Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I love Lists

If you know me then you know that I am a list maker. I absolutely love making lists for several reasons. It usually keeps me on track, keeps my mind organized so I don't have a zillion things running around in my mind constantly & I can concentrate on my family instead of halfway listening to them while I make a list in my mind (which I'm sorry to admit but I do sometimes). I enjoy the feeling of getting something done on my mile long list & crossing it off or deleting it (depending on whether I'm using paper or digital via my phone or itouch). Making lists helps me feel somewhat in control of things. I actually have a notebook that I keep several lists in. Are you really surprised?  So it comes natural to me that I would have my children make a wish list each year around this time. They've actually been looking through toy catalogs lately & showing us things that they think are cool but last night I actually had them sit down & write out what it was that they would like to get for Christmas.

You may have read or heard me explain this before but here goes again.  Last year we decided to adopt the 3 present rule for Christmas.  Since Jesus received 3 presents from the Wise Men, we thought we'd correlate that with our gift giving because we believe that Christmas is about celebrating God's gift to mankind by sending his son in human form to be born on this earth.  BTW, this was not our idea alone. I have friends that have shared that this was their family tradition & I have since found more people who do the same.  My husband & I found that we were going overboard with presents & we also noticed that even though the kids were very appreciative of what they received, they didn't always play with everything so much. Some things inevitably fell to the wayside of Toyville and didn't get as much playtime. Rather than spending hard earned money (and let me tell you, my hubby works very hard, especially this time of year when its their busiest & everyone is ordering presents online & shipping things to family & friends) on things our kids didn't appreciate as much, we decided to buy 3 presents for each child. Last year they ended up with a more expensive gift & then 2 smaller gifts & then a few stocking stuffers and let me tell you....they were absolutely delighted at what they received. We made just a little room for the new toys beforehand & so when it was time to clean up their new toys that they played with all day long, it was easy to find them a new home. The kids still play with their toys. Oh & if you think that they only get 3 separate toys, well that's not so simple. We've purchased a few toys in the same theme; our son got a box with a few Toy Story characters in it last year. So I guess we 'kinda' cheat in a way but it worked & kept the amount of toys manageable as well as the money spent in a more realistic amount. This year may be on a smaller scale since we are trying to afford a used van so we can carry our whole family in the same vehicle after the baby is born.

Anyway, I found that helping them write out their lists this year was a lot of fun. My son likes a wide array of things & got so excited that he wrote so many more things on his list than he'll ever receive but he was so excited at all the prospects   My youngest has had lots of time to peruse the toy catalog while doing breathing treatments because 'Tis the Season for her to have breathing trouble. She has actually showed me several things she'd like to get & I helped her write them down.  And my oldest, well, she's more concise in what she desires. And she's kinda more practical about deciding, which makes me laugh because it reminds me of myself.  She thinks things like "If I put this on my list, then chances are I'll get it.  She's even asked what the price limit per child is this year.  By the way, she's in 4th grade & her teacher has been having the class balance a checkbook as part of their learning experience. They receive payment for each day they are in school & have their homework turned in on time, etc. She was strategically trying to figure out if she put an expensive thing on the list whether she would get it or not or whether she should skip it & put something else in a better price range.  I found watching each of their personalities emerge in the way they made their list quite fun to watch.

They finished their lists just in time for Daddy to get home from work & for them to explain to him the things they had on their list & why they wanted them & then it was off to bed. ONLY thing was that was probably a bad idea. They always get super excited when Daddy is home because he gets home so late & they don't see much of him but they were doubly excited from making their lists so going to sleep last night & staying in bed was a HUGE struggle.

List making makes me happy. That probably seems kinda strange to some of you but to others, you know what I'm talking about when you get that smile on your face as you check something off your list.  My list as of late has been growing by leaps & bounds.  And makes me think that it is time to separate some of my lists up again.  It's the only way to keep them manageable.  Oh & the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in my case because my dad makes lists all the time too.  He doesn't always make them on paper or digitally but he usually has several lists going in his head.

Well, now its time for me to write out a few lists for myself for the rest of the week to make sure I get things accomplished that need to be done. I have several responsibilities & I want to be sure that I don't forget or drop the ball on any of them & that I don't take away from precious family time in order to complete them (which I have been known to do because I just can't bare when I commit to something & then don't get it done.)  Plus, I don't know about all of you but I have to be prepared for Black Friday deals if there is something on my childrens' list. If I can get it for cheaper, I mean MUCH cheaper, then I will try to do that to stretch their budget just a little farther.

Try your hand at making a list today whether its a wish list or things you need for Thanksgiving dinner or perhaps you have some goals you'd like to reach by a certain time...now's the time to make a list. It's fairly easy, just start writing & see what happens. Then be sure to visit your list & start crossing things off as you complete them. Once you get the hang of it, you can make it more complicated by categorizing & prioritizing.... but really, keeping it simple can be lots of fun & helpful too.  I encourage you to make your list today!

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