Do, Delegate, NOPE: Holiday Edition

Let’s brainstorm, ladies: what are some of your best ideas for holiday delegating (or ignoring altogether)? I was thinking about that old game “F–, Marry, Kill” the other day (maybe it had something to do with our celebrity crush open thread over at Corporette) and thought we should start a new series here on CorporetteMoms that’s kind of in the same vein, but about work/life balance instead. For the moment we’re calling it “Do, Delegate, or NOPE.” Here’s the idea: as working moms we all have a ton of things on our calendars and to-do lists at any given time — some can be delegated, some ignored, but some you have to do yourself (or want to do yourself). We’ve talked about being overwhelmed at the holidays, picking the best gifts for your child’s teacher, etc., etc. — but let’s talk about the holiday to-do list in general. These are your options:

  • do — do it yourself, either because you enjoy it or want to make sure it gets done right
  • delegate — outsource/assign the task to someone else (partner, caregiver, third party) because you can
  • NOPE — just ignore the task completely because there’s no room for it in your life

I drew up a list of holiday-related tasks for moms, and you can comment below. For each category (do, delegate, nope), choose at least one of the tasks in the list. (It has Christmas-related things on there just because it takes a lot of bandwidth for me personally, but if you follow another religion please use those to-dos and traditions as well!)

I’m hoping this will be kind of fun — but maybe also we can learn a little from each other, recognize that some things can be delegated, and so forth. It can also be a helpful list to sit down with your partner at the beginning of next year’s season and say “OK, these are the things on my radar — what can you do, what can someone else do, what can we ignore?”

Possible Things You May Have To DO, DELEGATE, or say NOPE

  • Holiday cards:
  • Seasonal decor:
  • Advent calendar:
  • Elf on the Shelf:
  • Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one)
  • Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc):
  • Santa picture at the mall:
  • Presents for the kids:
  • Presents for the in-laws:
  • Presents for the teacher:
  • Presents for anyone not family:
  • Presents “from” your kids:
  • Seasonal get-together for moms’ group:
  • Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization:
  • Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc):
  • Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants):
  • Year-end tips:
  • Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family):
  • Big family dinner:
  • Holiday baking:
  • Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break:
  • Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break:

My own answers:

DO: Holiday cards (I love them! but the “poignant photo shoot with all family members” is a nope for me, I prefer to pick a few top pictures from the past year), year-end financial stuff, BUYING seasonal decor (I tend to delegate “putting up/taking it down” to Mr. G), presents for the teacher and for my family members, seasonal activities in town (if only for something to do while on school break or to see friends at the end of the year),

DELEGATE: Putting up seasonal decor, present research for the kids, present purchasing for the in-laws (although I try to offer ideas), travel arrangements, big family dinner (er, if “delegating” counts as showing up at my mom’s house or picking a restaurant to go to with my in-laws),

NOPE: Advent Calendar (I never had one growing up), Elf on the Shelf (I will never match what J’s teacher this year is doing as far as creative antics), Santa picture (we have only done it once! definitely not essential)

It’s funny, after I started writing this post I kept coming up with a zillion other ideas for things to add to the list — what else am I missing? What do you find helpful to DO, DELEGATE, or NOPE around the holidays as a working mom? What makes the season for you — what can you do without? Has anyone reached a happy place with their partner/caregiver where some things don’t even come on your radar because the task is “owned” by someone else entirely?

Picture via Stencil.

Holidays can be extra tough on working moms -- CorporetteMoms readers discussed what they DO themselves, what holiday tasks they DELEGATE... and which holiday tasks just get a big ol' NOPE.

Comments

  1. nuqotw says:

    This is my new favorite game!

    We’re Jewish so our list is a little different. That said:

    I do the year end financial stuff / tips.

    Spouse and I jointly planned a trip to see a variety of friends / relatives.

    Spouse handled the acquisition of candles for Chanukah.

    Spouse and I discussed gifts to be exchanged; I ordered everything from Amazon.

    Nope: No cards (I feel like we should do this but neither of us ever gets around to it), no seasonal decor (unless getting out our menorahs counts). We aren’t doing any baking.

  2. I have a baby so a lot of these don’t apply.

    Holiday cards: Do
    Seasonal decor: Do
    Advent calendar: Nope
    Elf on the Shelf: N/A
    Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one) N/A
    Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc): Do (we went to two Christmas festivals)
    Santa picture at the mall: Do, but it was hosted by my work so low key, short line and no cost.
    Presents for the kids: Do
    Presents for the in-laws: Delegate to my husband and SIL usually, but did this year.
    Presents for the teacher: Do
    Presents for anyone not family: Do, only one friend.
    Presents “from” your kids: Nope
    Seasonal get-together for moms’ group: Nope
    Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization: Nope
    Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc): Do
    Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants): Do
    Year-end tips: Do
    Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family): N/A
    Big family dinner: Delegate
    Holiday baking: TBD
    Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break: N/A
    Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break: Nope

  3. Kelly C. says:

    DO: Holiday cards, presents for the kids, seasonal activities around town, presents for family, minimal lights outside and a few small decorations inside, gatherings with friends

    DELEGATE: My husband booked holiday travel, my MIL is making holiday dinner, the nanny is putting in extra childcare hours this month

    NOPE: Major holiday decorations, holiday baking, advent calendar, elf on a shelf, presents from kids, playdates

  4. Mrs. Jones says:

    Do: Decorate inside, bake, buy and wrap presents, and arrange for child care during school break.
    Delegate: Husband decorates outside and handles finances, son deals with 2 Advent calendars.
    Nope: Cards (everyone sees our updates and photos on FB so what’s the point?), Elf on the Shelf (worst)

  5. Holiday cards: Do/delegate but we send New Year’s cards so IMO they can be sent anytime in the new year and not be late. (Usually in early Jan)
    Seasonal decor: Usually do with husband and kid, basically just the tree (we live in an apartment)
    Advent calendar: Do/delegate – my mom usually sends us one
    Elf on the Shelf: NEVER!
    Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one): maybe leave out cookies
    Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc): We went light watching, but that’s it
    Santa picture at the mall: Nope
    Presents for the kids: Do
    Presents for the in-laws: Nope
    Presents for the teacher: Delegate – Contribution to $ collection
    Presents for anyone not family: Nope
    Presents “from” your kids: Do, only homemade treats and maybe a picture for dad
    Seasonal get-together for moms’ group: N/A
    Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization: N/A
    Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc): Delegate
    Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants): Do
    Year-end tips: Delegate, for super only
    Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family):Do
    Big family dinner: Delegate (as with Kat, eat what family makes)
    Holiday baking:Do
    Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break:Nope (we’re traveling)
    Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break: Nope

    • anne-on says:

      I think its important to remember that these will change the older your kid gets. We didn’t put up a tree at all my son’s first year. This is also the very first year since he’s been born I’ve been able to really bake the way I did growing up (multiple candies, cookies, cookie swap, etc.). And that’s ok! I look forward to subbing out the traditions that don’t work for us any longer (trip to see Santa) with those that will when he’s older (volunteering as a family).

  6. Do: Christmas cards, “countdown to Jesus’s birthday,” Sunday school Christmas programs/preschool Christmas program, daycare holiday party (where we can usually knock out the “Santa photo”, though it isn’t a must), baking cookies with the kiddos, teacher gifts (usually a gift card + fancy chocolates from a local candy shop), buying/wrapping gifts for friends and family, Christmas tree/indoor decor, taking my girls (4&5) shopping for gifts to Daddy “from” them (they love picking out ties and fun socks for him), baking cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, church in Christmas Eve, Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse shoebox gifts with the kids, take kids shopping for gifts for church/daycare “adopt a family” Christmas gifts through local Salvation Army.

    Delegate: outdoor lights (husband), Christmas dinner (my parents host the extended family), in-law gifts (if any, we aren’t close), managing the schedule/running interference with the in-laws if necessary

    Don’t: crafts, Santa (our daughter was terrified of the concept of a stranger coming into our house so we had to tell her the truth at an early age), Elf on the Shelf, handmade gifts, Black Friday.

  7. So many things! I don’t have anyone to delegate to, since it’s DH’s busy season at work, so mine are all either DO or NOPE.

    Holiday cards: DO – We get holiday photos taken in the fall, don’t post them on social media, and use them for cards.
    Seasonal decor: DO. This one is a big deal to me, but we have a small house, so it’s not too much. Besides the tree, we have a blanket and a pillow for the couch, a few scented candles, our stockings, an Advent calendar, and a wreath.
    Advent calendar: DO – I bought a cute felt one. I also always had one with chocolate growing up, and it was my favorite.
    Elf on the Shelf: NOPE
    Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one): NOPE. We’ll say Santa brings presents, but he gets a light touch around here.
    Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc):DO, but mostly between Christmas and NYE while my parents are visiting.
    Santa picture at the mall: NOPE
    Presents for the kids: DO, but so far I keep it pretty small.
    Presents for the in-laws: DO. Actually, this year, I’m making presents for in-laws out of stuff from our garden.
    Presents for the teacher: NOPE. There’s an envelope in the daycare’s office for anonymous donations, so I put some cash in there.
    Presents for anyone not family: NOPE.
    Presents “from” your kids: NOPE. He can do that when he’s old enough.
    Seasonal get-together for moms’ group: NOPE.
    Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization: NOPE.
    Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc): DO, but a lot of that can actually be done in the new year.
    Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants): DO the bare minimum.
    Year-end tips: NOPE. I actually avoid scheduling services in December to avoid the awkwardness.
    Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family): NOPE. They come to us.
    Big family dinner: DO. Dinner is at our house this year. We’re using the sous vide.
    Holiday baking: DO. Not exactly baking, but (see above) we’re making gifts using stuff from our garden (southern climate).
    Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break: DO. I’ll be handling childcare next week, and my parents will be there the week after.
    Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break: NOPE.

  8. Lorelai Gilmore says:

    DO: Holiday cards, buying seasonal décor, putting up indoor decorations, decorating the tree, getting out the Christmas dishes, presents for the teacher and for my family members, go see the Nutcracker or other seasonal stuff, all gift-related activities – kids, in-laws, my family, teachers, daycare workers, and people at my office and his office, all food-related activities, advent calendars, read Christmas books, take kids to church for participation in Christmas pageant, attend various Christmas parties, purchase holiday outfits for kids, coordinate family photos for use in holiday card.

    DELEGATE: Putting up outdoor decor, wrapping presents, printing out the address labels for the holiday cards, holiday baking (my mom did cookies with the kids and that was enough), year-end financial stuff.

    NOPE: Elf on the Shelf (this is my hill to die on), Santa picture.

    I thought we had a pretty pared down Christmas but this list is making me realize that there’s more I can give up.

  9. NOVA Anon says:

    I’ll play! Although the list is making me a little ragey because most of these are DO for me! (not ragey at Kat to be clear…ragey that with my crazy job I’m the one doing most of these and not my husband)

    Holiday cards: DO
    Seasonal decor: DO/DELEGATE (some together; some we do separately)
    Advent calendar: DO
    Elf on the Shelf: NOPE
    Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one): DO/DELEGATE (we do together)
    Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc): DO (together)
    Santa picture at the mall: DO (together)
    Presents for the kids: DO
    Presents for the in-laws: DO/try to DELEGATE as to his parents but often end up DOing
    Presents for the teacher: DO
    Presents for anyone not family: NOPE
    Presents “from” your kids:NOPE
    Seasonal get-together for moms’ group: NOPE
    Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization: NOPE
    Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc): DO/DELEGATE
    Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants): DO
    Year-end tips: DO
    Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family): DO/DELEGATE (depending on who’s family)
    Big family dinner: DELEGATE (he cooks!)
    Holiday baking: NOPE (but wish I could DO)
    Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break: DO
    Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break: NOPE

  10. Apparently I’m pretty active.

    DO – Holiday cards (first year for a photo card), seasonal decor (though we did downgrade from prior years because toddler), advent calendar (bought the Melissa & Doug one and Little HSAL is totally on board with putting the magnets on), a little Santa talk, very minor seasonal activities – lights, Santa picture but NOT at the mall, presents/tips for everyone (that is 100% a me thing), and we’ll be doing just a tiny bit of holiday baking this season.

    DELEGATE – I guess we can’t delegate much. We were going to let daycare take care of Santa but ended up taking her and I’m really glad we did. We’re seeing both families for Christmas so we’ve each taken care of our own “side” as far as plans go, and no cooking for us.

    NOPE – Elf on the Shelf (he can burn for all I care), presents “from” the kid, seasonal get-togethers, no real year-end stuff to take care of, playdates, projects.

  11. Curious based on the comments if anyone on here does Elf on the Shelf? Like Lorelai Gilmore (love the name btw) this will be my hill to die on. My sister who already has way too much on her plate and has an incredibly unsupportive spouse called me a few weeks ago to tell me excitedly that she was going to do Elf on the Shelf this year and I was like whyyyyyyy?

    • We do a very loose version of it:
      1. Our elf is an old toy from a broken stocking and looks nothing like Elf on the Shelf.
      2. Sometimes he moves. Sometimes he doesn’t. Daytime, nighttime, whenever he wants to move he moves. He’s a mystery.
      3. He can be touched, but he’s respected. The kids pet his beard, whisper to him, etc. Sort of like a pet. It helped make him less scary.
      4. The elf doesn’t do anything bad, or cutesy, or all that creative. He just moves. Sometimes we find cookie crumbs in his beard.

      Like most things, it’s as complicated or easy as you want to make it. I wasn’t into it until my oldest came home from Kindergarten and said other kids have elves in their house. She wondered what was wrong with our house that we didn’t have one. I pulled the old, broken stocking out of the box and said, “Wait, you never noticed him? He’s been here for years!” (100% true. I got that stocking in 1994 and my mom shoved it on me with the rest of my childhood stuff the minute we bought our house.) I made up our own rules for it based on what we’re willing to do, and what the kids are interested in.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t have to do it but you will need a story as to why an Elf doesn’t come to your house. Our story is going to be something about how daughter gets to celebrate an additional holiday from my husband’s home country in early December and Santa knows she behaves most of the time so he knew she didn’t need an Elf.

      Our kindergartener hasn’t asked ever so I haven’t brought it up. So tired of the ‘I hate the Elf but my 2 year old demanded one’ people – she’s 2 – she had no idea about the Elf until you showed her the movie. And she’s barely verbal so pretty sure she didn’t ask about why her friends have one and she doesn’t. If someone wants an Elf – fine – but own the decision – end rant.

      I suspect sister caved to pressure from kids/social circle.

      • I won’t have a story. I’m just going to say “We don’t believe in that but others do, so we need to be respectful and not ruin it.” We do St Nick stocking and other people don’t, so I’m guessing if Kids push it more, we’ll just remind them that we do things that others don’t.

        I figure it’s not that different from any other holiday tradition.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      We don’t do Elf on the Shelf. I actually bought one after Christmas the year my son was 6 months but I soon realized it was going to be way too much work. He’s 6 now and hasn’t really cared. My sister does it so my niece always talks about it and it doesn’t bother my son at all. I figure why create more work for me.

    • avocado says:

      I hate everything about the Elf on the Shelf. The fact that he looks creepy and spies on kids, the fact that it’s a massive commercial enterprise masquerading as a folksy tradition, the crazy Pinterest-inspired things that my kid’s friends’ elves do because they have SAHMs who have the time…

      I resisted the elf for years on the ground that there was one at school so we didn’t need one at home. The kid begged and begged and finally asked Santa to send her one. Her father, whom she has wrapped around her little finger, told me that we were depriving our child of joy by refusing to allow an elf in the house, and that he would take care of it. Her grandmother scolded me for calling the elf creepy. Santa brought an elf.

      Guess who moves the freaking creepy elf every night? And guess who regularly hears complaints about how the elf forgot to change his clothes last night and how his antics are never as cool as everyone else’s elves’?

      • A lot of Elf Pressure comes from school. You’ll have a couple kids in the class who have parents that are all in and their elf does all kind of crazy stuff that comes up at Sharing Time or recess, and then your kid will come home and wonder why his elf sucks. Or why he doesn’t have one at all.

        My daughter’s 1st grade class talks about their elves. They compare their elves. Any rule variations are discussed. It’s part of the Santa Dialog now, and I think it’s just normal for kids as they dance that “Is this really real?” line.

        The minute my kids start complaining about what the elf ISN’T doing, he will be suddenly called back to the North Pole for emergency toy duty and he won’t come back. Right now he’s magical and it’s not a drain. When it starts being unappreciated work? We’re done.

        • Wait, when do kids stop believing in all of this stuff?

        • AnonND says:

          We don’t do elf on the shelf, and we don’t even do Santa for that matter. My kids should know that presents don’t come out of thin air, and that they come from people who love them. In that same vein, they should realize that other people don’t get presents out of thin air either, and that we have to be a giving family to ensure that other people get gifts/their needs met.

    • I am 100% opposed to Elf on the Shelf and will never let my kids have one. We had some kids over for our daughter’s December birthday party and they asked their SAHM where our elf was. She then whispered to me that the kids asked her where it was and I said we don’t have one. She literally gasped and asked what she should tell them. I told her to tell them whatever she wanted, but we don’t have one. (My husband snickered a little when he overheard my comment.)

      I also have many friends whose elf gives their kiddos gifts every morning, for the entire month of December! And I’m not talking about a piece of candy or something small like that. I am talking about Disney cruises, really nice backpacks, etc. I know not everyone participates at this level, but the lesson these parents are teaching their kids is NOT something I want to be teaching my daughters.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I am anti Elf on the Shelf, and luckily my kids go to a (moderately) diverse school where I can pull out my go-to “All families are different, and have different rules, beliefs, priorities and traditions.” Since I’ve been using that line (and the discussion that follows) for a while and already used it that year for “why does Janie have 2 mommies?” and “why don’t we go to church like Jimmy’s family?” and “why doesn’t Leah celebrate Christmas?” and “why don’t we live in a big house like so-and-so” etc, etc, the “why does Susie have an elf at her house?” conversation didn’t last long.

      And like I said, I live in a pretty laid back town and the elf was just starting to be a thing when my oldest was in pre-school, so I’m pretty sure elf-having families are the minority, not majority, in our school district.

      But yes, I have told all my family members that if one ever shows up in our house it is NOT staying, so don’t even try it.

      • Anonymous says:

        My mom is an elementary school teacher and aghast that this Elf thing has taken off. And she was a SAHM!

        Kiddos have not asked about an elf, and if they do, I’m also going to the play the “all families are different” card. There is no way I will ever jump on this bandwagon, for all the reasons avocado mentioned above. I did get a big kick out of an article I read a couple years ago about how Elf on a Shelf is a government conspiracy to get kids used to being spied on a la NSA, though.

  12. legalcancuck says:

    Holiday cards: Yes but they are photos of the kids so I don’t have to send out
    Seasonal decor: yes
    Advent calendar: yes I love chocolate
    Elf on the Shelf: no
    Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one) Just cookies and reindeer food (oatmeal with edible glitter for the birds)
    Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc): yes
    Santa picture at the mall: nope
    Presents for the kids: yes
    Presents for the in-laws: yes
    Presents for the teacher: we do a class gift!
    Presents for anyone not family: somewhat
    Presents “from” your kids: no
    Seasonal get-together for moms’ group: nope
    Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization: nope
    Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc): nope
    Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants): yep (alothough I hate it )
    Year-end tips: nope
    Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family):n/a
    Big family dinner: yep. I don’t cook it though
    Holiday baking: yep
    Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break: nope
    Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break: nope

  13. In House Lobbyist says:

    I will play:
    What I do: Christmas tree (with help from kids), Christmas cards with a fall/Christmas theme (but my sister’s sister in law is a photographer), pancakes with Santa is done at our gym, tons of seasonal décor (we have 4 trees this year but 2 are little kid trees that they picked out and decorate), driving around looking at Christmas lights, baking Christmas cookies with Nana, making tons of Chex Snack Mix and a chocolate advent calendar this year. I also do all the presents – planning, list making, buying (ordering off amazon) and wrapping. I usually end of doing half of the shopping for my mom too. I usually spend a few days with the kids and Nana before Christmas so I do lots of stuff for those days – cooking, making cookies, planning crafts for the kids. And my husband’s birthday is Dec 17 so we do a big birthday stuff in there too.
    Delegate: My MIL decorates my staircase and all flat surfaces with live greenery and bows and my husband buys his brother a Christmas gift. My husband also does a “Dad” present that he picks out and deals with and is usually something that I would never buy. He also loads and unloads my live Christmas tree and fusses that I get one that’s too big every year.
    Don’t do: Elf on the Shelf, bows on presents .

    Tips: I read somewhere to wrap all your presents that go to the same place in the same wrapping paper so you aren’t trying to dig all the presents out before you go to Grandma’s or wherever and it has been such a great idea. People are always so amazed but it is really a great idea for me since I would be the one that does the buying, wrapping, and remembering which presents go wherever anyway.

  14. Betty says:

    DO: Head of church christmas fair (henceforth shall be a giant NOPE); presents for kids, husband, my sibling’s family; Santa stuff when the opportunity presents itself; make holiday ornaments; seasonal decor inside; present for au pair; year end financial stuff (mostly charitable giving and donating)

    DELEGATE: My sister and I decided that instead of a present for our mother and each other, we would buy tickets to Sting, book the hotel and have a girl’s weekend in a big city. My sister booked all of it. Outdoor decor to husband. Wrapping will be a joint effort this year, heavily aided by gift bags. DH has his family for presents.

    NOPE: holiday baking (norovirus on that weekend last year destroyed everyone’s desire to ever see gingerbread again); holiday cards; elf on the shelf; preschool event at 10:30 am; holiday travel.

  15. This is fun!

    Holiday cards: Do – I absolutely LOVE doing the yearly holiday cards, printing the address labels, putting on the special stamps, putting the huge stacks of envelopes in the mail.
    Seasonal decor: Do but half-assed. We have a tree w/ ornaments placed totally haphazardly, one string of lights around our patio, etc.
    Advent calendar: Yes, the pre-made Little People calendar. $40 on Amazon, worth every penny.
    Elf on the Shelf: No, though we have him in a box because we received him as a gift. Maybe next year.
    Santa Talk: (e.g., talking about whether Santa is watching, pretending to write letters to Santa, maybe laying out cookies or pretend footprints near the chimney if you have one): Talking yes, a bit, and we will put out cookies (which reminds me I at least need to buy some to have on hand in case baking doesn’t happen)
    Seasonal activities in your town (e.g. a train show, holiday lights, etc): Do – we’ve done a Santa brunch, a family Christmas party, doing another Santa breakfast this weekend, I did my office Christmas party and neighborhood ladies’ party
    Santa picture at the mall: My kids are terrified of Santa so “no”
    Presents for the kids: Do
    Presents for the in-laws: Do for those visiting our home; delegate to husband for those remote
    Presents for the teacher: Do, 10 $25 Amazon gift cards are en route as we speak (yay for 4:1 daycare ratios that result in your 2 kids having a dozen teachers!)
    Presents for anyone not family: Oh, no, we’re hosting a Christmas Eve brunch for some dear friends, we can consider that their gifts from us
    Presents “from” your kids: No, opt out, thx
    Seasonal get-together for moms’ group: No
    Seasonal get-together for parent/teacher organization: No
    Year end financial stuff (529 contributions, flex plan spending, stock sales, etc): Is that a thing?
    Year-end work stuff (holiday parties, gifts for clients, bonuses for assistants): Holiday party as stated above, all my coworkers are on our family Christmas card list (12 or so people), but NO to gifts for coworkers, and someone else handles gives for clients
    Year-end tips: Yes, aforementioned daycare workers, bonus written into check for cleaning lady. No for hairdresser. Just realized I probably should for the lawn guy, mail carrier, and newspaper guy. Add that to the list.
    Travel arrangements for the holidays (if visiting family): Thank God, no
    Big family dinner: Just no. We’ll eat normal food – I’ll probably make Crock Pot beef.
    Holiday baking: Done!
    Projects and/or winter camps to keep kids occupied on break: Fortunately daycare is year round.
    Playdate arrangement/accompaniment while kids on break: We’ve been doing playdates, but not to do w/ the holidays.

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