Lattes with Liv

Lattes with Liv: November 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Checking it Twice

I consider today to be the official beginning of the winter holiday season.  My family spent the day breaking out our holiday decorations and putting up the Christmas tree.  We even got some snow flurries!  I also took full advantage of listening to Christmas music all day long.

Happy playing Hide & Seek while we decorated today!
From my instagram

The start of the holidays means lots of planning for me. (I wouldn't want to forget Christmas like I did Thanksgiving!)  December is always a super busy month between finals, projects, gift shopping, travel not going insane from family time!  The winter break always seems to pop up from nowhere on me.  This year, I'm going to be prepared.

Here's my tips to surviving December (and the last weeks of November):

Make a List | Start with a list of everything you need to do. Yes, I mean absolutely everything.  Go through each class and write down everything you'll need to do in the final weeks of the semester.  Don't forget due dates!  Then think through all of your extra curriculars (ex: I know I have to do another bi-weekly report for AOII).  Think through general life events too.  Going on vacation?  You'll probably need a packing list.

Plan it Out | Try to give everything on your list a permanent due date.  Bonus points if you plan to have things done ahead of time!  I generally have at least two separate due dates for my holiday shopping: before finals week (for my friends at school) and before Christmas (family).  Of course, if you're mailing out gifts, you'll have a separate date for those as well.  I like to take a blank calendar and fill in everything when it's due.  (You can also do this digitally!)

Stay on Track | This is of course, the hardest step.  I like to look at a two week view of the calendar, so I know exactly what is coming up.  I also find it necessary to keep a daily/weekly to-do list. (I'm a habitual list maker, thanks mom).

Just for fun: a free printable to keep track of all your holiday gifts!

What do you do to keep organized for the holidays?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Forgotten Holiday

I remember walking into Hobby Lobby in the beginning of October and Christmas decorations were already out and for sale. I'm quite sure I exclaimed something along the lines of "But it's not even Halloween yet!" But, no worries, Hobby Lobby was aware, as there was still a Halloween section.

Photo Source

I feel like this happens every year when I walk into stores that decorate for the holidays. Christmas and winter holiday decorations come out super early, usually with or just after Halloween. But what about Thanksgiving?

I call Thanksgiving 'The Forgotten Holiday' just for this reason. (Sidenote: I'm quite sure no one would actually forget Thanksgiving... How sad would that be?!)

How great is this photo of MSU's Beaumont Tower in the winter?
Photo Source

We can be all too quick to jump to Christmas right after Halloween. (I've even caught myself singing Christmas carols already!) Just on Monday, it was the kind of day I would describe as perfectly winter.  Even though it was quite dry all day, we got our first snowfall Monday evening.  I don't really consider Thanksgiving a 'winter holiday'.  It's definitely more fall in my mind, and even though the winter solstice is not until December 21st (does this seem really late to anyone else?), winter seems to arrive mid-November.  

Photo Source

Despite all of this, Thanksgiving is a holiday that shouldn't be forgotten!  It's a time that reminds us for all that we have in our lives to be thankful for... good health, loving friends and family, a table of yummy food.  There are so many things in life to be thankful for and I've started noticing lots of little details that make my day a little better.  

My thanksgiving challenge to you is this: think of all of the things in your life (big & small) that you are thankful for.  Bonus: write it down and be amazed at all of the wonderful things in your life!  Then post it somewhere you see fairly regularly to remind you how blessed you are.

p.s. Don't forget a special note or two for people in your life you are thankful for!