Thursday, December 14, 2017

For The First Time In A Long Time, I'm Looking Forward To The Week Before Christmas...

It's towards the tail end of our busiest week out of the year. We hosted our Spreading Love and Holiday Cheer Party on Saturday. Due to the amount of Bodacious Holiday Biscuits we had to bake, we started that process Sunday morning and continued through Tuesday. Between those 3 days, we baked for over 20 hours. On Wednesday, I spent the day meeting a deadline and wrapping up a 6-week project for a client. Lisa spent the day in her woodshop putting together 2 DIY Doggy Gates and cutting out 2 large wooden dog bones for the front of the gates. Today, I bagged up all the Bodacious Holiday Biscuits and started painting the DIY Doggy Gates.


Tomorrow, it's going to be another busy day. Lisa is running a few errands, including grocery shopping for the week along with buying everything needed for Christmas Eve dinner. While she's doing that, I'll be home baking cookies and greeting those who are picking up their Bodacious Holiday Biscuits. I always have fresh baked cookies available when people pick up their orders and I include a holiday bag o' cookies with their orders.

On Saturday, Lisa will be shipping the last of everything. That will wrap up our busiest week of the year and, for the first time in a few years, I can enjoy my favorite week of the year...

The. Week. Before. Christmas.

It's been a long time since I've looked forward to this week. Getting back to this point involved making some changes and standing our ground. It was hard and a few people weren't pleased, but sometimes you have to bypass the critics and do what's best for you and your family. For us, that meant baking all of the Bodacious Holiday Biscuits, getting everything shipped, coordinating pick up times, running all errands including grocery shopping, and making sure we had everything on hand to make our Christmas gift baskets.

In previous years, we allowed that to trickle into the week before Christmas. The biggest culprits were those who reached out last minute to order Bodacious Holiday Biscuits. We'd say, "Sure!" Then, I'd have to spend an entire day baking more. Lisa would pick up more bags and labels on the way home from work. And, we'd either ship, deliver, or arrange for a pickup time. Meanwhile, Lisa put off running the last minute errands and grocery shopping. She'd find herself out and about a couple of days before Christmas Eve when the stores are packed and people are crazy.

More so, it interfered with one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Every year, for well over 2 decades, I put aside a day to bake Christmas goodies that I only make once a year. It's usually a day or two before Christmas Eve. It's my day to bake gourmet treats and at least one thing dipped in chocolate. I crack open a bottle of wine. Put on Christmas music. And bake my heart out.

The past few years, I haven't wanted to do that. I dreaded the day I had to do my official Christmas baking. Two years ago, around this time of year, Lisa and I were sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner and when Lisa asked if I picked a day yet, I cried. I was overwhelmed and worn out. I told her, "I don't want to do it this year...."

That was the cherry on top of the sundae.

We made changes and stood our ground. And you know what? For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to the week before Christmas. It's almost here. I have plans to finish up the DIY Doggy Gates, complete one or two more DIY Dog Mom Project items for Christmas gifts. Take holiday photos of our kids. Slow down a bit. Be in the moment. Enjoy the Christmas season with Lisa, our kids, and our friends who have become family. 

The baking cupboard is stocked. The biscuit table is cleared and ready to be used as a holding ground for Christmas gift baskets, bags, and a few wrapped gifts. I officially declared next Thursday as my Christmas baking day.

I'm excited.

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