“BOOM! The air seemed to shake. “Great Guns!” Pa exclaimed sleepily. “Why? Why?” Grace demanded. “Pa, Ma, why?” Carrie asked, “Who is it? What are they shooting?” “What time is it?” Ma wanted to know. Through the partition Pa answered, “It’s the Fourth of July, Carrie.” The air shook again, BOOM!” ~ Little Town on the Prairie p. 63
As I was reading through this book this week, this beginning of Chapter 8 caught my eye. It made me wonder about the sense of time. Every day we can look at a calendar and say, “Oh only ___ days before Christmas now.” Or, “The next holiday or special day is ___ I better ___ and ___ and ___ before then.” In that short paragraph I wrote above we get the understanding that the kids had no sense of time. They must not known a holiday was coming or they would have know what the noise was from.
I was thinking about all the prep work we do for a holiday. Planning parties, buying gifts, making food….so much work goes into the one day. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t put that much work into one day to have a special day but it’s interesting to think about it this way.
Obviously Ma and Pa knew what day it was, however if they’d been planning anything special for that day, the kids would have known about it ahead of time. Even though the chapter will go on to talk about the fun activities they did on the 4th of July, they did all this without having a prior plan of what they would do and how that day would go. Maybe the 4th of July isn’t the best example for this though of not preparing because it’s not as big of a holiday as soon. But even for me and the hubby, not as big holiday planning people, we still put in time and though ahead of time with what we would do on that holiday. Every year I know there is a book sale and a parade that I need/want to be at. There is usually a family picnic that involve cooking and cooking and cooking ahead of time. There is fireworks celebrations that means we will have to purchase firecrackers before the day of if we already know we want to have friends and family over.
Now, I’m not saying that you should stop planning holidays and just go with the flow on the day of. That’s really not smart because then, cost-wise, you are probably going to be spending more out of pocket getting things together that you want for that day because you will have to do it on the day of. No, all I’m saying is maybe once in a while it would be a good idea to step back and look at how much time and effort you are putting into a holiday. How many days do you spend planning that one day and is there a way that you can do it more efficiently?
A holiday is a fun day for everyone but I know that when you spend weeks or even months getting ready for that day…you usually aren’t the one that’s having fun too, even though you did all the work. You have to work on that day as well to make sure that all your plans for that day turn out the way you planned them.
Maybe as a challenge for the next upcoming holiday, look at what you need to do to get ready and then try and see how efficiently you can get everything done. Instead of making several trips to the store for what you need, try and work hard on your list first so you make sure you get everything you need while you are out shopping in that one trip. If you have alot of baking to do, instead of putting aside a whole day to cook or a couple days, see what you can make well ahead of time and just add one thing at a time into your normal cooking schedule and freeze the item. Try to make your planning as streamlined as you can. I can almost guarantee when the holiday does finally roll around, you will have less to worry your mind over on the day of and you will be able to enjoy it and relax as much as the rest of the family.
Make sure you check out the entire Living Like Little House series!