Navigating the Homefront

Home for the Holidays November 30, 2011

Filed under: Family,Hospitality,Organization — Christy @ 3:52 am
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Thanksgiving has come and gone already!  This is our first Christmas to celebrate in our own home as a family, and our first Christmas abroad.  Home is where the holiday happens, and I’ve discovered that means over-time for the home maker.  My plan is to get decorations, cards, and gifts done in that order, by December 18, and spend that last week gathering and preparing food for our holiday celebrations.


I read an excellent article a couple of years ago, which I wish I could find again.  The author was a professional decorator who urged her readers to focus on three things: the wreath for the door, the tree, and a center piece for the table.  Our love of food is already larger than our table, so I’ve adapted the list: decorations for the door, the Christmas tree, and the nativity scene.  Those are all the decorations we’ll have, and I’ve found that they’re actually all we need to make the house feel festive.


I love cards because the serve as a connection with loved ones I won’t be able to see in person over the holiday, and they remind me of what the excitement is really all about. My habit is to alternate sending a card featuring pictures of the family accompanied by a mass letter one year, and to write personal notes on premade cards the next year.  Usually I pick up cards at the dollar store, but three is a very crafty age and postal services are rather nebulous here. So, I’m going to have the kids make something to serve as the picture and send the notes by e-mail.


I like to make a list with a few different headings.

Name, gift ideas, current favorites      Plan A item            Plan B item              Budget


Before I head out to the stores, or rather log into Amazon as it is this year, I fill in at least the name and budget for each person on our list.  As I start looking to see what I can find, I may fill in some plan B items that I know I can get later, if I can’t find the great gift I wanted, then keep searching for the ideal plan A gift.  Once December 18 rolls around, I give up, buy the plan B gift and get set to bake some cookies and enjoy the holiday.

What’s on your Christmas to do list?


Contracting for a homemaking grade November 4, 2011

Filed under: Cleaning,Family,Hospitality — Christy @ 1:49 pm
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There are different levels of homemaking.  To put my homemaking goals into perspective, I find it helpful to think of contracting for a grade. Sometimes, instead of assuming every student is aiming for perfection and grading on how close each assignment comes, instructors allow each student to set his own goals.  For example, in order to earn an A, the student must do well on three assignments, but to earn a B, he only needs to complete two assignments. In my understanding of homemaking, earning an A would mean reproducing what my memory knows Grammy did in her home tucked away in the Appalachian mountains.  There were always fresh cookies and a cake.  The floor was gleaming. The laundry seemed to process itself, not to speak of the garden and handcrafts.  I’d be happy to make B’s:  to put healthy, home cooked meals on the table, clean clothes in the closet, and maintain general order all around. Making C’s is what I have done most days for the last three years since my son was born, and I undertook homemaking full time.  I’ve realized that, sometimes, in order to be an A or even B grade wife and mom, I must settle for passing as a homemaker.  Often, the laundry is clean, but it’s in a pile on the bedroom floor. The dishes get washed once every twenty-four hours.  I clean the guest bath while my husband welcomes friends at the front door. And my husband, children, and friends receive the love and attention which make our house happy place for them to be.