Do ants celebrate, former procrastinators? Maybe they have teeny tiny parties. They do go to picnics. I think of ants being “steady on” – little step by little step persevering in what they need to do. That’s how I want to behave during holiday preparations. Picture ant number one with an itty bitty pilgrim hat.
Though celebrations may be amended this year because of less travel, fewer people, etc., three things won’t change. 1) We’ll still focus on gratitude to our Heavenly Father. 2) We’ll still have extra work. 3) We’ll still want to have time and energy to enjoy celebrating.
Working ahead clears the deck for inner peace and fun. It’s such a relief to have all but one or two dishes complete in advance, the table set, ourselves dressed early. Then we, too, get to join the party!
I’ve come to rely on these tips:
- Disregard the notion that every dish must be freshly made the day eaten. That makes for crazy. Post your cook-ahead schedule. Shop early.
- Streamline same-day cooking by prepping ingredients earlier. (Grate cheese and chop pecans in advance. Measure, bag, and mark them for recipes. “One cup – brussels sprouts.” Grab ‘n go. This also works great before your main cooking days.)
- Enlist help. Accept offers or ask others to bring a dish. Purchase from a restaurant or grocery store.
- Simplify plans. Imagine your preferred scenario and eliminate something. Avoid planning so tightly there’s no room to flex.
- Ask others what they hope to enjoy with you that day/ weekend. If possible, plan accordingly. (I’ve had a request for waffles.)
- Deliver cheer to someone who can’t get out. A call, dish, card, drive by?
- Focus on Him and plan how to do that so supplies are handy. (Read a Psalm, write gratitude notes, tell a pilgrim story)
- Give your expectations to God and let Him minister to each heart.
What tips would you pass on to us ant people?