A Method to my Completed To-Do List

When I posted on my Facebook page last week that I had completed all of my decorating, shopping, wrapping, writing and mailing for the holiday season, I got comments such as “Wowza!” and “Do you hire out?”

While this early bird completion might seem like I’m very organized, let me say that this is the first time I’ve ever completed holiday tasks so early, even since our downsizing.

I would like to think moving to Our Little House has made me a more organized person, but the truth is that I’m a confirmed procrastinator and I’m usually the one driving the operators crazy at the direct delivery centers on the last day to order for holiday delivery.

There were three primary reasons for the early bird madness this year:

  • I don’t have a car of my own right now, so I caught rides with my neighbor for shopping excursions. Since I have to get up and take Dale to work to keep the truck for the day and had to have it for another appointment in town last week, I also knew I had better get to the post office while I had wheels.
  • The weatherman predicted some weather for this weekend. While the harsh winds and bitter cold arrived, the snow, thankfully, did not.
  • With that weather predicted, we had things that had to be completed at home and I wanted the holiday chores out of the way. The older I get, the less skilled I am at multi-tasking.

We had to get wood brought down from the woodpile at the top of our property to keep Our Little House warm at least through the rest of this week when temperatures at their worst are in the single digits and not expected to climb above 40.

It isn’t supposed to be this cold here so we also placed our small space heaters in the basement of Our Little House and the Belle Writer’s Studio. They are turned on low, but it gives us some peace of mind knowing the pipes will stay above freezing and hopefully, avoid a break.

How about you? Where are you on your holiday to-do or winter preparation list?

You may also like...

15 Responses

  1. Maryann says:

    My bit of shopping is done; writing cards is going slow; I’ve been in “Betty Crocker” mode-makes the house smell “wunnerful!” I’ve greatly simplified our holidays. I give sweet bread, Yulekaga, cookies, jam, Chex mix, etc. for many of our gifts. Everyone appreciates the items and is glad to not have another “dust catcher.” This is our 1st “empty nest” Christmas — eldest daughter is living away from home and younger daughter married in Oct. They’ll be here for part of Christmas, but it’s not the same as when they were living at home. I try to pace myself, but also tell myself that Christmas will arrive and be fine regardless of whether or not my “to do” list gets completed. I greatly enjoy reading your posts, as I’ve been “de-cluttering” for over a year and can relate to much of what you write. Merry Christmas to you and yours–people and critters all!

    • kerri says:

      Thank you, Maryann. The same to you and yours! It sounds as if you’re taking the right attitude toward the holidays! Oh, how I miss my mother’s pumpkin pies!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I find online shopping works well. I also regularly shop at thrift stores during the year and put gifts away for months. The problem is that I sometimes forget where I put them! You would not have that problem in your little house though ….

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, you would be surprised at the little hiding places I can find! 🙂 Your post reminds me of the scene from “Christmas Vacation,” in which Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) uncovers a lost present he hid years back for his wife for Mother’s Day.

  3. It’s funny how having a limitation — like your not having a car — can make us much more efficient. This year is one of my worst in terms of being behind, but I’m trying to be patient with myself. At least we are keeping it really simple this year!

    • Kerri says:

      I know, Melanie. I guess if there was an upside to crashing my car, it made me more appreciative of having the independence of having my own wheels.

  4. I am seriously considering doing flat rate boxes, getting the postage on the Internet and having our mailman come pick up the boxes. Has anyone tried that?

    The lines at the post office are humongus now.

  5. I am way behind on Christmas shopping and general seasonal chores, but somehow am not too bothered by my lack of motivation. The best part of Christmas for me is seeing our daughters and celebrating with them, but unfortunately, only one will be home this year and she doesn’t arrive until Christmas day. My gift list is short and since I generally dislike malls, it’s been easy to put off making a trek into the city to buy presents. I’m also starting a new radio program in January and am busy lining up guests and developing show ideas, so Christmas preparation has taken a back seat to my new job.

    I’m not too worried about things getting done because somehow, they always do. I’ve had years when I get everything bought and wrapped and baked and sent by mid December and I’ve had years when I was still shopping just a couple days before Christmas (I NEVER wait so long that I’m out shopping on Christmas Eve however.) Either way, it all seems to come together by Christmas and so far, nobody on my gift list has gone un-gifted. Congratulations to you on your efficiency this year, Kerri, and have a very merry Christmas!

    • Kerri says:

      Congratulations on your new radio program, Kathleen! You will have to post a link here when you begin so those with high speed connections can hear you. I remember one Christmas I was out on Christmas Eve morning shopping. That was in the days when my list was longer than my arm. You might try some online shopping, it is WONDERFUL!

      • I will be sure to post a link to the show, Kerri! Yes, I do love online shopping and so many places now offer free shipping, which was always the drawback in the past. I’m definitely taking care of some of my list with the help of the internet. Happy Holidays!:-)

  6. Olivia says:

    Oh golly – I don’t even have a list. (And I am usually hyper organised and a confirmed list maker). Dunno what’s wrong with me this year. Can’t seem to get going. I keep it fairly simple and keep striking out potential “to-do’s”, deciding that I really don’t need to do those things at all so I’m not panicking. I think, on the whole, I’ll make it without much stress but I’m really not in the holiday mood at all. Not grinch-like, just lacklustre.

    Weather may have something to do with it. Unlike most of the continent, we here in Atlantic Canada are experiencing above normal temperatures (10C-12C), gale force winds and pounding rain. Not the sort of weather that makes for a Christmas-y feeling!

    Interesting that you have basements. I am always curious as to which parts of the world require basements and which don’t. We do, of course, and they have to be heated for the pipes as well as keeping the walls from freezing and cracking. What are your average winter temperatures?

    • Kerri says:

      Good morning, Olivia. Our temps average in the 40 degree range, but right now, we’re having temperatures in the 20s and lows in the teens to single digits.
      We also have to have basements for cover from tornadoes.
      Hope you get into the Christmas mood soon, we only have 1.5 weeks left! 🙂

      • Olivia says:


        Wow!! I can’t imagine. I suppose you get used to whatever severe weather is common in your own part of the world (here it’s severe winter storms, frigid temps., snow and hurricanes) but tornadoes terrify me.

        Last year there was one where I used to live but not when I lived there, fortunately. But I feared them nonetheless and the kids used to laugh at me when there was a severe T’storm w/tornado watch and I would shepherd them under the basement stairs.

        My brother used to live in Arkansas and they would have tornado warnings there, too. I don’t think I could stand it.

        Sorry – off topic, but, being Canadian, I am a bit of a weather freak.

        • Kerri says:

          We grew up in Kansas, Olivia. I spent many memorable evenings (usually evenings) running up the road to the sound of the whaling sirens with my parents to my Godparents house as they had a basement. We’ve lived with tornadoes all of our lives, but they are still scary!