Our first order of business was starting early. If we're gone for two solid weeks in November and December and Drew's traveling for work for 4 weeks additionally, that only leaves us with a couple of rushed weekends and not a whole lot of free time to sit around the house drinking hot cocoa and watching Rudolph. Instead of feeling pressured to keep the holidays segregated to not "cheat the system," we're bunking tradition and spreading out the season to span a longer period of time of enjoyment! Part of the joy of being married is getting to set your own NEW rules and traditions! We decorated our Christmas tree and set up everything in our apartment for December holidays last weekend. We watched Frosty the Snowman while Drew made homemade biscuits, listened to Duck the Halls, and started our Christmas shopping early. I've already got a handful of presents wrapped carefully underneath our tree, and it feels glorious. PLUS I got to visit Christmas Village with my wonderful mom last week and got a couple of fun things to make our home a little more festive, too:)
In order to get organized, one thing I've tried to implement this year is a Holiday Binder. It's not some fancy product I'm trying to sell (although that would be absolutely legit). It's really just a 1.5" pretty patterned binder I got from Target that I am slowing but surely procuring recipes, bucket lists, gift lists, addresses, and other goodies into in order to keep up with everything and not be all over the place.
Our last (and most important) holiday pillar was to be intentional with our time, attention, and efforts. Ain't nobody got time for "busy." We are paring down our holiday calendars to focus on what matters, planning out meals and presents in advance (to avoid last-minute unnecessary splurges or wasting hours trying to find a recipe for that party in two hours), and putting more emphasis on the MEANING of the season: celebrating Christ's coming to earth for our incredible salvation.