Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Miller Christmas Spreadsheet

Since childhood, I have always been a list maker. I have always had so many projects in my head, with all the mini-steps leading to completion. In college I would take my deadlines, write them on my calendar, and work my way backwards from that date to set mini-goals toward the end result. I always tried to get things done a few days early in case of unforeseeable circumstances. (I remember one year in high school, having trouble with the dot-matrix printer at 2:00 in the morning when a paper was due in the morning. My father was not happy! It never happened again.)

Now with four children, I would truly feel lost if I did not get it all down on paper. Tomorrow ends the cross-country season, which will allow me more time to prepare for Christmas. I am presently getting my spreadsheets ready for all the holiday preparations. This really helps me to organize myself with all the multitasking required. The major tasks are in bold, with all the mini-steps listed underneath.

For example, for Christmas cards, I need to (1) buy cards, (2) find Christmas outfits for the children, (3) buy a tree, (4) put up the tree, (5) decorate the tree, (6) dress the children for a picture, (7) take a picture, (8) print out wallets, (9) write out the cards, (10) buy stamps, (11) put the cards in the mail, and finally (12) record changes of address and new family members as cards from others come in.

When I see my spreadsheet printed out on my refrigerator, I derive a real sense of satisfaction from seeing little checkmarks next to the various and sundry tasks. Hence Christmas does not become this big, overwhelming monster that takes over the month of December. Rather, Advent is a time in which little goals can be accomplished - and enjoyed - in spare moments that can be found, leaving me with a sense of peace so spiritually I can prepare myself and my family for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

“A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the Lord!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!”
Isaiah 40:3

Recommended blog: The True Meaning of Christmas

1 comment:

Joanna said...

I enjoy making lists myself. That is why oftentimes, I include them in my blogs. I find that they are an easy way for me to sit down and sort out my thoughts. Whether it is thinking of my to-do list or grocery shopping list or if it is deeper matters that cause me to think about what I believe or feel... lists are such a fabulous tool. :)
I enjoyed this blog. Hope you have a great day!