The return of the Christmas season means the return of one of the most productive times of the year for me.
Paula and I organize and execute the Christmas shopping for the family. I make up the spread sheet, keeping track of the gift inventory (who we have gotten what, the things we still need and the total amount spent). Although we do a lot of our shopping separately, we make sure we do at least one "finish up" gift buying excursion together. That usually happens between our wedding anniversary (December 12) and the last weekend before Christmas.
We will spend this weekend decorating the living room and putting up the tree. About a week before the "big day" we will binge wrap all the gifts in a single night and put them on display beneath the tree.
On a personal level I have also been productive in a couple of other ways.
As I mentioned in a previous post, once again this year I was the director of our Children's Christmas play at church. Our performance was this past Sunday night at Oakland Baptist Church.
"The Christmas Cross" was a great effort by a group of a dozen precious and inspiring kids. I don't usually post pictures of children without their parent's permission but since this was a public performance showing you these shots is within my blog picture policy.
I have to admit that I wasn't as enthusiastic about directing this time as I was last year. I think the absence of the creative energy needed to write an original play may have been the missing element.
However, seeing how involved and excited the kids were about the program made all it took to get the performance on stage was worth it.
The other recent avenue of productivity for me has been in my home studio.
I am still working on recording "Ron Havens' Rewind Christmas #9" for 2014. Although the script has already been written and the playlist selected I continue to change the script and tighten the audio as I record it.
In addition I am already making a list of songs and subjects I want to include in next year's edition, my 10th program.
This includes shopping the I-Tunes store for newly released, or different versions of, Christmas music. So far I have found songs by Earth, Wind & Fire, Seth MacFarlane, and Vanessa Williams to be used in future Christmas shows.
Here's my "office" for all that's involved in my Christmas music project.
It's not the most organized or aesthetic looking set up but it gets the job done. It also enables me to record my Rewind programs any time I want.
It will also allow me to dip my toes into the waters of podcasting in the up coming year.
As far as this year's Rewind Christmas program is concerned; I should have it finished by the start of next week. If you are interested in having a copy of it let me know. Because it's all digital, I believe I can find a way to email it to you.
Of course there are a few other "productive' things that we'll be doing for the holidays. Paula is planning on making at least some of her special Christmas candy.
She already has done come creative baking. Last weekend she made some special treats for the cookie party after the play Sunday night. She made these Oreos baked inside a chocolate chip cookie. They were rich and delicious.
Another productive activity on my list is assembling and displaying all my new Lego Christmas sets.
Every year there are a lot of things that have to be done to prepare for Christmas. I call it "Holiday Housekeeping."
Of course the pay off for all of it is the wonderful memories of spending time with family & friends.
But along the way there are things that you get to do that you really enjoy. The things that make the Christmas season special each year. They are different for each person. I just told you about a couple of mine. What are yours?