December 2020 goals

2 December 2020

Honestly, friends, November was a bit of a disappointment for goals. Not so much because I got nothing accomplished, but because for the one goal I really wanted to knock out of the park – my Advent calendar – I barely nudged the needle. November is usually my last chance to make big progress on yearly goals, because I mostly focus on reflection and fun in December, so it stings a bit to feel like I’m ending with a whimper instead of a bang. BUT – reminding myself of a truth I know – not reaching an expected finish line doesn’t negate the good stuff that came before it. It just means there’s a little more to roll over into 2021 :)

On my calendar this month:
— Dinner out with John for our 2020 review and celebration. This might be a bit of a last-minute event, because we’re still not eating inside at restaurants — so fingers crossed for a warmer evening where we can sit outside (hopefully next to a heat lamp!).
— An appetizer and Christmas movie night! (Planning to do family Christmas movie nights every Friday this month, and this will be a special edition.) We started with the original Grinch last week, and have The Star, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure also on the list!
— Completing the Write the Word | Worship journal (a Cultivate collaboration with Proverbs31!) as an Advent devotion

What I’m loving right now:
— My PowerSheets prep work! The best reset and chance to dream.
— I’d never listened to an episode of the hugely-popular Armchair Expert podcast, but when I saw Lenore Skenazy (of COTAM fame) was a guest, I had to give it a listen. Worth the two hours.
— These are not new, but I love my L.L. Bean slippers so very much, especially in the colder months. A perfect gift, too!

As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What I read in November:
Save Me the Plums | A delightful read – and perfect for the month of Thanksgiving, as I expected. Ruth’s writing is simple but rich, and as a former magazine editor, it was so fun to get the behind-the-scenes details of her time at Gourmet.
God and Money | This was a thought-provoking read, and has already stimulated conversation between John and me. The authors focus a lot on wealth and consumption “finish lines,” ideas I both chafe against and want to embrace. I hope to write a Marvelous Money post sharing more!

A little update on my 2020 reading list: it’s been a joy! So far, I’ve read 15 of the 24 books on the list. Hoping to finish 3 more before December 31st!

Revisiting my November goals:
Begin my 2021 PowerSheets prep
Complete the Advent calendar backer
Order and complete our 2010-2014 family album
Hang mirrors in the bathroom
Order our Christmas cards
Make decisions about all gifts for all the people
Clear the decks for holiday decor
Make our holiday plans
Hang our bikes in the garage

December goals:
— Have fun with our Christmas reading calendar
— Help June make/choose and wrap gifts for John and Shep
— Set our 2020 budget
— Finish culling and sorting our 2020 photos
— Order and complete our 2010-2014 family album
— Neaten the laundry room

Let’s talk appetizers. If you were planning an appetizer dinner, what would you make?? On my list: pizza rolls (!). Baked ham and cheese sliders. All the dips – onion dip and chips, cut veggies and ranch dip, queso and guacamole. Buffalo wings. And the delicious nuggets of goodness, famous in my family, called sausage stars… maybe I’ll have to share the recipe sometime :) Now tell me yours!!

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Kelly C
December 2, 2020 8:21 am

I saw some friends do an appetizer night and they brought out all the 90s classics, pizza rolls, fruit roll ups, Dunkaroos (which are back!), Little Debbie christmas trees. I personally have been snatching up all the appetizers at Trader Joe’s to try out. Having an app night with Christmas movies sounds so fun!

Stephanie
December 2, 2020 10:31 am

The ladies of the Big Boo Cast recommended these French onion sliders several times, so I served them for lunch when we had my cousins over (ah, back when we could have guests for lunch…) and they were a big hit! The quantity may be a bit much for two adults and two small kiddos, but leftovers are good, right?
https://hostthetoast.com/french-onion-beef-sliders/

emma
December 2, 2020 11:17 am

I love the idea of one Christmas movie/week! I received a Sprouts ad that featured beautiful charcuterie spreads which inspired me to do that, really going all out, on New Years Eve! I know you are the muffin-tin charcuterie queen, so maybe you can pull in some of those favorites for your app night!

Sarah
December 2, 2020 6:45 pm

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is the sweetest holiday film! I love how it explores holiday traditions. The soundtrack is also excellent. We’re watching holiday films and specials nearly every night this month since we only have a couple of festive (but still masked and socially distanced with timed entry) events to attend. Watching a festive film is a fun excuse to make hot chocolate and indulge in some holiday treats, like Christmas crunch.
For appetizers, we always made wings, jalapeño poppers, and spring rolls when we would host our annual holiday party. I also love a good charcuterie board!

Lara
December 2, 2020 7:42 pm

God and Money — game changer for us and felt the same way re: chafing against it and wanting to do it! Also, we are big fans of The Star movie here. The kids laugh through the entire first chase scene!

December 2, 2020 9:54 pm

I had no doubt you would love Save Me the Plums and am so glad you did! I still have Garlic and Sapphires on my list after you recommended it ages ago!
We did an appetizer dinner when we were flying solo for Christmas Eve last year and got the most delicious charcuterie from Alimentari (in Transfer Co. food hall), so I would just recommend anything from there!

December 3, 2020 10:08 am

Can’t go wrong with pigs in a blanket! Real Simple featured a “recipe” for them last year using puff pastry, and the extra flakiness kicks it up a notch. https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/pigs-in-blanket-recipe
Also, I think I NEED this sausage stars recipe in my life! Sounds amazing!