I’m circling the landing strip, but only because I spent some time yesterday planning out the next two days until family comes. I already shared my four day menu, and today I’ll share with you a quick breakdown of how I bring it all to life. But first, a quick weekend recap!
Friday evening Kaitlyn had a belt test and is now officially a green belt! I am tickled by how much she loves Tae Kwon Do. She always wants to go and always has fun. Afterwards we all ate grilled cheese and tomato soup, then David and I hopped in on a progressive dinner happening on our street. Can you believe I didn’t snap a single picture? And it was such a fun night mingling with neighbors, though we didn’t get tucked into bed until close to 1:00, which is WAY past our bedtime.
Saturday morning we sweated it out with a workout, then attended the Tae Kwon Do Ornament Tournament, which ended up up being just as cute as its name. The kids each brought an ornament then chose one to take home in order of placement. Kaitlyn got 1st place in forms and 2nd in sparring… and opted both times to keep her own ornament!
We picked up stuffed peppers from Costco afterwards and had the best, relaxed, rainy afternoon. We played chess, Ticket to Ride Europe (don’t let the tunnels and rainbows intimidate you; it’s more fun than the original!), and Rummikub (make sure you opt for the large number version). We listened to Christmas music, had a fire, and all were tucked into bed early! (with a little help for me- AHS25 will get you 25% off your order)
Sunday morning Finley was up early so I got to work on Christmas menu prep planning.
Here’s my breakdown:
Three Days Before Family Arrives (Sunday)
- Clean out fridge, freezer, and pantry to create space
- Make master grocery list considering snacks, drink necessities, cookies decorating necessities, etc
- Star items to get at Costco and highlight items needed for make ahead food prep
- Grocery shop and get just the items needed to complete make ahead food prep
Two Days Before Family Arrives (Monday)
- Prepare all make ahead items: hash brown casserole, veggie egg casserole, bake sugar cookies. All of these items will go in the freezer.
One Day Before Family Arrives (Tuesday)
- Ready the guest rooms: fresh sheets, towels, stock with new shampoo and conditioner, add small basket of toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, Advil, and a razor in case anyone needs anything.
- Kick Kaitlyn out of her room and set up Hailey’s room for all the kids.
- Cleaners come (I love my clean team so much and this is why I am doing all the cooking prep on Monday)
- Go grocery shopping for remaining grocery items and put it all away.
The Day Family Arrives (Wednesday)
- In the morning, make the quinoa salad.
- Prep and marinate chicken for dinner. Chop all the veggies.
- Make and prep icing for cookie decorating.
The Day Before Christmas Eve (Thursday)
- Make Mexican dip.
- Make Knorr dip and chop/prep all veggies to go with it.
Christmas Eve (Friday)
- Prep overnight French Toast Casserole.
- Pull frozen breakfast casserole out of freezer to thaw in fridge overnight.
- Bake chocolate chip cookies for Santa.
Having a plan written out like this might look a little crazy, but it lowers my stress by 1000%. I just wake up each morning and see what needs to be done. Plus I know I’ll have helping hands for it all which makes it easier and more fun.
Yesterday we took a long walk with Finley and I had a sauna blanket session (you can use AHS for $75 off). I need to do a full review on this thing since I’ve been using it over a year. I mostly use it during the cold months because I don’t sweat easily, but I know how important it is for the body. Feels so good!
After showering I got a head start on Monday’s prep work and made the roasted veggie egg casserole while watching The Holiday and sipping For the Biome Immune Elixir (Use HEALTHY15 for 15% off).
While so much of my focus is on the Christmas menu, I am completely letting myself off the hook for all other meals. Friday we had tomato soup and grilled cheese. Saturday we had Costco stuffed peppers. Last night we had Costco salmon (though I prefer this easy lemon dill variety because Costco’s was swimming in butter), sautéed mushrooms and spinach, and lobster ravioli… because it was on sale at Costco… notice a trend? ;).
And with that, it’s time for me to sign off. There has been a lot of Christmas build up, but only on Saturday did I start to feel the real magic of it all (not so coincidentally coinciding with the day we played games in pajamas by a fire with nowhere to go). So I’m going to capitalize on that and focus in on family and food prep, and I look forward to sharing it all with you afterwards.
Before I go though, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. This time of year is chaotic and magical and stressful and cozy and hard all mixed into one. If this year is full of nothing but pure joy for you, I’m blissfully happy for you. If you’re facing a particularly hard challenge this year, whatever that may look like, I understand, and I will hold you in my prayers.
No matter your situation, I pray you’ll be able to see those flashes of fun and joy and allow yourself to feel them fully. It’s those little moments of love between the craziness that create the magic and memories; so don’t forget to notice them, even if they’re fleeting. Merry Christmas, friends! <3
Days Until Christmas: 5
Christmas Movies Watched: Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Home Alone 3, The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, The Santa Clause 3, Just Friends (just me), The Polar Express, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Deck the Halls, Christmas Chronicles, Christmas Chronicles 2, Prep and Landing, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Christmas Vacation, Holidate (it was terrible and we turned it off after about 15 minutes), 8-Bit Christmas, Frosty Returns, Star Wars Lego Christmas special, The Little Drummer Boy, The Holiday, A Christmas Story, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, The Grinch (all three versions)
Remaining must watch movies: Love Actually, The Star, Arthur Christmas, White Christmas… any other movie I need to add to this list?!