Tuesday, October 4, 2011

WORK: 3 B's and a D. 31 days of Christmas Wonder (day 4)

Welcome to day 4 of 31 days of Christmas Wonder. Sorry about the long post titles, but they have a lot to say. (just like me)

Yesterday, I introduced the idea of a Christmas Triangle Offense, ie. a perfect balance of three things:


The work part of Christmas can stress us out a little. (just look at yesterday's comments) The fun part of beginning to think about Christmas in October is that we have plenty of time to fine-tune our plans. One of the best ways to do this is to apply 3 B's and a D.
(adapted from Real Simple magazine)

1. The first B is BAG IT. The easiest way to make your to do list manageable is to make your list shorter.

Evaluate your year, your energy level, the stage your family is in and what everyone wants to do and BAG some things on your list.

          *We decided not to buy presents for our large
            extended family of 35 and began drawing
            names. Ah . . . shorter list.

          *Maybe everyone in your family is really tired
            of making a complicated gingerbread house.
            So, do not do it this year. Ah . . . shorter list.

2. The second B is BARTER IT. Trade someone a job you hate for a job you love.

          *If you have a friend who loves to wrap
            presents, wrap her presents and barter
            for a job you  hate.

           *Babysit for a friend, who will then come
             and clean your house.

3. The third B is BETTER IT. Think of ways to simplify or  better the things you want to do.

           *Instead of standing in long lines at the post
            office, order online at usps.com.

          *Decorate Pillsbury slice and bake cookies
            rather than make homemade cutout cookies.
            (ask my friend, Heidi, whose kids had fun when mom was not
                not exhausted)

4.  The D stand for DELEGATE. I know, we all want to be the Christmas fairy-god-mother, but we will be happier if we do not try to do everything ourselves. I am a big fan of delegating.

          *Divide the Christmas tasks among all your
            family members. (even a two year old can help set the
                Christmas table) Let house guests help, too.

          *Order desserts from a favorite bakery.

So, I have just given you a few ideas to get you started.

What is something you would like to BAG, BETTER, BARTER or DELEGATE? (I would love it if you shared your ideas in the comments, so we can all learn from each other.)


  1. The last few years we have been having a cookie exchange. Although I have to bake 12 dozen cookies ~ they are all the same which cuts my baking workload down big time. There are some things I have cut out all together and you know what ~ most times the only one that notices is me! That's what happens when you are a Type A personality I guess! Love this series Glenda.

  2. I've practiced "Bag It" the most in the last few years since my Mom died. After she went Home some traditions just didn't have the same meaning in her absence, and so made us feel more sad than joyful. We changed things up a little to see how new things felt to us and then evaluated as a family. Some things we re-adopted, some we let go. It has given us a fresh appreciation & dedication for the traditions we have decided to keep, and fresh joy in the new ones we have begun.

  3. I am so excited!! When you first posted about this series I was a little wary, not sure WHAT I was afraid of, but I was a bit afraid! However, after today's post, I know I am going to be fine. I practiced BAG IT last year and wow was I glad. When my husband brought up the Christmas decorations he brought up everything. When I was finished and told him the containers were ready to go back downstairs he said three of these are still full. Yes they were! I didn't put out every piece of decoration. I was so thrilled...and no one noticed! Thank you for the series. I can't wait to read more!

  4. I have a hard time cutting out anything. Now our children only come home every other Christmas. I decided on the "alone" year that we'd start a new tradition--a tradition of having no tradition--just whatever struck our fancy. Last Christmas, I put up the usual tree but placed it in the dining room. The Christmas Village stayed in it's boxes. We invited our dear friends whose children weren't coming home for dinner. It was such a stress free year that I'm hoping to do things a bit simpler this year with the children at home. I want to be ready and rested when they arrive. That will mean some baking and freezing. I've decided if they want the Christmas Village up, they can erect it!!


  5. I love these ideas! I feel like I could apply these in all areas of my life- not just Christmeas! :)

  6. I've had to bag in recent years. Two years ago our adult children drew names for gifts but Dale and I still bought everyone a gift. Last year we couldn't even do that so it was a 'no gift' year for the adults. Not sure I liked that so this year I'm purchasing small gifts for each of them. I already started =)I'm determined to be almost done by Thanksgiving!

    Have a great day, my friend!

  7. I agree with Jenny. Great ideas that are sooo transferable. Thanks for organizing and writing these thoughts Glenda.

  8. I learned from a friend that you can bake Christmas cookies in November (with kids' help even) and freeze them. Use a separate freezer ziplock for each variety because of differing moisture levels.
    Also, our family was starting to pick up too many events as traditions - hard on the calendar and the wallet. We decided to pick and choose each year. If we miss something we can enjoy the memories and maybe do it again next year.

  9. I bag something every year...bartering? Never thought of it!! Good idea:) Might make for an interesting social exchange.

  10. These are great ideas. Thanks for sharing from your house. It appears that BAG IT is the favorite.

    I would love to hear more . . .

  11. I love bartering and delegating. I would love to barter decorating my house and tree for baking cookies--baking is therapy for me, and much cheaper than a psychiatrist.

    And I'd like to delegate cooking the dinner!

  12. One thing I've done the last few years is to buy most of my gifts online. They come right to the door and I've missed all the standing in line, carrying heavy loads and and dodging people. I've shortened the baking load to everyone's favorites. I still decorate too much, but at least I'm organized it down to a fine science!

  13. Glenda - not sure which category this "goes" under but I lower my expectations of what I can really get accomplished so that I can do things I like to do and more importantly see people I want to see!

  14. I just assumed reading about Christmas in October would overload me. But, actually reading your blog has made me see Christmas as enjoyable, manageable, approachable....if planned accordingly. Will be sure to be following along to get some great tips on how to survive Christmas with peace this year! Thanks ~ jen

  15. Great tips....we seem to be slimming down Christmas each year, which is making it so much more doable...now when grand kids come along it will probably grow bigger again

  16. I am going to delegate
    more and give the kids
    specific decorating tasks.
    Also going to bag some
    of the cookies, but not all : )
    And I am always looking
    to incorporate BETTER
    into my life. Great advice!
    xx Suzanne


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