Looking back on Christmas 2010 and Getting ready for 2011

I was looking at some of the blogs I follow and came across this one. It was linked off the Women Living Well Blog that I just adore. In the post, she talks about the things that worked and didn't work for her and her family this past Christmas.  She kind of challenged her readers to answer the same questions and make a note so not to make the same mistakes next year, or remember what did work.

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?
1. The things that turned out great was people having time off, and all my girls here on Christmas Eve. It felt so good to get back to the Christmas Eve tradition I'd had growing up.  Even if we all have to work Christmas day, I want us to all be able to get together and eat and open gifts and just have fun on Christmas Eve.

2. Probably Secret Santa.  I love participating in it, but due to the van breaking down, I've still not been able to ship out my gift for the name I drew. Next year I must make sure I have money set aside just for Secret Santa and get it and ship it asap.

3. Christmas Eve get together with family as I mentioned before. Playing games on Christmas Day. Watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special together. Baking cookies with my girls.  We didn't go for a drive to see lights like we normally do due to the van, and we did kind of miss it.

4. Trying to stick to a budget when getting stuff for the girls. I did decide to not worry about making them all even monetarily as far as gifts go.  They each got one and that was it. Santa also just brought one thing each. I did stress about money quite a bit, but Hubby just kept saying, "It's Christmas". We decided it was just more important to make sure the girls got *something* at least, and dealing with debt later. (Looking at the budget, January should get us out of the hole, so it's good).
Also, worrying about whether to make a ham (bad for us) or turkey (just had it), or what.  Finally we just decided on our fave Mexican dishes and it was great. Also, finally stopped worrying about getting the "perfect" gift for the white elephant exchange at my sister's. I just got the weirdest or funniest things, plus chocolate which everyone loves.
Oh and storage of everything before time to put it up was a pain, but now we have a storage unit, so not a big deal now.

5. The Mexican feast on Christmas Day was a big hit. I think we could do several of our fave Oriental dishes too and it would work well. I think we like having a non-traditional Christmas dinner. Chicken and Dumplings in the crockpot on Christmas Eve really helped me not have to worry about cooking anything, and instead I could spend the time baking cookies with my girls and then spend time with the whole family.

6. I'd like to make a real homemade French Silk Pie next year. It's Hubby's fave dessert.

7. There's not much of anything I want more of.  Maybe Christmas lights and outdoor decorations.

8. Less Stress about MONEY! With our 2011 Financial plan, we should be able to get to that sort of place by next Christmas. Have to stick to it! Also less car trouble.  But that goes along with money really.

Overall, this was a really fabulous Christmas.  I think it falling on a Saturday REALLY helped, since I was off Fri and Sat and was approved to take off Sun too. It was just very laid back and relaxed. I really feel refreshed and renewed.

It also feels like it's time to take the tree down and pack it all away. We'll see what Hubby says. He might want it up a little longer.

We got into a financial hole during Christmas as I said, but thankfully since we'd been scrimping and saving in order to make three house payments at once to keep the house, we had kind of gotten good at finding excellent deals and learning when to pass something by. We're really not THAT far in the hole.  It's still a scary number for sure, but thank GOD we both have good jobs and will be able to get out of it in January.  It is going to mean postponing getting started on the list of priorities we'd set down and promised each other we'd work on getting paid off in order and on time. So, we'll just have to cut back in other areas and get caught back up and get back on track for that.  It shouldn't take too long. One of the things was to get Hubby a new phone, and he's decided he doesn't want one of those $500 fancy ones, and he says I can get a Kitchen Aid with that budgeted money instead.  But if it comes down to it, I can get a small hand mixer for now and put that money on getting back on track.

I really feel good about this plan.  It feels good to know we worked on it together, and both agreed to it.  It is encouraging to know there IS a plan, and not just me saying "We're going to make this the best year ever!"  Cause I've said that the last 2 years at least, and they both ended worse than the years we were doing poorly. You can say it all you want, but until you have a plan worked out and stick to it, it's never going to actually come true.

I hope you all learned from this past holiday and noted what worked and what didn't.  And I hope everyone has a goal and a plan for 2011.  God Bless!


    1. May your New Year be filled with many Blessings and abundances of Joy for 2011. From my mountain to yours, Until next year
      Hugs and Smiles Gl♥ria

    2. SMART idea to ask yourself those questions after Christmas. I need to do that too!! :) Thanks for the visit today. :)


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