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Simply Picked: Christmas Planning So You Can Enjoy The Moments

Updated: Apr 30

December 19, 2023

Spokane, WA

Christmas Table Setting in the Valliant Home
Christmas Table Setting in the Valliant Home

There is a distinct picture that perfectly sums up Christmas in my mind. It's December 25, 2017. My kids are going to bed on Christmas night. Three of the kids are piled in to a twin sized bed. The fourth child is standing, holding on to the edge of the bed, binky in place. They are wearing long underwear which I can only assume must have been a gift of the year--recall we are pretty functional with the gift giving, and warmth when playing in the snow is just that! They have a little night light and the oldest, who was seven at the time, is reading a book with all his sisters looking on.

Why does this picture represent Christmas? There is not really a Christmas item in the picture and I'm pretty sure they are reading, "How to Babysit a Grandpa" which was gifted to them by their Grandma Mo that year. I recall them being so content in this moment and the picture reflects a little crew that is pretty content with eachother as well. Maybe that's why it is so representative of Christmas in my mind. It isn't that the moment is particularly "Christmassy." It's more that it's a family enjoying a moment together. Anyway, you know when you see a picture and you just want to bottle up how that moment felt? For me, it's one of those pictures.

Childhood home where so many Christmas seasons were spent.
Another "Bottle Up" moment. The living room where I celebrated Christmas growing up!

Now, I wouldn't say enjoying the holiday season comes particularly naturally to me. By that, I mean having things situated and organized so that I can enjoy the little and big moments is something I strive for. Also, admittedly, the day after Christmas is notoriously a day where I sort of come down into the real world after all the busy Christmas activities. It's a day where I have to seek positivity and find something to look forward to. This may be doing absolutely nothing. My husband and I joke that I just need a dark closet after having so much going on. My husband is the complete opposite. It's called balance.

In order to help you all get organized for the holidays and simplify your world, I have created a holiday planner. Feel free to download and print the entire thing, just the pages you need, or multiples of a single page. In other words, do with this what you will. The planner includes simple coloring pages for kids, Christmas Eve/Day prep ideas, menu layout, gifting organization, "thank you" lists, and even a reflection page.

My husband was the inspiration behind the "reflection page" believe it or not because of his prime rib recipe. Each year he writes his notes for his prime rib on the back of the recipe card--there are now two recipe cards full of notes. What does he write? How many pounds he ordered, the price, modifications to the recipe or cooking instructions, who was there... you can literally watch my sister's dating life through this prime rib recipe (Sorry sister who shall not be named...She is married now...). Last year a note my husband wrote said, "Ate at 3:30. Felt rushed." Okay, well let's avoid that and do this differently. Easy fix and not something I would have recalled without that snippet of information.

So with all that being said, happy planning--or not! I'm just glad you're here.



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