Yesterday I spent part of my morning in Michael's craft store with my niece, Domestic Chic, and her kiddies. I was completely overwhelmed by the over-abundance of Christmas and holiday decorations on display in the store. I must admit that until two weeks ago, I was acting like we were still in the end of summer. All of the Christmas trees and wreaths were a reality check. I've always told myself that retailers put out all of the holiday merchandise way too early, but this year I finally understand what retailers have always known about proper planning. I usually don't start thinking about the holidays until, well... when they actually get here. Thanksgiving usually gets by me altogether, and around the second week in December I usually get some bright idea that is to involved to execute so late in the season. As I was standing in the supermarket on Halloween buying candy and grumbling about holiday stuff being out too soon, it occurred to me that the reason I never make the most of the holidays is because I never properly plan for them. I never get around to having holiday parties, putting up decorations, sending out cards, or any of those things- at least not at the level I want to. Magazines are shooting photos and writing their holiday stories in July. Retailers are buying merchandise and designing Christmas displays while we are still at the beach.
In the small everyday things, I have been a "take life as it comes" sort of individual. I may plan for the important things, but small things (like Christmas ornaments or poinsettias) I usually "see, like, and buy". Standing in Michaels, I remembered that the things most important to me, I made the effort to think about in advance and plan for it. When I thought it was important that Husband and I go away for our 10th anniversary, I prayed and planned even though we didn't yet have the funds. The result was a fabulous vacation in the Caymans. I bet if I put just a little more focus and energy on the months ahead, and did a little less flying by the seat of my pants, I could probably accomplish so much more (and finally have that holiday party I've always wanted).
This year I've decided that December 1st my tree and all of my decorations are going up. I want to have a full month of enjoyment from the wonderful and creative ideas that actually make it to fruition. If I start planning now, I may even get to have my holiday party. Most importantly, as I enjoy this holiday season I will also look toward the upcoming months and properly plan for what I'd like to see happen in my life during the first quarter of 2012.