Thursday, December 02, 2010

On My List of Things to Do, Shopping is at the Bottom

Every year, I find myself smack dab in the middle of the holidays with a million things to do.  Shopping always gets shoved to the bottom of the list.  Work pushes its crabby way to the top, insisting on priority status (the nerve!).  I've made a concerted effort to put writing immediately below work, and that is much harder than it sounds.  Cleaning, a task I loathe, detest and abhor, keeps screaming out for attention.  I can't ignore it.  What if someone actually shows up at my house?  How do you explain to someone they can't come in because you live in a pig sty?  We aren't even going to talk about cooking.  If one of you so much as mentions a Martha Stewart cookie recipe that is a perfect homemade gift, you will be on my Naughty list.  

That leaves shopping as the neglected item on the to-do list.  For the last three years, I have tested Amazon's delivery promise.  Last year, we got down to the wire.  My mother's gift arrived on Christmas Eve (but it arrived).  I swore this year would be different. I'd get my shopping done before Thanksgiving.  I think we all know how that plan worked out.  I haven't resorted to doing my shopping at a convenience store on Christmas morning, yet.  So I am hitting Amazon for one last year.

I would love to hear how everyone manages to balance writing, life and the holidays.  I am open to any and all time management suggestions!  At 8:00 tonight (Alabama/Central time) I am going to number all of the comments, and pick a winner at random for a $15 Amazon gift card (so you can join me in last minute online shopping)

12 comments:

Linda Henderson said...

Well, I'm not a writer but this is what I try to do. I spend 30 minutes every day picking up and lightly cleaning, I live in a 2 bedroom apartment so this usually works. I do laundry while I'm doing other things, like reading. To get my Christmas shopping done I try to start early in the year and buy at least 1 present a month so I don't have to buy everything at the last minute. Since I'm on a fixed income I can't afford to buy everything at the last minute anyway. Fortunately we don't have holidays at my place so I don't have to worry about all that.

seriousreader at live dot com

Kat Jones said...

I wish I had the answer!!! It seems every year I plan to shop early, but then it gets pushed to the bottom of my list too. Right now I'm trying to do some on my lunch hour. Course, that uses my writing time. :(

Jeanie said...

I am always a day late and a dollar short! We have Thanksgiving at my house, so while many people are putting up their tree and decorating their house for Christmas, I am trying to cook and clean for a dozen Thanksgiving guests! So, I NEVER get the holiday decorating done on Thanksgiving weekend, which means I have a panic attack the next week when I pull into my neigborhood and see Christmas lights shining, trees up and decorated, and wreaths on the doors. As for the shopping, I do most of it at my desk online.

Lisa D. said...

Usually, I'm super, super organized. This year? I'm barely treading water. Mostly, I just make sure that I have some time each week to do what I need to do work-wise. Then, inevitably, I use that time to sit and watch TV instead :P

JoAnn said...

Christmas shopping is a beast! The few times I've managed to finish mine by December 1 have proved to be bad decisions. I always blow my budget! I can't resist a good sale, and end up spending way more than I had planned.

So last-minute Amazon shopping is not such a bad thing! :-)

Rashda said...

LOL, you're too funny! Just saw that you won the Stiletto...Congrats! WooHoo!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Congrats on your great news, Heather! I'm afraid I am too much like you to offer suggestions, except my only work other than writing is ferrying my two swimmers around and officiating their meets.

I only do serious cleaning when I *know* someone's coming, the rest waits until I can't stand to look at it anymore, and I only cook interesting things on the weekends or if my husband helps.

Haven't started my shopping yet at all. Good luck with yours!

M.V.Freeman said...

I just cry.
No, I'm kidding.
Writing wise, I just do a bit here and there in between the stuff. I also say "no" a lot. Wait, I do that anyway.

I think the whole point is just to survive...LOL

You will get through this! ;)

Heather said...

The winner of the Amazon gift card is Gwen Hernandez! I'll email you offline, Gwen. Happy holidays!

Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions (congratulations). Its so easy to get caught up in the chaos of the season and miss the great times.

Gwen Hernandez said...

Thanks. What a nice surprise!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey CONGRATS, Heather! I just saw that you won the Stiletto! Cool!

Chris Bailey said...

Oooohh, missed the contest. But wanted you to know your headline grabbed me--and I'm planning to make a Christmas list this weekend. Annual shopping event with my sister is set for Monday. Kinda dread it, but she's a shopaholic, and if I just follow along I'll probably get most of it done. At--of all places--the Museum of Art. No kidding.