Post-Christmas Debrief

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bûche de Noël

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s the importance of debriefing. Of looking over an event (especially one you plan to repeat) and analyzing what went well and what you would change for next year. So, before I close the books on Christmas 2012 I want to take one final look.

The biggest fail of the year? Not sending out Christmas cards. I had purchased some last year, but I can’t for the life of me figure out where I stashed them for safe keeping. If I’m honest with myself, even if I had found them I probably wouldn’t have sent them. I need to get more organized, to have a detailed list (names/updated addresses) for everyone who I want to send a card to. I need to be kinder to myself and not be upset if I can’t write a full letter for everyone on that list. That’s what being better about correspondence during the rest of the year is for. Goal for next year? Cards in the mail before Thanksgiving.

Overall, this was my best year for gift giving. That is thanks in major part to having a brainstorming session before the holidays and writing out a concrete shopping list of what I wanted to purchase. Next year though I want to be finished sooner. I want to complete my shopping by December 1st to give myself ample time to purchase local and handmade. To accomplish this I want to keep a notebook of the people who I plan to gift and note down their preferences (especially as they mention them casually in conversation). I noticed this year that when I scramble for a last minute gift my mind goes completely blank so I will also start a list of my favorite go-to gifts. I will give fewer gift cards, unless I put more thought into their presentation (this and this come to mind).

On the topic of presentation, wrapping paper. With no pre-planning I had no time to handmake any tags, toppers, or ribbons this year. Goal? To shop for paper now while it’s on sale and plan out my presentation so I actually have time to execute it.

Finally, the baked goods. With my back I had a decent excuse not to be in the kitchen as much this year, but next year I want to make up for that. I want to acquire some cute tins and containers while they are on sale to help the cost around the holidays. Finishing my shopping by December 1st will give me a little extra freedom to bake when the season hits full force. Ditto for Christmas dinner. The goal? No last minute shopping trips to Trader Joe’s when the line is starting to wrap around the aisles.

As always, more photographs!

Those are my goals for next year, what are yours? Do you have a tried-and-true Christmas tips? What do you want to try differently next year?


  1. Erica I just love you! Can I say that? Well too bad, I DID!!! :) You have NO IDEA how much of a light you have been and the impact you have made on me! I can honestly say that you have changed me and my heart in so many ways! You've also changed my relationship with God for the better. :) I know 2013 is going to be a great year for you! I know God has such an amazing plan for such an amazing woman! <3

    1. This comment completely made my day. Courtney, you are amazing!! Seeing you face the challenges that have been put through with so much grace and a wisdom far beyond your years has been such a blessing to me. You are such a light in my life and I am so immensely thankful for your friendship. I know 2013 has amazing things in store for you too!! Love you lots, Courtney!!

  2. I totally understand where you are coming from!

    We purchased our Christmas cards in advance. We had over 50 cards and we only sent out 6 or so. We ran out of stamps and I didn't have everyone's address either. Shame on me! Maybe next year! =)


    1. Stamps were definitely one of my snags this year too. Actually, every time I go to write a letter it seems I have just run out of stamps. Next year will be the year!


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