Hubby and I did not exchange major gifts this year. We gave 2 small inexpensive gifts that are nice and useful. It has been a tighter year financially and we are more interested in reducing our debt and our belongings than buying more stuff.
- We had a wonderful Christmas morning with our one child still at home fulltime. She is 17 and sat snuggled between me and her dad, had hot chocolate and watched a great Christmas movie. Very nice! Spent the afternoon napping and then finally got dressed and went to a movie with hubby and daughter!
- On the day after Christmas, we went to extended family for dinner and a small gift exchange for the younger ones. It was nice to see those we don’t get to see but a few times a year!
- Having the holiday celebrations spread out worked very well for us, I will definitely plan on doing this next year somehow. It will all depend on what day Christmas falls and how we can make it work.
What didn’t work as well
- I am not much of a cook, so I planned very basic traditional fare for our family dinner. I found myself wishing on Christmas eve while cooking that I had planned to make *something* special. I will consider that for next year.
- I also found myself wishing that I had made some Christmas goodies and cookies to have around for when young adult kids and friends pop in. They always loves to snack! Will look through some recipes and make a few things early December to have on hand.
- While we did get to volunteer with Shop with a Hero, I hate that we didn’t do much else. I have enjoyed volunteering with Operation Shoebox before, as we have a distribution center in our city. I want to take a group and volunteer as well as do a round up of shoeboxes from our church next year.
- Because of cutting back on my overall activities this fall, and somewhat sheltering myself from stress, I feel I also sheltered myself from some of the Christmas spirit. I need to make sure I do some activities to immerse myself more into the season, and I am NOT talking about shopping! Maybe get my daughters together to bake some goodies, or maybe my youngest and some of my adopted daughters (her friends, lol!). I am not very crafty, but my daughters are, maybe we can have a craft day to make some gifts!
- We did spend less that we usually do, but I would like to truly have a Christmas budget and stick to it next year. I don’t do well buying ahead, since we don’t buy a whole lot anyway, but I do want to plan a little more ahead than this year.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What events turned out great?
- Is there something you wish you had NOT participated in?
- What activities brought joy to you and your family?
- What turned out to be more stressful than it was worth?
- Which dishes were a big hit? Were there some that didn’t turn out so great?
- Is there a new dish you want to be sure to try next year?
- What do you wish you had MORE of in the Christmas season?
- What do you wish you had LESS of?
*Be sure to keep notes of this debrief and refer to it next fall!