2017 Visit from St. What’s-his-Name


ADD and Christmas Too
Something wonderful from years ago becoming an OFI tradition

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Merry Christmas!  I’m sharing one of my favorite Christmas presents with YOU below.

‘Twas the nite before Christmas . . .

I’m about to share one of the most clever of the versions of the rewriting of the Clement Moore original — ESPECIALLY for ADD/EFDers, ADD Coaches and everyone struggling with Executive Functioning challenges and last-minute Christmas oopses!

When you click the link below – and I truly hope you WILL – you will find only a couple of paragraphs of back-story before jumping directly into a really fun story about a Christmas that was almost a disaster.

If you have kids, you will definitely recognize many of your very own Christmas Eves when your children were little – and maybe even STILL!

So I’ll give you a taste below, and then send you over to read the rest — instead of spending my time to keep posting it again and again.  (It’s not that long, and the best part is still to come – so DO click to read it!)

If you share it (and I hope you WILL), you must provide a link back to the post and credit both the Optimal Functioning Institute™ and the author.

BECAUSE it is slated for inclusion in an upcoming ADD Anthology, make sure you don’t drop out “ownership” and link or things might get legal, okay?

Neat links to more Christmas stuff below, by the way.  Check ’em out, and feel free to leave a link to one of your own in the comments below.

IMPORTANT: only one link per comment or you’ll be autospammed.
If you have several, leave ’em in separate comments.

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Five Golden Rings – from a Post-Christmas Sale


Maids, Pipers, Lords, Drummers & Birds . . .
ALL Make Way for Twelfth Nite
January 6th: when sensible ADD Poster Girls prefer to hold the present-fest

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An edited reposting of an earlier idea

Are Merry Christmas & Happy New Year behind you now?

If so, I hope your Christmas festivities were everything you wanted them to be, and that all of your gifts were happily received in more than the spirit of that thought-that-counts manner.

I also hope that you are so happy with the gifts you received that you spend not a nano-second in a returns line.

HOWEVER, as many of you are focused on recovering from celebrating the arrival of the New Year, a scant few of us are still anticipating Christmas celebrations ourselves – after a fashion.

We who NEED a Little Christmas . . . TIME!

 

I know – for those of us who celebrate Christmas at all – ever since we were young enough to eagerly await the visit of Santa Claus, most of us have been accustomed to the idea that opening presents happens on the morning of December 25th.

But haven’t we ALREADY made some modifications to that particular plan?

It’s not unusual for families to pick another day to get together to celebrate – a time when ALL the family members will be able to attend.

Blended families frequently have more than ONE unwrapping ceremony – both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – and sometimes extending to other days and times as well.

Many of us have long-ago relocated Christmas present unwrapping to Christmas Eve — sometimes to make it easier for everyone to focus on getting out door for Christmas services at various places of worship, or sometimes to allow them to sleep late on Christmas morning, hoping to recover from the exhaustion of the rush of December before ramping up for New Year’s Eve.

I would like to suggest that moving the present-fest earlier
is going the wrong way, Jose!

Artist Patience Brewster’s Nativity Wise Men

Good enough for THREE Wise Men equals perfect for us

Legend has it that those three Wise Men following that star-so-bright did NOT arrive with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh bright and early on the morning of December 25th.

It took twelve more days and nights for them to get there with the presents: they arrived on January 6th (which marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season, for New Orleans aficionados).

Far be it from me to suggest that those Men had a kludgy sense of direction or a sense of time similar to my own (which is to say, NONE!), but I don’t recall anyone considering them late to the party, do you?

So, not only is there is some serious precedence for taking a bit more time, there are more than a few substantially great reasons for delaying gift exchange.

Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons that is a bit more serious-minded than an older post on the topic.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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A Mardi Gras END to Christmas Festivities


As Mardi Gras/Carnival Season begins
(with festivities that continue until Lent)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Edited reblog from Happy Eve before Mardi Gras, 2015

About Mardi Gras – why here (and NOW)?

Since my ex-husband and I both attended grad school in New Orleans, we had three years to experience the celebrations of Mardi Gras – from King Cake parties to balls to parades and so-much-more. I relish the opportunity to share “insider” Mardi Gras knowledge gleaned from my personal experiences in New Orleans over several seasons.

I’m posting this reblog just a tad early this year, in case some of you might be inspired to set up a quick trip while there still might be a hotel room to be had.

Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors: green, purple and gold – thrown from the floats by MANY different Krew members riding in the many, MANY parades they sponsor

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We ALL wish you a Merry Christmas!


Christmas Spirit Fun
Time on your hands headin’ toward Christmas? Feeling blue?
Check out these links for a hit of feel better fast
(or just plain fun)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Christmas Happy Christmas Series

Merry Happy EVERY thing!

Since Christmas is my thing, the name of that particular holiday will be featured most prominently in any of my winter holiday articles.

But I hope you’re ALL enjoying yourselves and your traditions, no matter which end-of-year holidays YOU observe:

Hanukkah – Kwanza – Solstice – Ramadan – Shawwal – Black Friday – Cyber Monday – St. Nicholas Day – Boxing Day – Christmas Card Day – New Years – Twelfth Night – Festivus – or even You’re Welcome Day.

Then there’s Fruitcake Toss Day or National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (which, according to the Holiday Insights website, actually exist)along with my personal favorite on November 9th, Chaos Never Dies Day – even though most of YOU probably missed it this year!

Like Christmas Windows: Here to Visit Now or Later

What’s YOUR situation this December?

Many of you are hyper-busy Christmas do-bees as Santa’s big day draws near, but many of you are NOT.

Some of you have let me know that you are alone this season – for various reasons – and more than just a bit down about that fact.

I have heard from more than a few of you who have been praying for the time when the kids were grown up and on their own so things weren’t so harried — but now that time has come, it’s not exactly what you thought it would be.  Something seems missing from your Christmas jingle all the way.

Others can’t get home — or are home-bound — for the holidays, and you don’t know how to capture any sort of Christmasy feeling on your own.

  • Pour yourself a cup of something warm – or a glass of something festive – and click the links below for a virtual visit to some bloggers who will give you a hit of those warm fuzzies (or cheer you up with a bit of Christmas humor).
  • Allow me to take you on a virtual field trip for some Christmas cheer up.
  • Those of you who desperately need a bit of a break, dropping in on some fun you don’t have to do a darned thing to make happen is just what Mrs. Claus advises when Santa gets overwhelmed (like clicking below to visit a few of the links, for example).
  • Some of the links will take you to heart-warming article; others will take you to virtual kitchens or visits to the homes of others.
  • Sit back, relax, click, and allow yourselves ENJOY.

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How to navigate those “Home Alone” Holidays


The Single Person’s Holiday Playbook

(Putting an end to those awkward holidays!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An edited reblog of a previously published article

ENOUGH with the questions from well-meaning others!

Whether we are alone by choice or circumstance, holidays can be, at best, awkward.

Found on: Lolsnaps

“Have any plans for the upcoming holiday?” can be asked at any moment – even by total strangers trying to be friendly in grocery lines.

ANY version of, “Not really,” is something they do NOT, actually, want to hear.

Nor is it something that most of us who are already feeling marooned are eager to utter aloud.

No Mom, s/he won’t be coming

As any single person who’s ever gone “HOME for the holidays” can probably tell you, being “unpartnered” during special family events can present a unique set of challenges, especially the first time.

It runs the gamut:

  • from feeling awkward, maybe a bit defensive about your [lack of] relationship status this particular holiday,
  • all the way to feeling that you must either “ruin everyone’s holiday with a display of pique” -or-
  • grit your teeth, grin and bear it as you attempt to find a way to politely field unintentionally rude inquiries about why you happen to be alone.

The Formerly Familied

Far too many individuals who are divorced, widowed, separated (or outliving their families and many of their friends) can find solo-holidays sad and depressing.

A friend of mine, an emotionally healthy, extremely self-reliant, empty-nest single parent says her married kids “make other plans” for major holidays — at the very least every other year.

She really doesn’t resent the reality that the kids have their own lives, hope to start their own family traditions, and deserve to feel unconflicted about making holiday plans that won’t always include her,  BUT . . .

She says that she can’t face cooking a holiday meal for one OR going to a restaurant alone when everyone but her seems to have somebody celebrating WITH them.

She also finds it unbearably depressing to fuff around in her pajamas and slippers ALL day, even though she feels like she is “all dressed up with no place to go” if she doesn’t.

Reaching out to help others?

Even singles who volunteer at soup kitchens and so on have to make it through at least a portion of the day totally alone, at a time that was once known for family get-togethers.

People who never drink anything stronger than root beer have confessed that the idea of becoming a regular at their town’s version of the Cheers bar crosses their minds more than a few times, just to have somewhere to go and a few people to talk to on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

Different ways to make it work . . .

Since I have spent most of the major holidays alone for many years now, I’m hoping that I will be able to help you look at things in ways you haven’t already thought of, tried and rejected.

In any case, I’m not planning to rehash the holiday survival tips already found all over the internet (but in case you have missed a few bloggy ideas, check out the articles under the Related Articles ’round the net heading in the links below the original post.)

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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The REAL Christmas Elves


Santa couldn’t do it without us!
Proof that we can do more than cuddle or blog

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

My FIRST Christmas post (and my first sort-of reblog)

Mom found this video and said I could use it in my first Christmas post.  It was originally posted by Xena on her Black Butterfly blog with the following introduction:

I never get enough of this video. It’s produced by Fresh Pets.

The music is festive, but really loud,
so you might want to lower the volume on your speakers
before you click on the little triangle thing in the middle.

Source: Santa’s Canines (and Felines) Make Toys | We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

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Christmas Gifts – the thought that counts


Makin’ Your Lists:
Checkin’ ’em TWICE?

When are we going to learn
to start even EARLIER?!

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Christmas Memories

Do you recall the gifts you received through the years?  I don’t.  Not really.

Oh, I can think of a few really special presents, but mostly they all dissolve into a blur of crumpled wrapping paper, bows and snips of ribbon — all over the floor.

I more clearly remember tearing into oversized felt stockings on Christmas morning, hand-crafted by my mother for each member of our family of seven, our names embroidered in sparkles on the cuffs.

Each of us were delighted with mere trinkets, chocolate treats, and the tangerine always stuffed into the toe.

She attached a string of jingle bells to each hanging loop to let everyone know that someone was getting into a stocking!

You see, what I remember most vividly are the memories of those Christmas times – and they are really all that remain from the Christmases of most of my life:

  • finally digging out the ornaments, untangling the lights and trimming the tree
  • snow-crusted mittens and red noses from sledding on glorious snow days (when the schools were closed!)
  • wrapping presents purchased “with my own money”
  • eggnog and my mother reading Christmas stories
  • buttered popcorn and hot chocolate as we watched classic Christmas films in front of an old-style television set
  • Helping to prepare Christmas dinners – even some of the conversations around those Christmas tables through the year.

What do YOU recall loving most?

A different kind of Christmas

When I was a kid, a family down the street gave NO presents that could be unwrapped.  I was never sure whether to feel sorry for my friend or be jealous of her wonderful Christmases, year after year — but now that I am much older, there is no doubt in my mind which of us got the better deal.

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Another Visit from St. What’s-his-Name


ADD and Christmas Too
“Reprint” of something wonderful from years ago

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

One of my FAVORITE Presents

I want to give you just a bit of back-story before I share one of the most clever of the versions of the rewriting of the Clement Moore original — ESPECIALLY for ADDers, ADD Coaches and anyone struggling with Executive Functioning challenges and oopses!

Janine Baker, one of my long-time best friends, is one of the most fabulously creative people I know. Although she does not have ADD herself, she GETS it, “thanks” to an up-close-and-personal relationship with me (and the fact that she was an early graduate of my ADD Coach Training)!

She also gives some of the very best presents. So when I tell you that this poem she wrote many years ago for my first website is among my very favorite presents EVER, understand that it has some stiff competition.

She gifted me the copyright along with the poem, so I own all rights to it.

If you share it (and I hope you WILL), you must provide a link back to this post and credit both the Optimal Functioning Institute™ and the author.  (It is slated for inclusion in an upcoming ADD Anthology, so don’t drop out “ownership” and link or things might get legal, okay?)

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Elfing for Santa!


Deck the Halls & Play the Carols
(Watch the movies … bake the cookies … and jingle those bells!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Edited from Happy Thanksgiving-Make Way for Christmas

Fair warning: This is not going to be a rant about the season.

Grab a drink!

Grinches and Humbugs are likely to need one, and the rest of us will be prepared for a merry toast to the season festivities to come.

Turkey_Drinks

Even before most of the Thanksgiving leftovers had been eaten or frozen, many of our neighbors began to string colored lights on the eaves of their houses, into their trees and winding ’round their bushes.

I am starting to see front door wreaths, lawn reindeer, and angels with glowing halos as well.  And I love it!

Anyone who knows me, even a little, will attest to the fact that I’m a card-carrying Christmas ELF – a regular Emmy Lou Who**.

I simply LOVE Christmas – the whole Christmas season (“Now please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason”)**

**Both from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel

I start thinking about rounding up my humongous collection of MP3s, DVDs, CDs, and tapes of ALL types of Christmas music the very first day the horrid summer heat wave shows signs of dipping below 80 degrees.

I especially love decorating for the Christmas season

And I like to deck the halls with a-whole-lot-more than boughs of holly!

I’m big on candles and garlands, trees and wreaths and stockings, Santas, sleighs and reindeer — and nutcrackers, and sugar plums — and Byers Choice Carolers (which I began collecting long before anyone else had ever heard of Joyce Byers!)

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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Happy Santa Claus Day


Good Little Dutch Girls & Boys
will wake up to presents in their wooden shoes tomorrow

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
A Christmas Reflections Post

A bit of explanation

From the analysis of the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas on the [mostly Dutch-language] blog of Samhildanach, a Dutch religious studies scholar says:

“Sinterklaas is the festival of St. Nicholas of Myra . . . [which is surrounded by] a lot of mythology . . . although little of that is commonly known.

This saint is portrayed as a venerable man in a red and gold bishop’s gown . . . Principally, the festival is meant for young children to around the age of eight.

The young . . . believe that Sinterklaas lives in Spain [and] visits the Netherlands every year in a steam ship, accompanied by his helpers, the dark-skinned Zwarte Pieten ‘Black Petes’, dressed in frivolous colours, to offer presents to all [well-behaved] children.

Those [who] have been naughty risk [being] caned by Zwarte Piet, or in extreme cases, [being] forced in the sack and taken back to Spain.”

The article goes on to explain that the period of Sinterklaas begins at some point in November every year – a national, televised event when St. Nicholas of Myra arrives at the dock, disembarking with his white horse and his attendant(s).

“From this moment on, the children [may] put down their shoes in front of the hearth. [. . .] The morning after, a small present will be in their shoes.

The festival is mainly celebrated in the Netherlands, but there are some local variations to be found in Belgium and Germany, encompassing differentiated local traditions.”

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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The Single Person’s Holiday Playbook


“Home Alone” Holidays —
without the tears

(Make this your LAST awkward holiday!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Note: If you’re jumping over from the 2016 edited reblog
[How to navigate those “Home Alone” Holidays]

scroll down to “NOW let’s really shake things up”
to read the remainder of the article (with the TIPS)

ENOUGH with the questions!

Whether we are alone by choice or circumstance, holidays can be, at best, awkward.

Found on: Lolsnaps

“Have any plans for the upcoming holiday?” is asked even by total strangers trying to be friendly in grocery lines.

ANY version of, “Not really,” is something they do NOT, actually, want to hear, and not something that most of us who are already feeling marooned are eager to utter aloud.

No Mom, s/he’s not coming

As any single person who’s ever gone “HOME for the holidays” can probably tell you, being “unpartnered” during special family events can present a unique set of challenges, especially the first time.

From feeling awkward, maybe a bit defensive about your lack-of-relationship status this time, all the way to feeling that you must either “ruin everyone’s holiday with a display of pique” -or- grit your teeth and bear it as you attempt to find a way to politely field unintentionally rude inquiries about why you happen to be alone.

The Formerly Familied

Far too many individuals who are divorced, widowed, separated (or outliving their friends and families) find solo-holidays sad and depressing.

A friend of mine, an emotionally healthy, extremely self-reliant, empty-nest single parent says her married kids “make other plans” for major holidays every other year at minimum.

She really doesn’t resent the reality that the kids have their own lives, hope to start their own family traditions, and deserve to feel unconflicted about making holiday plans that won’t always include her,  BUT . . .

She says that she can’t face cooking a holiday meal for one OR going to a restaurant alone when everyone but her seems to have somebody celebrating WITH them.

She also finds it unbearably depressing to fuff around in her pajamas and slippers ALL day, even though she feels like she is “all dressed up with no place to go” if she doesn’t.

Reaching out to help others?

Even singles who volunteer at soup kitchens and so on have to make it through at least a portion of the day totally alone, at a time that was once known for family get-togethers.

Even the ones who are teetotalers tell me that the idea of becoming a regular at their town’s version of the Cheers bar crosses their minds more than a few times, just to have somewhere to go and a few people to talk to on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

Different ways to make it work . . .

Since I have spent most of the major holidays alone for many years now, I’m hoping that I will be able to help you look at things in ways you haven’t already thought of, tried and rejected.

In any case, I’m not planning to rehash the holiday survival tips already found all over the internet (but in case you have missed a few bloggy ideas, check out the articles under the Related Articles ’round the net heading in the links below.)

So read on . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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Happy Eve before Mardi Gras


I’m Finally Celebrating Christmas
as the Mardi Gras/Carnival Season begins

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

NOTE: If you’ve just come from my 2016 reblog, to read the rest,
scroll down to “Grand Balls and Call-outs

About Mardi Gras – and why here?

Since I went to grad school in New Orleans, I had three years to experience the celebrations of Mardi Gras – from King Cake parties to balls to parades and so-much-more.

I LOVE a chance to share my knowledge of Mardi Gras from my experience there.

Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors: green, purple and gold – thrown from the floats by MANY different Krew members riding in the many, MANY parades they sponsor

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Gettin’ Ready for Twelfth Nite


Christmas Day is over . . .
Make Way for 12th Nite
(January 6th: the day when all sensible ADD Poster Girls
prefer to hold the present-fest)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Is Merry Christmas behind us now?

I hope your Christmas Day was everything you wanted it to be, and that all of your gifts were happily received in more than the spirit of that thought-that-counts manner.

As many people are now focused on celebrating the upcoming changing of the year, a few of us are still anticipating Christmas celebrations themselves – after a fashion.

We NEED a Little Christmas . . . TIME!

 

I know – for those of us who celebrate Christmas at all – ever since we were young enough to eagerly await the visit of Santa Claus, most of us have been accustomed to the idea that opening presents happens on the morning of December 25th.

But haven’t we ALREADY made some modifications to that particular plan?

It’s not unusual for families to pick a day where ALL family members will be able to attend.

Blended families frequently have more than ONE unwrapping ceremony – both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – and sometimes extending to other days and times as well.

Many of us have long-ago relocated the Christmas present unwrapping ceremony to Christmas Eve, either to make it easier to get out the door for the Christmas service at our places of worship, or to allow us to sleep in on Christmas Day.

I would like to suggest that is going the wrong way, Jose!

Good enough for THREE Wise Men = perfect for ADD/EFD

Legend has it that those three Wise Men following that star-so-bright did NOT arrive with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myhr bright and early on the morning of December 25th.

It took twelve more days and nights for them to get there with the presents: they arrived on January 6th (which marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season, for New Orleans aficionados).

Artist Patience Brewster’s Nativity Wise Men

 

Far be it from me to suggest that those Men had a sense of direction or time similar to my own (which is to say, NONE!), but I don’t recall anyone considering them late to the party, do you?

So, not only is there is some serious precedence for taking a bit more time, there are several substantially great reasons for delaying gift exchange.

Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons that is a bit more serious-minded than my last post on the topic.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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The Wisdom of those Three Kings


They didn’t RUSH to get it all done
by December 25th
(Arriving with THEIR Gifts 12 days later!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Hey, if Twelfth Night was good enough for THREE separate men known throughout the world for their wisdom — so much so that they are simply referred to as the Three Wise Men — who are we to question the timing?

If you are struggling with one of the Alphabet Disorders, it only makes sense to adopt their extremely wise idea of moving your own celebration to January 6th as well — or at least to its Eve, the night of the 5th.

I have already, so I can attest to how much nicer it makes everything!

SOME of the benefits of celebrating on Twelfth Night:

  • It gives you an extra 12 days to get ready
  • It allows you to shop the after-Christmas sales
  • It “uncrowds” your holiday calendar, minimizing the conflicts that create so many of those “but I thought you were spending this Christmas with US” in-law hurt feelings, and
  • It still allows you to create your own family traditions free of most family-of-origin pressure.

For those who are concerned about The Reason for the Season getting lost in the commercialism of it all, celebrating the present-fest on Twelfth Night leaves time on Christmas Day for Church-related or charity events, as it gives you a perfect opportunity for some Bible-story education.

Did you catch the part about the extra 12 days to get ready?

Do not try to change the world

For reasons I will never understand, moving the gift-exchange into the future by almost two weeks seems to be as tough a sell as suggesting that adults forgo a gift exchange completely – believe me, I’ve tried.

No matter. In many ways it makes things easier.

When others give you their gifts on Christmas, smile sweetly, almost piously, and say simply, “You will have to wait until 12th Nite for my gift to you – when the Three Wise Men arrived with their gifts for the Baby Jesus.”

  • Reciprocation is ever so much easier than trying to figure everything out ahead of time.
  • Quickly make a mental note to run out to get something for your side of the gift exchange (though an ACTUAL note makes reciprocation a lot more likely to actually happen).  

Not only that, waiting until Twelfth Night helps stretch meager cash-stores, since you will be able to shop the best sales — after Christmas, remember.

How else do you think those “Twelve Days of Christmas” True Love Givers that everybody sings about were able to gift so much?  They shopped the 12 days AFTER Christmas, when golden rings go ON SALE (nobody can afford to pay retail for five of the darned things in today’s economy!)

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The best Christmas tip EVER!


To Reduce Visual Overwhelm
as you Deck your Halls

Store in Plain Sight with this clever trick

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Decking, decking – still decking!

It’s a good thing I have switched to celebrating Twelfth Night – January 6th (12 more days to get it together than if my deadline were Christmas itself). There is NO WAY I’ll have everything ticked, tied and neatened by December 25 — my hall decking has faced a number of serious slowdowns.

  1. FIRST, I had to quickly move everything up off the floor to puppy-proof for the sudden good fortune of locating my wished-for Christmas puppy.
  2. Then, of course, came the day “off” to go get the little guy – and the day after that to recover from staying up all night puppy-proofing, followed by a car trip!
  3. And now that he’s here, I have to WATCH HIM LIKE A HAWK – this dog can find something verboten to put in his tiny mouth even if I’ve just swept or vacuumed.

The decking of halls has taken a decidedly back seat to puppy patrol. Oh well.  If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes. This little guy is clearly worth it to me!

Celebrate Boxing Day early . . .

No, NOT the day-after-Christmas holiday celebrated by our English-speaking forefathers across the pond (along with, according to Wikipedia, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden!)

I’m talking much bigger boxes for our Boxing Day than those used to gather alms.

Inundated by Shipping Boxes?

If you order anything online (and who doesn’t these days?), you probably hurry to break down the packing/shipping boxes to get them OUT of your house and into the recycling bin.

Don’t.

There’s a much better way to handle them – besides getting things out of the way of a puppy (you’re gonna’ love this!)

WRAP THEM!  (No I am not kidding)

But first, take down as many decorative tchotchkes as possible to clear the decks for Christmas decor.

Not only does Christmas decorating go so much more smoothly if you start with a relatively clean(ish) slate, it looks a lot better to the eye when there aren’t so many items competing for focus.

Pack the items you normally use to “merchandise” your space in a few of the medium to large-ish boxes that arrive carrying internet purchases.

It’s not too late to do it now, by the way – EVEN if your halls are primarily decked already.  Look around to see which non-Christmas items are distracting, and box them up.

NOW wrap those boxes – and tie them up with pretty ribbon and a big bow.

If you have the time, it is EVEN better if it is done in a manner that you can reuse them without rewrapping from year to year.

Even if you are someone who changes your theme or color scheme every Christmas, if you keep the wrapping paper relatively neutral you can always change the look with different ribbon.

Moving right along, you can ALSO reuse those wrapped boxes to pack up some of the ornaments and other artifacts of Christmas-soon-to-be-past until next year – sans bows, of course.

No mistaking what those boxes contain – even without the bows!  (Pop those inside one or two of your pretty boxes and store them all together – the only ones you tie with a flat Christmas ribbon.)

The MAIN thing, however, is to be able to
hide your during-the-season storage solutions
— in plain sight.

Put your prettily wrapped boxes around your home to spread a bit of storage-secret Christmas glow from room to room.

Or mass them together in a couple of out of the way corners.  According to Apartment Therapy, “. . . a collection of otherwise basic gift-wrapped presents is made more dramatic and note-worthy when grouped and stacked all together.”

Here’s the best part: nobody has to climb up to the attic or down dimly lit basement steps to store away the now empty packaging that once held ornaments and other pretties.  Pop ’em in plain wrapped boxes to sit under the ones with the bows until you are ready to take it all down again.

But WAIT – there’s more . . .

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What’s up with Twinkly Lights?


LightsWhy don’t they drive EVERYBODY Crazy?
(Searching for the quiet kind!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Oh dear, it seems that a bit of Monday grumpiness is about to bleed through my Christmas Happy Christmas series.  But somebody has to stand up and be counted, and I’m up for the job!

Flickering Candlelight is lovely – artificial, not so much

I’m old enough to remember when lights were either ON or off – unless, of course, they were dying.  We replaced lights that flickered post haste.

BubbleLightIn my mind, bubble lights marked the beginning of the “lights that oscillate” fascination. They’re the earliest “moving” lights I can recall, in any case.

In yet another amazingly comprehensive entry, wonderful Wikipedia** says:

“As Christmas lights, bubble lights were very popular during the 1950s through the 1970s, before miniature ‘fairy’ lights became popular.”

Vintage Christmas collectors sometimes use them still, and I believe there is a new version back on the market  for fans of Mid-Century Modern — so it’s not necessary to have been around back in the Dark Ages to have seen bubble lights.  Many people absolutely adore them.

I find the buggers distracting and annoying myself.

**Wikipedia is currently fund-raising, by the way.

They say that if everyone using them donated three measly dollars, their fund raiser would be over in an hour.

Add them to your Christmas Giving list, skip a cup of Starbucks and go give them at least $3.00.

Even if you’ve never explored “the people’s encyclopedia,” think of it as your share of how much I backstop with Wikipedia as I write the articles I gift to you here.

If you click the link to their Bubble article (their name above), the link to their donate page will be at the top of that article until they’ve reached their goal – the minimum they need to run for another year.

If you’re reading this later, don’t think they no longer need the money! The link to their donate page is always available for you on the right sidebar here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com – so go DO that, okay?

Craving warmth

I like a soft glow, and that’s what I try to create in my home — this holiday season and every holiday season. Year-round, in fact, unless I need bright light for a project of some sort. I wouldn’t care much for the flickering of old-fashioned wax candles either if they were as bright as even the dimmest of artificial lighting.

Even the graphic I placed at the top of the page to illustrate the twinkly concept quickly began to give me a headache. I was relieved when it finally scrolled off the page (Fear not, I don’t plan to repeat the experiment).

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ADD and Christmas too!


An Overwhelming Season for SO Many
(WAY too many To-dos in SO many categories for one short month)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

How does ANYBODY fit everything in?

Even the neurotypical crowd gets a bit of a taste of ADD/EFD overwhelm as Christmas rapidly approaches — especially those who just went overboard on the Thanksgiving extravaganza.

But those of us who have brains that are ALREADY struggling to manage life’s ordinary details can easily go down with Santa’s ship – turning what could be a terrific break from the everyday struggles into the cluttered ADD/EFD version of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

So Much to Decorate – so little time!

The days when Christmas decor was limited, essentially, to hanging a few stockings and trimming a tree seem to have disappeared like Brigadoon.

NOT that I’m actually complaining about that, understand.
I would have invented “Deck the Halls” if somebody hadn’t beaten me to it.

But even if I had “start early” genes in my DNA, to avoid public censure one really must wait to start displaying Christmas-y items until the season-long summer heat wave has subsided and the autumn leaves have had their 15 minutes of fame (unless one runs a Christmas Shop, which I’ve actually considered – for exactly that reason!).

In the minds of most people, the day after Halloween seems to be an acceptable — albeit incredibly EARLY — start-date for decking  (though I can’t, for the life of me, understand their objections to a larger buffer as a running start!)

Pinterest helps, of course – sort of

Nobody seems to object or poke too much fun at Christmas PINS – even long before Halloween costumes have become the only vision in the heads of little kids everywhere.

I began pinning inspiration images quite early this year, hoping they would help me develop a realistic game plan for Christmas AS I organized my new digs following my recent move.

Oops – THAT little “assist” has now become part of the problem.
I mean, what ADDer needs help dreaming up new things to do?

A woman who already has FOUR full-sized trees with as many decorating themes (and several more table-tops and minis) has NO business trying to remember to look for a thrift-store colander to spray-paint red as stand for her “visions of sugarplums” kitchen tree.

She shows even less sanity pinning a link to a tutorial on how to make a Christmas tree from a tomato cage.

Does that matter?  NOT ONE WHIT. See the problem?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Happy Belated Sinterklaas! December 5


Good Little Dutch Girls & Boys
found presents in their wooden shoes Friday night

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

click image for source

A bit of explanation

From the analysis of the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas on the [mostly Dutch-language] blog of Samhildanach, a Dutch religious studies scholar says:

click image for source (in Dutch)

“Sinterklaas is the festival of St. Nicholas of Myra . . . [which is surrounded by] a lot of mythology . . . although little of that is commonly known.

This saint is portrayed as a venerable man in a red and gold bishop’s gown . . . Principally, the festival is meant for young children to around the age of eight.

The young . . . believe that Sinterklaas lives in Spain [and] visits the Netherlands every year in a steam ship, accompanied by his helpers, the dark-skinned Zwarte Pieten ‘Black Petes’, dressed in frivolous colours, to offer presents to all [well-behaved] children.

Those [who] have been naughty risk [being] caned by Zwarte Piet, or in extreme cases, [being] forced in the sack and taken back to Spain.”

The article goes on to explain that the period of Sinterklaas begins at some point in November every year – a national, televised event when St. Nicholas of Myra arrives at the dock, disembarking with his white horse and his attendant(s).

“From this moment on, the children [may] put down their shoes in front of the hearth. [. . .] The morning after, a small present will be in their shoes.

The festival is mainly celebrated in the Netherlands, but there are some local variations to be found in Belgium and Germany, encompassing differentiated local traditions.”
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Christmas Happy Christmas


Oh the weather outside’s not frightful
(But inside it’s about to get delightful)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

WinterSnowMartin

A Quick Reminder

From now until Twelfth Night – January 6th, when any sensible ADDer plans to celebrate the big present fest – I am going to replace the Monday Grumpy Monday series with Christmas Happy Christmas.

My regular Wednesday articles will all probably have a “getting ready for the upcoming holidays” theme as well.

This is Monday replacement #1.

Tannenbauming

Since I leave the trees up for so long (yes, trees – plural), there is no way any live tree would make it through the length of my particular holiday season.

Every single one would be a stick, long before I was ready to take it down — surrounded by a carpet of needles that I would track all over the house.

So I am especially grateful that artificial trees have become so realistic-looking in the last decade or so.  Not that it would really matter — eventually.

By the time I cover them with years and years of ornaments, it’s difficult to tell what’s underneath!

But I try to put my trees up very early and decorate as I find dribs and drabs of time — so I really like them to look as real as possible during the period they are comparatively naked.

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Happy Thanksgiving – make way for Christmas


Sorry to be so Late
(The stores have been ready since September)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Fair warning: This is not going to be a rant about the season.

Grab a drink (you’re likely to need one)

Turkey_Drinks

Anyone who knows me, even a little, will attest to the fact that I’m a card-carrying Christmas ELF – a regular Emmy Lou Who**.

I simply LOVE Christmas – the whole Christmas season (“Now please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason”**)

————
**Both from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel

I start thinking about digging out my humongous collection of Christmas CDs of ALL types the very first day the horrid summer heat wave shows signs of dipping below 80.

I ESPECIALLY love Christmas decorations.

I like to deck the halls with a-whole-lot-more than boughs of holly!

I’m big on trees and wreaths and stockings, and candles and garlands, and Santas, sleighs and reindeer — and nutcrackers, and sugar plums — and Byers Choice Carolers (which I have been collecting since before anyone else even knew who Joyce Byers was!)

Carolers

click image for source

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