I have successfully entered the holiday season. My Thanksgiving dinner went very well, despite my decision to try to roast the turkey without an oven bag (requiring me to roast for a longer amount of time and baste the bird at least once every hour) and to use a lot of new (i.e. untried) recipes. Overall, I received rave reviews, including a dish-by-dish summary critique from my dad ;) Anyways, I feel that Thanksgiving was a success! (For a list of what I made for Thanksgiving, see the list I added here.)
However, this is where the rubber meets the road. I have two weeks to finish grading for the Hebrew Class with which I assist (including giving and grading the Final Exam). I have just under three weeks to complete my Greek class (a 10-15 page exegesis of Colossians 3:12-17 and a final exam of Greek nouns and verbs). I have just over three weeks to complete my holiday baking, which is no small feat. In addition, I need to shop for some Christmas decorations, get the tree up and decorated, and do my Christmas shopping.
Sometimes I miss the days where all I had to focus on were my Final Exams (or papers, or projects) and if I would run out of books to read over Christmas Break. As much as I love being a "housewife," I haven't really been doing anything "housewifey" yet. I know that out of any time of year, this is the time in which I will put the pedal to the metal. I have, however, taken some control of the pressures of the season so that I can actually enjoy the holidays and not rush through them.
- Limit travelling. With three sets of parents to see (plus grandparents and siblings), Doug and I took a long look at our free time, including if we would have enough time to travel everywhere. Thankfully, our family was able to work with us, not only concerning travel arrangements, but also by allowing us to spread out seeing everyone over a few weeks (Dec 16-Jan 4).
- Evaluate Christmas baking/cooking. I took a look at what I was planning on making for Christmas (for both gifts and for Doug and I), and found that it would be much better to cut a few of those items. A few items on my list had unique ingredients (like saffron or cream of tartar) that 1) I do not have on hand, 2) I most likely will not use again, and 3) are too expensive to get for one recipe. Another issue is that a lot of our family members have dietary issues (such a diabetes, high blood pressure, etc); due to these issues, a few family members could not eat ANYTHING I was planning on making!!! Finally, considering that we will be seeing some family members three weeks after others, I had to take into consideration how long the baking projects would last.
- Prioritize. I started thinking about grandiose Christmas dinners (I even started playing around with making roast duck.) until I realized that the week of Christmas (Dec 20-26), Doug and I will be in Lynchburg by ourselves. Is it really important to make a big, elegant dinner for the two of us, or is it more important that we get to spend time together and rest? Similarly, is it important to have a perfectly (and fully) decorated house, or it is more important to spend time celebrating Christ's birth?
- Preparation. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Doug and I made a list of how much we were willing to spend on Christmas (gifts, travelling, food, decorations). We started thinking about what kind of gifts we wanted to give (and decided to make holiday dessert baskets). I sat down and picked out a few things I could do earlier in December and which things could wait until the last minute.
So, even though Finals and reading was probably a lot easier, I think all of this will end up being a lot more fun!!! I will keep posting about what I accomplish this holiday season; hopefully that list will include a lot of rest, peace, and joy. And maybe some yummie recipes ;)