Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

100 Days and Counting!

Not to be the harbinger of doom on this lovely Sunday but as of today, it is 100 days until Christmas. If you are an early holiday planner/shopper (or someone who wishes to be), you may want to check out They have four FREE holiday preparation plans, each designed to address a different organizational style: one for the long-term thinker, two for the intermediate planner, and one for the last-minute type. I have tried the last and the first, but not the in-between. I guess I should try that one this year.

The long-term plan is the Rudolph Club. I started this in January 2007 and gave up sometime in the spring. It was enjoyable while I had some extra time during the immediate after-Christmas months, but became too much for my schedule once the spring and summer months hit. This plan works thus: on the twenty-fifth day of each month, missions are posted on that help spread the work of holiday preparation over many months. Plan participants and authors also post one Christmas book to read and one holiday film to watch during any given month. I thought this a bit over the top at first, but actually got some great gift ideas from the recommended titles. Speaking from experience, the Rudolph Club works well for individuals with uncommitted periods of time that extend throughout the year.

The short-term plan is known as the Christmas Countdown. This method spreads the work of holiday preparation over only six weeks, from late October to mid December. Since most Christmas planners use this model, I would imagine it is quite popular on as well. Six weeks is doable for most people; it is far enough ahead to be effective and close enough that participants feel “in the holiday spirit.”

The intermediate plans are the Houseworks Holiday Plan and the Holiday Grand Plan. The former began on September 2nd this year, while the latter started on August 26th. The Houseworks Plan divides the time between now and Christmas into various focus weeks like “Me and Mine,” “Family Space,” and “Calendar & Creativity.” In addition, it assigns such holiday preparation assignments as creating checklists, mailing gifts, and writing Christmas cards, just to name a few. On the other hand, the Holiday Grand Plan is more extensive. It seems to be designed for individuals who have the time (or the need) to deep clean and declutter while also preparing for the holidays. Like the Houseworks Plan, it is divided into focus weeks, although the emphases are a bit different. Both plans finish a week or two before Christmas so participants can enjoy some relaxation time in addition to being organized.

Are you ready for the 2007 holiday season? I know I’m not. That’s why I am considering using one of these plans. I will let you know how it goes

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