The List of the Year (Day 355)

Tomorrow, friends is go time, the countdown, the kick off, the starting line, the “this is it” moment, the beginning of the end.

It is 5 days until Christmas! 

This memory popped up in my timeline, today, courtesy of my mother:

She really did have all her gifts wrapped (poorly, non-artfully, sometimes  always in foil) by December 5.  This gave me 20 days to steal the foil from the pantry, unwrap the gifts hidden in plain sight in the laundry room, find out what she was giving me, become disappointed, rewrap the gifts in foil, realize they were wrapped too nicely, then throw them on the floor to mess up the wrapping a little bit and begin telling other people what I wanted for Christmas. (I was not a very good child nor did I have a grateful heart as a teenager.). 

It always fascinates me how completely opposite I am from my mother. She is much more laid back about it all (hence the foil wrapping paper); while I am doing every last thing and then one thing more to make everything magical. 

I honestly cannot help myself. It gives me such joy to be extra—to do all the traditions and see all the people and make all the meals and wrap it all up in coordinating ribbon. I was living life in a Hallmark Christmas movie before most people watched those films; and I’ve got no intention of stopping. 

And regardless of our levels of "Christmas-extra," this week is a crazy week for us all. But, God built us for this! I have faith that He would not put on us on this earth ill-equipped to celebrate the birth of Jesus! 

And He built me to celebrate the birth of His only son in a way that would rival any Beverly Hills birthday party. While the big guy in the North Pole is making his list and checking it twice and God is doing the important things like hearing our prayers, shaking His head and wondering why in the world the Adkins have double digit numbers of Christmas trees, I am doing the earthly thing and making my official "LIST OF THE YEAR."

You might wonder what the "LIST OF THE YEAR" is--my husband and children don't even know anything about this list. God built them for different purposes, like being ordered by me to do things on the list.

The LIST OF THE YEAR is my traditional 5 page list of things to do each day until and through Christmas! On December 20, each year, no matter where I or which child is screaming, I sit down and I write each day on a page and I fill that page with to-dos. 

There are two rules for the LIST OF THE YEAR:

1. I never let anyone see it or touch it or offer an opinion on it, despite my husband's repeated queries of "what's the plan?"  (The answer is always: JUST DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD AND LOOK AT THE CAMERA!) 

2. These daily to-dos are non-negoitable. The items on the list are not aspirational. These are items that must be done to ensure that everything in the whole entire world plus one more thing is done. 

It is like some sort of Christmas magic extreme marathon/scavenger hunt/pilgrimage/sport that I train for all year long and then atempt to beat my previous times. 

I get excited each year and it is really hard not to cheat and start making the LIST OF THE YEAR today. When the LIST OF THE YEAR is complete, I feel so accomplished, fulfilled and exhausted, that I take a long winter's nap (during the 8 hour post-Christmas drive to Ohio). My head is clear after a busy year and holiday; and I am ready to tackle the New Year with prosecco, lobster and unattainable goals (until, of course, December 20, when I make my LIST OF THE YEAR, and do it all in 5 days!).