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So how was everyone’s Thanksgiving week? We had a week of low key activities and relaxation. We had some Taekwondo classes and some house clean up and decorating thrown in there (we always start decorating on Black Friday for Christmas), but for the most part I had planned to tackle a long to do list and instead just tried to enjoy some down time. I don’t know about you, but in my life there is always a to do list and it’s really hard to truly relax until it’s all done. However, I think we’re all dealing with a bit of burnt out in my household and I know that I really needed a break.

One thing we did get done was almost all of our Christmas shopping! Before Black Friday even arrived! This year there were so many early deals that by the time we were through Wednesday night most of our Christmas had been bought. On top of that, we paid even less than we would have in years past because we cashed in all of my husband’s frequent flier miles from various airline companies for gift cards for Amazon and Walmart, thus leaving us paying about half or less for my son’s Christmas gifts than we would have otherwise.

Between that and finding some additional deals I wasn’t planning on, I’m happy with both our bottom line and with our overall purchases. Frankly we were able to get more than I was ever planning to get this year because of those airline miles….so if you or your spouse has a lot of airline miles wasting away in an account…cash them in for gift cards! I also had gift cards from rebate and receipt apps I use that I never cash in until this time of year. I didn’t have a ton this year as I haven’t really focused on them as much this year as last year, but hey and extra $25-$50 that is basically free money, is still a great deal. I use ibotta, Receipt Hog and Receipt Pal apps.

So with that all done, the turkey eaten and leftovers for days in the refrigerator we started the process of taking down the fall decor and putting up the Christmas decor. I am not completely done with the Christmas decor, but we got our main tree up, a smaller tree up in our foyer, the stockings have been hung and other Christmas nick knacks displayed.

My console table this year has a few of my mom’s ceramics displayed on it as well. She loved this time of year the most and I love displaying some of her artistry where I will see it every day. I miss her this time of year more than most.

Notice the Merry ChristMOOSE…completely my mom’s personality shining through…right beside her homeless/hobo angel she painted as part of a series. She loved angels. Then there is a mini Christmas village. I feel like there used to be mini people but I can’t locate them at the moment or they have been lost over the years. Oh and I know none of these items go together AT ALL except that I love them because they remind me of my mom. ❤

We still need to decorate outside. Last year we didn’t get anything up outside really as we were surrounded by mud and didn’t have any walkway to the front door. This year we really want to at least get some lights put up or at least some of our lighted garland strands wrapped around the front posts. We’ll be looking for a good weather day sometime this week to tackle that project.

Foyer tree

So how was your Thanksgiving? We had a good week off and will be homeschooling for the first three weeks of December before taking two weeks off for Christmas and New Years. That break I am looking forward to even more because we will get to see some spend a week with extended family and Richard and I will do some planning for the new year.

It’s a tradition of ours that we try to set some goals and plans for the new year during our Christmas/New Years break and this year more than most, I think I need a reset in some areas. This time of year often leaves me burnt out and overwhelmed with activities and responsibilities, so having a big planning session and reset helps me feel on top of things again. What can I say, I’m a planner! To me planning is part of living intentionally and not just letting life pass us by. It’s really easy to let life just happen to you and before you know it another year has gone by and you haven’t accomplished anything you wanted.

I’ll probably share with you all our process for planning in a future blog post. It’s not really that in depth at first, but it lays a foundation for our year. Sure sometimes things come along and derail our plans…it’s life right? BUT you will never accomplish your dreams just dreaming. To accomplish your dreams, you have to convert them to goals and find the steps to get there. Sometimes the tasks seem overwhelming and the goal unattainable, but making a plan, even a long term one, will keep you accountable, give you motivation and strengthen your resolve that the impossible may be in fact possible. Baby steps are still forward progress towards your ultimate goal! Now before I go off on a planning tangent, I’ll get back to decorating. ?

Thanks for reading!

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