Thursday, December 1, 2011

December traditions and to do's

I'm used to the holiday season being completely chaotic ... but every year I keep trying to change that.  I'm a planner ... there are lists on paper, lists in my head, notes on the calendar and "reminder" emails that I send myself, yet I somehow seem to ignore things and wind up pulling a few late nights to get what I need to get done.

Right now though, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape .... most of our Christmas shopping is done and already wrapped, I have a couple of handmade gifts to finish up and some lots of holiday baking to do.

I think one of the best time-savers that I've kept to through the years is using just one or two styles of wrapping paper and keeping all of my bags, boxes, tissue paper, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows & tags - with a good writing pen - in ONE place.  We have one of the long Rubbermaid containers that everything gets stored in and it's a simple, easy and out of the way.  It's especially great since the hubby can easily get to everything when he wraps my gifts!

We have two major traditions on my "side" of the family .... one is making Stroofilies like these: 

and the other is our fish dinner on Christmas Eve.  Much to the disappointment of our non-fish eaters in the family, we don't have any meat on our table on Christmas Eve and we've pared down the traditional 7 fishes Italian dinner to things we love like shrimp and lobster.

What about you?  What are your family traditions?  What's one of your great time-savers for the holidays?