Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Behind, and My Holiday Planner

Oh, I feel so behind the curve right now! With Thanksgiving looming and Christmas right around the corner... all of my best-laid plans have gone awry. I had hoped to be even more organized than last year.

Originally I was to have Thanksgiving here at Chez W for my family. But our budget got a bit tight and other circumstances have caused an overflow of "stuff" around my house... well, I panicked and committed myself to a group Thanksgiving with my church. I figured everyone could go there, right?

Wrong. My mom & g'ma are antisocial types, you know, and apparently unable to bend even for the closest of family.

Then the guilt trip. "Oh, we'll be fine; we'll just have our Lean Cuisines."


So now, not only am I committed to cooking for and setting up an afternoon church Thanksgiving meal, I'm also hosting a noontime meal in my home on Thanksgiving Day.

Fortunately, my brother and his sweet wife have volunteered half of the cooking. Hopefully this won't be as crazy as it sounds.

Still, I feel wholly unprepared and a bit scattered at this point. I need to make some attempt at organization, so here's my holiday planner as it exists today:

November 12-15

- Clean, clean, clean! Tidy entire house and organize "stuff" overflow; relocate as needed.

- Finalize Thanksgiving-at-home menu. Prepare a shopping list.

- Make a list of the dishes that will be prepared for the Home meal on Thanksgiving Day. Select, clean and set aside serving dishes & tableware.

- Arrange to borrow a folding table.

November 16-22

- Finalize Church-Thanksgiving Menu & who's-bringing-what list; prepare shopping list.

- Make a timeline of what to prepare, when, and which meal it's for.

- Clean out refrigerator to make room; plug in basement fridge for extra space.

- Change filter in water pitcher.

- Shop for groceries and begin advanced cooking.

- Determine date for annual Holiday Open House (est. Saturday, December 6); determine menu (keep it simple!), prepare shopping list and email invitations/deliver flyers.

November 23-26

- Continue advance meal prep wherever possible.

- Update lists as appropriate.

- Deliver furniture/decorations to be set up at the church.

- Clean house. That means DUST!

- Purchase wine for Thanksgiving-at-home.

- Set up tables & chairs.

- Determine arrangement of food platters.

- Label each platter/serving piece.

- Decorate and set table the night before.

- Banish Thundercat.

November 27 - Thanksgiving Day

- Get up early to start turkey.

- Wake Mr.W

- Tidy house one last time. Clean bathrooms.

- Wake Mr.W

- Warm/finalize sides for Thanksgiving-at-home.

- Threaten Mr.W with a slow, painful death if he doesn't get out of bed & help before guests arrive.

- Be prepared to rotate dishes for church meal into oven after Thanksgiving-at-home meal comes to the table.

- Update lists as appropriate.

- Celebrate with family 11am to 1:30pm.

- Arrive at church at 2pm, Mr.W to follow after dishwasher has been started at home.

- Celebrate with church 2:30 to 6:00pm.

- Retire home by 6:30 to drink a bottle of wine and eat all leftover pies.

November 28 - Black Friday (The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year)

- Get out & enjoy the holiday crowds. Maybe see a movie.

November 29 - December 5

- Shop & prepare for Holiday Open House; advance cooking, furniture arrangement, house tidy and prep serving pieces for foods.

- Finalize Christmas gift list and continue any home crafting of gifts.

- Shop for gifts.

- Decorate interior & exterior for Christmas.

December 6 - Tentative Date for Holiday Open House

- Wake Mr.W

- Prepare food for Open House.

- Wake Mr.W

- Banish Pickle and Thundercat.

- Threaten Mr.W with a slow, painful death if he doesn't wake up and help before guests arrive.

- Set out food and greet guests. Enjoy party.

December 7 - 13

- Mail gifts for out-of-town recipients.

- Finalize Christmas celebration plans (family celebration on Xmas eve or day?) and identify menu. Prepare grocery list.

- Continue gift crafting/shopping. Wrap gifts.

December 14 - 20

- Continue gift crafting/shopping/wrapping.

- Buy groceries for Christmas celebration and prep foods in advance wherever possible.

December 21 - 23

- Finish gift crafting/shopping/wrapping.

- Continue meal prep as appropriate.

- Rent movies for over the Christmas holidays.

December 24 - Christmas Eve

- If family celebration is today, prepare meal and enjoy family.

- Otherwise, enjoy a quiet day with Mr.W watching movies, visiting with friends.

(Family Christmas is much less formal than Thanksgiving--heavy snacks, salads, rolls and cold cuts, cheese, sweets.)

December 25 - Christmas Day

- If family celebration is today, prepare meal and enjoy family.

- Otherwise, enjoy a quiet day with Mr.W watching movies, visiting with friends.

December 26

- Sleep in.

- Return movies.

- Promise myself I won't do this again next year.

December 27 - 30

- Undecorate.

- Telephone out-of-town friends and relatives for post-holiday chats.

- Finalize New Year's plans. (Hopefully someone will invite us to their celebration. Not-so-veiled hint, there! Hey--I'll even bring Zombies & Carcassone!)

December 31 - New Year's Eve

- Celebrate! Or, maybe just sleep!

January 1, 2009 - New Year's Day

- Make resolutions and try to stick to them.

Now that I've written up this gigantic to-do list, I'm REALLY scared. But, since I've shared it with you, it's now REAL, and I'm committed to sticking to it as much as possible.


Mary said...

That is indeed a frightening to do list! I thought my holiday season was packed because I have to make an enormous amount of cookies to pass out to my husband's best clients, but I think yours is worse.
I'm a big fan of the 2-Buck Chuck to get through tough times. ;)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

You're going to need a vacation when this is over. Good luck!

african vanielje said...

You are so not behind the curve, you are way ahead. I haven't even started thinking about the holidays yet, let alone started making lists.

Amanda said...

Mary--WHAT is 2-Buck Chuck? Is that some kind of booze? I suppose I can always drink my vanilla extract... (homemade vanilla-infused vodka, actually, which is drinkable)

Hi, Susan--I think you're right! A nice January Florida vacation sounds like a welcome relief! Or maybe I should just run away to FL for the holidays? :)

Inge--oh, bless your heart. Thank you.

Sam said...

I hope it all works out, that's a long list!

Amanda said...

Thanks, Sam. I hope it all works out, too. Maybe I'll have Mr.W take pictures of me in the "cooking frenzy" to post the day after...

Bertha said...

Wow… you have everything so planned & organised for Thanksgiving dinner.

Amanda said...

Thanks, Bertha. I'm trying... a few list items have already gone by the wayside... *eek*

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