December 2022 goals

1 December 2022

Christmas Friday was marvelous in theory and mediocre in practice – owing to my own execution. The date I chose (the best option in November) turned out to be a day I had an appointment scheduled and June was home from school for a teacher workday. So, I did not get to complete as many tasks as I had hoped (and some tasks were just not possible with a little helper in the vicinity), but it was still a great kickstart to the Christmas season.

And now here I am, a few weeks later, typing by the light of my Christmas tree. We’ve had it up since Sunday and strung lights on it immediately, but tonight we’re planning to kick off December by hanging the ornaments, drinking sparkling cider with dinner, and breaking out the Christmas pajamas. I think we might have a new tradition on our hands, pals. Wishing us all more of this everyday magic as the season unfolds.

The beautiful Duke Chapel decked out for the Christmas concert earlier this week. Always one of my favorite nights of the Christmas season!

On my calendar this month:
— Dinner out with John for our 2022 review and celebration.
— Hosting my family twice: for a trip to the Nutcracker earlier in the month and over Christmas proper!
— A viewing of About Time, one of my favorite movies of all... time. Can’t go more than a few years without letting it wreck me emotionally.

What I’m loving right now:
— My PowerSheets prep work. The best chance to reset and dream!
This episode about “otherness” as a Christian family on the Family Discipleship podcast. I think Jen Wilkin is the patron saint of young moms and I love her for it.
— This white v-neck tee from Quince. I saw my friend wearing it a few weeks ago, promptly asked her where it was from, and then promptly ordered my own. If worn with a nude bra it’s not at all see-through, the quality is great, the vee depth is just right, and the price is very right. I also bought this dress in the pretty dark olive and am excited to break it out in the spring!

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

What I read in November:
The Common Rule | I finally finished this slim book after poking away at it over several months and friends, I LOVED IT. I’m desperate to get our small group to read through it together in 2023, as it’s rich for discussion and experimenting with in community.
Between Two Kingdoms | This memoir of a 22-year-old diagnosed with leukemia and eventually requiring a bone marrow transplant was recommended by Emily Oster as her favorite read last year, and about 3/4 of the way through, it has not disappointed. Harrowing, gripping, moving.

A little update on my reading list for 2022: it’s been a joy! So far, I’ve read 13 of the 24 books on the list. It doesn’t seem like I’ll get to all of them before the end of the year, but I hope to finish 2-3 more before December 31st!

Revisiting my November goals:
Sew the tree onto the backing for my Advent calendar (DONE! It’s hanging on our wall!!)
Finish organizing the garage (I don’t think it’s the right season for it, and as this requires John’s assistance, it’s hard to schedule when I can work on it. Tabling for now!)
Edit Sheptember, Volume 4 (No, but it will be completed in December! Chose a song!)
Complete Christmas Friday!
Cull and organize six months of my 2021 photos (This got bumped from a Friday due to a schedule reshuffle.)
Order final kitchen details on BFCM

December goals:
— Prepare well for my family’s visits. With such a large group, I’ve learned that advance (somewhat intense) planning is key to being able to fully enjoy our time together.
— Cull and organize 2021 photos
— Complete the final six ornaments for the Advent calendar (!!!)
— Edit Sheptember, Volume 4
— Write 9 blog posts, including the final part in my part-time work series, a recap of our anniversary trip and marriage summit, a Highlands recap, a look at the completed Advent calendar (!), and my traditional end-of-year posts (some of my favorites!)
— Savor the Christmas season by focusing on loving the ones I love most, and loving those who need it the most. Even to me this sounds somewhat trite, but also the best way I know to celebrate the arrival of a tiny baby king who did the same.

While I have you, a question: what are your favorite Christmas movies to watch with your kids? Family movie night will be Christmas-themed in December, and I think mine are still too young for some of my favorites. The Star is on our list, as well as How the Grinch Stole Christmas (old) and A Charlie Brown Christmas, but I’d love to hear what else your family has loved! We tried The Muppet Christmas Carol last year but they lost interest fairly quickly. The Santa Clause, Love Actually, Elf, and It’s a Wonderful Life are some of my favorites :)

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December 1, 2022 7:59 am

About Time is so underrated in my opinion! I watched it continuously while I was pregnant and the hormones were raging. ???? The last scene on the beach destroys me every single time.

December 1, 2022 8:33 am

My kids all time favorite Christmas movie is the Holiday Spectacular of the Rockettes! We’ve watched it a million times from the library and finally have our own copy.

December 1, 2022 9:51 am

We also love The Star + the original Grinch- will add the newest How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the Grinch. My kids were so captivated by the movie that my trio was Grinch, Max, and Cindy Lou Who for Halloween and want a Grinch themed Birthday party (for their June birthday). Some other favorites are the 1993 Nutcracker Ballet (with Macaulay Culkin!) and The Snowy Day short movie based off of the book.

Kristen M
December 1, 2022 11:37 am
Reply to  Lindsey

The Snowy Day short movie is amazing! That gets watched on repeat in our house. It’s on Prime.
There are two tv specials that we had taped on VHS off the TV as a kid that I have re-found on YouTube that we also love watching – Christmas Eve on Sesame Street ( and my family’s absolute favorite Christmas movie in the whole world (we watch it every Christmas Eve at my parents and have for probably…35 years – since it was taped haha?) A Muppet Family Christmas (I will say part of the charm for us is the 1987 vintage commercials on my parents’ VHS one but this works in a pinch)

December 5, 2022 12:55 pm
Reply to  Kristen M

OH! YES! Christmas Eve on Sesame Street was my favorite as a kid!! I just ordered the DVD off of eBay after reading your comment!

December 3, 2022 1:47 pm
Reply to  Lindsey

We just watched the newest Grinch and our whole family loved it!

December 1, 2022 10:59 am

Yay, can’t wait for more blog posts to come! My absolute favorite (and surprisingly was a favorite of mine as a child as well) is Miracle on 34th Street, the original.

December 1, 2022 11:49 am

We are having a tough time with Christmas movies for my sensitive one this year! We do the Curious George Christmas movie (which I find super uninteresting, but my toddler loves it.) and Snowy Day on Prime. The Star was lovely, but a little too much for her. She loves Mickey’s once and twice upon a Christmas. And Elf as long as we fast forward through the grumpy Santa part! Ha.

December 1, 2022 11:57 am

We love watching The Small One every year … although I am a blubbering mess by the end.

December 1, 2022 12:56 pm

Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas are the two Christmas movies that we always watched growing up in my family. Your kiddos might think Miracle is boring (I did when I was their age), but they might like the singing and dancing in White Christmas! My parents and extended family generally seemed to gravitate towards the older Christmas movies they watched as kids :)

Other Christmas-y movies we enjoy now are Meet Me in St. Louis (not exactly a Christmas movie, but the climax of the film takes place on Christmas Eve), Home Alone, and Elf.

December 1, 2022 3:25 pm

We are doing Christmas themed movie nights as well! I love your selections! We also have The Grinch (old one), The Santa Clause, and Charlie Brown on our list. We have one more evening to fill and I’m going between Polar Express and Home Alone (although I wonder if this will be too much for our kids at their ages).

December 1, 2022 3:50 pm

I can’t wait until my kids are old enough for Home Alone. I LOVED that movie as a child. At 7 and 5 though the thought of being home alone is really scary. Have they seen The Polar Express? It was a hit last year after reading the book. We even have a bell as a Christmas ornament that the adults “can’t” hear.

December 1, 2022 8:14 pm

“About Time” is truly an underrated film! For family friendly holiday films, have you seen “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”? Olaf the snowman ventures throughout the kingdom searching for holiday traditions to share with Anna and Elsa. “Prep & Landing” and “Prep & Landing 2” are also cute animated holiday movies – they’re about the team of elves that prep houses for Santa’s arrival.
Also, I’d love a blog post how to prepare well for (overnight) visitors! What sort of planning do you do?

Kelly Strawberry
December 1, 2022 8:35 pm

Home Alone and Christmas Vacation. Comedy trend here but they are so good and we have watched them each year since Cam was 4 i think. I know he is an outlier in that he watches adult movies, but hearing him laugh hysterically at the last twenty minutes of Home Alone is one of my favorite mom moments of all time. And of course I cry every time at the end because its so emotional when his mom finally makes it home. :)

December 2, 2022 8:43 pm

I had to comment because even as an adult Home Alone sounds terrifying! I have seen clips but I remember being scared as a child when some explained what the movie was about! Charlie Brown Christmas is more our speed!

December 2, 2022 10:46 pm

So many blog posts to look forward to!!
Added „Between Two Kingdoms“ to next year‘s reading list!
And as for movies – our Friday movie nights are Christmas themed, too :) We just watched Miracle on 34th: my 9y/o was really into it, for the 6y/o it was a little long during some parts, but he enjoyed it, too, overall. We finally watched the two Home Alone movies for the first time last Christmas season and then just recently again when we were all sick, and it‘s so much fun!! Even though it‘s SO brutal and my 6y/o asked several times: Wouldn’t that kill you? Oh my! I will come back to the comment section before next week‘s movie night ;-)

December 3, 2022 1:45 pm
  1. My husband and I recently read Habits of the Household by the same author as The Common Rule so now we are intrigued to read it as well! I agree that it would be wonderful to read with a group!
  2. I recently discovered Quince as well, but haven’t had the best luck with their shipping. Hopefully it will get better because I love the few pieces I have!
  3. Our four-year-old (and us!) love The Snowy Day on Amazon, the newer animated Grinch, and A Charlie Brown Christmas (as well as their newer “Snoopy Show” episodes on Apple!)
December 9, 2022 11:49 am

My 4 & 7yo loved Arthur’s Christmas (not the PBS aardvark).