I love to give the advice of making lists. That’s because as soon as you write something down, it’s out of your head. A few nights ago, I woke up at 3:30. My son has been waking up about this time lately, but not that night. My biological clock took that time to keep me awake thinking about the baked goods I hadn’t finished yet, and “I’d better not forget – I need to find some celery root. And I’m out of ribbon!” If I would have had a pen and paper next to the bed, I could have written it down and emptied my busy head enough to go back to sleep. I did get the lists done next day, however. There’s the Christmas grocery list, the menu plan, the things-to-clean list.
When you’re traveling with kids, there’s so much to pack that something invariably gets left behind. We went to an indoor botanical garden last weekend for their amazing Christmas display. Unfortunately, I forgot the spare outfit – for the first time ever. My son proceeded to load his diaper. And his pants. And his shirt. And his snowsuit… This was just a short trip; no big-time preparations were made. But when you’re going out of town or visiting, you’re probably planning on being gone for a little longer than an hour or two. Again, lists are the way to go. Make a list of what needs to go in the diaper bag and put the list next to the diaper bag. Then when you pack, there’s no searching for a missing list. Write down how many of what – how many diapers, how many bottles… you won’t be taken by surprise when it’s time to pack.
Oh, and here’s a nice tip for the grocery lists: Keep a paper handy to write down whatever you think of, and do it right away so you don’t forget. When it’s time to shop, rewrite the list. Sound obsessive? Well, it will save you heaps of time at the store; when you rewrite it, organize the items in the order they occur at the store. So if you usually tackle produce first, start the list with produce, etc. Whenever I neglect to do this because I’m in too much of a hurry, I end up running back and forth in the store looking for things, and I always miss at least one item. Take a pen with you to the store so you can mark things off as you go. Then you won’t accidentally miss anything and have to go back later.
My wish to all of you, mommies around the globe, is a peaceful Christmas! May you have enough wrapping paper, never run out of eggs at the crucial baking moment, and have plenty of time left over to read the Christmas story to your little ones!