“…Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens, rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese and Santa puts gifts under Christmas trees…”

Well, it’s pretty clear that the guys from Run DMC know what their Christmas is gonna look like.  You know, they’re gonna be in Hollis.  Mom’s gonna cook-chicken, collard greens, rice, stuffing and mac and cheese. Oh, and Santa’s takin’ care of the gifts.

My question to you is this- Do YOU know what YOUR Christmas is gonna look like?

Now I know we talked about your calendar before but it’s time to look at it again; this time thinking SPECIFICALLY about Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas.  So step 11?

Come up with your game plan in ADVANCE for those three days and make sure your expectations are realistic.

This means you map out where you need to be, when you need to be there, how long you plan to stay and what you need to take with you.  It also means that EVERYONE INVOLVED is on the same page.

Even if you get to hang out at home, it’s still super important to think through your day.

Do your kids know what time it’s acceptable to wake you up on Christmas morning?  Are there batteries in the camera?  ARE THERE BATTERIES FOR THE TOYS? Does your sister know that you’re having dinner at 5:00 this year instead of 6:00?  Do your in-laws know you’ve moved out of state?  Do you know FOR SURE that Chinese restaurant down the street will be operating on a regular schedule?  (Lemme tell you, I made that mistake on Thanksgiving.  Never assume, people. NEVER. ASSUME.)  Does your husband know you plan for the entire family to watch the “A Christmas Story” marathon for the entire 24 hours?  Do your kids know that when you ride around to look at the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve that there won’t be any gettin’ outta the car to hurdle the baby Jesus in the manger?  Is it okay for your family members to take naps or play on their phones whilst you visit your great aunt?

I know the next few days are hectic and I’m not saying you need to be punching a clock, but It’s totally worth the time to do a little bit of pre-planning. Just think it through.  Anticipate the CFs so you can circumvent them.

And remember, you’re not trying to orchestrate some Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.  It’s okay if yours turns out to be a little more Comedy Central or Days of Our Lives. Christmas is not ruined if it involves a few drunk uncles or dramatic teenagers.  And usually those imperfections that make ’em memorable!  I know that’s the way it works in my family!