Christmas 2010- What worked, what didn’t

me and terry

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:

  1. What events turned out great?
  2. Is there something you wish you had NOT participated in?
  3. What activities brought joy to you and your family?
  4. What turned out to be more stressful than it was worth?
  5. Which dishes were a big hit? Were there some that didn’t turn out so great?
  6. Is there a new dish you want to be sure to try next year?
  7. What do you wish you had MORE of in the Christmas season?
  8. What do you wish you had LESS of?

*Be sure to keep notes of this debrief and refer to it next fall!

Remember this, YOU do have a choice! Make the decisions that are best for you and your family!

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20 comments to Christmas 2010- What worked, what didn’t

  • This is a good way to look at things! I definitely spent more than I wanted to, partially due to a lack of budgeting, and a lot to do with waiting until nearly the last minute. I think I may begin preparing NOW for next year – I want to make ALL of my gifts this year, if I can pull it off. Most years I only end up making one or two things, and I always wonder if the receiver feels cheated.
    Ginger recently posted..Im THAT kind of motherMy Profile

  • After 7 craft shows in 6 weekends, we realized that the tree was not going to be up this year! Next year we will pass on doing a show on Thanksgiving weekend so we can put up the tree. But we did enjoy our scaled back gift giving(we piled the presents on the windowsill). Watching Christmas in Connecticut on DVD was fun, and a tradition we’re enjoying. A pint container of eggnog was also just right–no leftovers.
    Margaret Almon recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Dr Eds Mandala for Pancreatic Cancer AwarenessMy Profile

  • here from sits wishing u a merry christmas! why do we make life difficult for ourselves at this time of year – less is more i say!
    scrappysue recently posted..all right Mr De Mille- im ready for my close-upMy Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Less is *definitely* more! Thanks for coming by from SITS!
    Happy New Year!

  • Mel

    I like your list. I will have to think about these things. There are always such good ideas and then, there is the budget problem :) I would really like to be able to someday shop after Christmas for the next year and take advantage of some of the huge discounts. I did shop ahead some this last year but not enough. I’m going to start picking somethings up all through the year so it is not such a budget crisis each December. I hate being broke for the rest of Christmas vacation for the kids. And we are very good bargain shoppers as it is and our kids don’t get that much! This year, I am going to focus on what I DID accomplish in 2010 and look forward to my goals for 2011 :) That’s my plan anyway!

    New follower from (in)courage! Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God
    Mel recently posted..He Heals The Broken Hearted – Part 1My Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Hi Melinda!
    Yeah, the budget can always be an issue! Buying ahead does work for some people. I am not one of those, lol! I either break down and give it to them way early, or I forget that I bought it and find it in March the next year! And you are right, look forward, to this new year and see what you can achieve!
    Coming over to visit your blog now!

  • I always say I’m going to buy gifts early on that way I won’t have to buy them all at one time, but it never works out that way. I might’ve gotten an earlier start than last year or the year before, because one of those years I relied on money earned from selling back school books to our bookstore as Christmas present money. However, I don’t even bother with that method anymore because the farther I go through college, the less money I make from trying to sell back books. Next year, I seriously need to try to buy early because I don’t really have the flexibility to wait and buy everything around the same time as I like to think I do.
    Lauren recently posted..When Social Networking is Used to the ExtremeMy Profile

  • Hi! I loved this idea!! I blogged about it myself and linked back here.

    We had a really good Christmas this year and had the least amount of presents under the tree I think we’ve ever had. Lots of good ideas to take into next year.

    bernicewood Reply:

    Hi Patty!
    I am so glad you had a good Christmas! One thing I realized as I was undecorating my tree was that I missed out on decorating it! I had my daughter decorate for me as I was busy that week preparing for the party. I will make sure that I make the time to decorate myself next year, and enjoy unpacking at lookingat each ornament as I unpack and hang it! Headed over to read your post now!

  • I LOVE this post! I like how you worded it what didn’t work so well. I am SO hard on myself and tend to use the word ‘fail’! :) So, I love how you worded your list! I’m pondering my 2011 resolutions and changes I would like to see in my life.

    Blessings to you!
    Melanie recently posted..Merry Christmas &amp Looking Forward Question for YOU!My Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Oh, don’t be hard on yourself! We are so much harder on ourselves than we would be on others! Learn from what didn’t work and then move forward!
    Thanks for coming by!

  • Coming over from Women Living Well blog … such a good idea to write out these things. Thanks for the idea! And fun to see another grandma, blogging! :-)
    Cherry recently posted..Weekly Menu Plan – Dec 27 – Jan 2My Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Hi Cherry!
    Thanks for coming over to visit! I am going to hop over and visit your blog now!
    Happy new year to you!

  • Cool idea. I found that I spent too much as it cost and arm and leg to ship our gifts from Egypt to UK and USA but apart from that everything worked out…. Oh except that I would have liked less of a hangover the day after Christmas so next year much less beer on Christmas Day!

    Hope you are having a great holiday in general.
    Forest recently posted..New Year’s party ideasMy Profile

  • I love the idea of debriefing – what went well/what didn’t. I love that you volunteered this Christmas season – I know you mentioned you wish you did more, but that’s fantastic. It’s such a great way to really celebrate the Christmas spirit.

    I also had a frugal Christmas. There things I like about having that way and there are splurges I miss (like Disney Land). I look at it as discovering how I want future Christmas to be even when dollars are abundant and cost is no issue. This is my frugal training ground :) – and it was one of the best Chrsitmas’s ever
    Aileen recently posted..Give Yourself Your Best Year YetMy Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    I think frugal is better, even when you can afford it! And when cost is no issue, think of how many other people you can help give a Christmas to!
    Thanks for coming by!

  • I LOVE the debriefing idea! I found your post though SITS! I created a link up for holiday posts on my own blog, if you’re interested in adding your post, stop by! I’d love to have it.
    Thanks. Happy New Year!

    Karissa Sjaarda Reply:

    What is SITS and what is their website/blog? I’ve seen a couple people refer to it. Thanks!

  • Sally Thompson

    Thanks for posting as a nice blog.. It really hope for the for you!
    Sally Thompson recently posted..pennzoil oil change couponsMy Profile

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