It’s List Week at the HGP.

I’m not trying to persuade anyone to do the Holiday Grand Plan. I looked back at last Christmas, and I see that I ended up cutting back on work for a couple of weeks and doing lots of baking and stuff. I made a couple of little presents, but bought most of them. We had a perfectly nice holiday even though I didn’t do the HGP, and so can everyone else. However, there were years when I worked in public, and people would ask me why I was so serene about the holidays. I’d explain that I used the HGP.

There were some common responses.

First, people would say that they didn’t like to think about the holidays so much, or didn’t want to get out of order seasonally. I totally agree. With the HGP, you do spend a little time at the beginning thinking about it, but then you don’t have to think — and especially you don’t have to fret or worry, as American moms so often do — for the rest of the season. You just spend a few minutes a day following your plan and everything takes care of itself.

Second, people would say that they didn’t have time. Studies show that the average American mom spends nearly 40 hours a week preparing for the holidays, from Thanksgiving till Christmas. It’s like taking on an extra job for a month. I’d rather spread it out and be finished in time to observe Advent and have a peaceful Christmas.

So, if you want to consider joining in the HGP this year, this is when to start. You clean your front porch at some point this week. I did a bit of housework yesterday, and it was satisfying to do something mindless and physical, so I may go ahead today and get the porch cleaned. If not, I can spend 15 minutes a day on it and have it done by the end of the week.

You also make these lists:

  • Gifts to be given, amount to spend (include family, friends, school, church, etc)
  • Christmas card list
  • Visits to make
  • Parties/Entertaining
  • Menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, other parties
  • Goodies for Sharing/Gifts. Decide how much needs to be made and divide it between the weeks from now through December 1.
  • Favorite meals of family members for freezing ahead.
  • Long-term shopping list divided into these sublists: canned foods, perishables for each holiday, linens and dishes, decorations, etc.

This is kind of a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, so I may do some of that this afternoon as well. I had better hurry up, though, if I am to make it to church on time.

This week was the beginning of my having to be someplace at 8:00 four mornings a week, and it’s surprising to me how hard I’m finding it.