The Christmas Crunch Time Countdown Has Begun.

Last week, I shared with you all how anxiety is real…even in the life of Mr. Sunshine.

This week, as I lay here wrapped in my blanket on the couch with The Golden Girls playing in the background, I can’t help but continue to visualize in my mind all the things that must be accomplished in the next week for the Christmas holiday.

For those of you who don’t know, the holiday season can be a very trying time for a church music director, especially one who has OCD and perfectionism habits times a thousand million zillion, is trying to complete last minute details for a January 2 reveal to the public, working a full and part time job, and involves himself in a local production of a Disney classic that runs for three weeks right up until three days before the big holiday.

And if planning and finalizing a Christmas Eve service isn’t enough, I’ve got gifts to wrap (and by wrap I mean put tissue paper around items and place in bags), cards to write, and final gift shopping to complete.

What does this all mean? It means that visions of sugar plum fairies won’t be dancing in my head. It means that I will be the one eating the cookies and milk…not the jolly guy in the red suit. It means that I will be enjoying all…and I mean ALL the coffee in this final week of preparation.

So, how will I tackle all these millions of things in the coming week for the Christmas season while keeping up the holiday cheer?

Well, let’s begin! (And keep in mind this list is applicable to holidays and basically 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day).

So grab your tub of cookie dough, fuzzy socks, and mug of hot cocoa because here come my Christmas crunch time secrets.

1. Make a list of everything that needs completed.

-As the Sound of Music reminds us, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Start simple. Make a list (or lists) of everything that needs completed. This way, you can visualize what needs tackled and completed all in one place.

2. Delegate.

-This is the one that has always been a struggle for me. From your list, take portions of it and delegate the tasks. Utilize the talents of those around you and make smart choices. For example, if someone is creative, give them the tasks that require a visual eye. Or, if you stink at gift wrapping (like I do), engage someone who you know loves doing it in exchange for a lunch date or coffee. My good friend, Elyse is one that can attest to this very bullet point! If you maximize the talents of those around you, success will be yours. Divide and conquer as they say!

3. Tackle little by little.

-This is one that I also struggle with. So often, I want to do everything at once and get it all done in one sitting, which is virtually impossible. Make specific goals of completion from your lists of tasks. Prioritize those that are most important. For example, the gifts and cards for people that I will see on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will get wrapped last. Slow and steady wins the race and this is an aspect that I must get better with…practice what you preach as they say…still working on that.

4. Take mental breaks when needed.

-Give yourself a break when needed. Listen to your body. If your hand is cramping from writing too many personal notes in Christmas cards…well then take a break! Grab a swig or coffee or that spoonful in cookie dough you’ve dreaming about. If your eyes are drooping shut as you type out blog posts on the laptop, turn into bed earlier than normal and give the body that rest it’s been wanting for the last 4 month.

5. Remember to enjoy the company of those in your life you love most.

-This one comes without saying. The holiday is ultimately a time to be with the family and friends that you love most, so make sure you take time to relish in those moments, especially the ones of traditions that hold a special place in your heart. We won’t have these moments forever, so enjoy them while you can.

Well, there you have it. The Christmas crunch time secrets of Mr. Sunshine. And while some of these bullet points from the list are aspects I’m not the best at, I’m trying. Lord knows I’m not perfect…and I embrace that imperfection.

As we move forward to this final week of preparation before the big holiday, let us all remember to take moments of reflection to soak up every ounce of cheer possible.

It’s Christmas crunch time.

Are you ready?

Sprinkle sunshine always,