The week in between

Are you as pleased as I am about this "extra" week we have this year, in between Thanksgiving, and the start of December? Last year Thanksgiving was at the tail end of November, and I remember it felt like we were swept instantly from the calm of Thanksgiving to the rush of the holidays. I didn't have time to catch my breath.

But this year, there is a week in between.  It's a precious extra few days to prepare for the festivities of December. I'm grateful for this week, and am taking advantage of it as an opportunity to catch my breath and set myself up for a smooth start to December.

As I plan for December and the holidays, I'm thinking about...

Finishing up my 30 Days of Thankful album. It's been so much fun to collaborate with my 8 year old daughter on this simple gratitude album. We've got a few more pages to add in to wrap this one up. I'll be doing a final post on this album on Friday.

Preparing my December Daily album. December Daily is similar to 30 Days of Thankful, but celebrates the festivities of December. This project (in various forms) is quite popular in the crafting circles, and I'm looking forward to trying it for the first time this year. (After all, I seem to be on a roll with these daily documenting projects.) I have started working on my foundation pages and hope to finish them up this week. I'll be posting my pages here on this blog throughout the month.

Creating my advent calendar. I've got a general plan, and some little boxes purchased and ready for decorating. But I need to move rapidly into execution mode if this is going to get done before Dec 1st!

Thinking up ways to help my kids experience the deeper meanings of this holiday season. I'm excited about some early ideas I'm noodling for how to get the kiddos to experience the holiday more deeply, with a stronger focus on giving (vs receiving.)

Finishing up the shopping. I've got just a few more people to shop for, and I'll be ready to turn my attention to wrapping. I'd really like to get this crossed off my list this week, so I can be fully focused in December on helping the kids with their "elving" activities.

Planning my baking and holiday entertaining menus. I am not doing very much holiday entertaining this year, but I do want to make a few homemade treats for giving, and we have a couple of small family gatherings to plan for.

Cleaning and organizing the house, readying it for the holiday decorations I'm hoping to put up next weekend.

Running a #mileaday. You may be noticing lots of pictures of my shoes if you follow me on Instagram. (Recent instagram posts show up on the right column of this blog too.) It's because I'm joining Elise Blaha in her "mile a day" challenge. She runs one mile (or more) each day between Thanksgiving and New Years. I'm going to do it too. Follow the hashtag #mileaday on Instagram to be inspired by all the other people getting out there this year.


A note on goal setting...

As you may know, usually on Mondays I post my Weekly Goals here on the blog. The weekly goal setting has been one of my favorite experiments since taking time away from my corporate career. (I'm at the beginning of Week Thirteen of my year off.)  I love everything about the process of thinking about what I want to accomplish in the week, documenting it, using those goals to help me structure my time, and then reflecting back on how it went at the end of the week.

But as I head into the beginning of my thirteenth week (an odd number in several senses of the word), I've decided to forgo the usual formal weekly goals this week, in favor of the approach I took above. It just felt right for this week. I'm thinking about keeping it loose for December as well, given how much the holiday activities tend to take over "regular life" anyway.

I plan to return to the weekly goal setting routine in January, with a full slate of new ideas, experiments, and plans to cook up for 2013. I'm already looking forward to it, but also very happy to be taking a little break from my usual routine to accommodate the magic and wonder of December.

Happy "in between week" to you. I hope you're enjoying the little breather between holidays!

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