Heading Into the Holidays . . .

December 13, 2023

Things I Still Have to Do:

  • Buy 2 nights of Hanukkah gifts (tonight + tomorrow, oops)
  • Buy sprinkles and chocolate chips for C’s classroom party; buy juice/waters for G’s bday party
  • Order + send holiday cards (we do new years’ cards and they usually come fairly quickly AND ALSO I don’t mind if they arrive late because that doesn’t matter)
  • Record some extra podcasts so the sound team can take a well-deserved break (!)
  • Give $ for staff gifts (thankfully I am not in charge of logistics so this just involves a Zelle or Venmo transaction and signing a lot of cards)
  • Give $ to our nanny (Friday) + lawn care people
  • Piano teacher gift. Just thought of that now . . . I suppose this is a useful exercise!

Things I Still GET to Do:

  • See The Nutcracker!! This weekend. I’m really looking forward to it, and the kids are too. We will probably also see Trolls because apparently there is a character named Viva . . .
  • Celebrate G’s bday!! For what feels like the fifth time, but she is very excited about her gymnastics party coming up.
  • Family Hanukkah party. I haven’t had a latke (fried potato pancake) yet; this will be remedied (though truthfully I am not really in love with latkes. They are okay. I am not into hash browns which are similar.)
  • Enjoy a LONG stretch off from clinical work. Now truthfully: I regret taking this long stretch. I am running out of vacation days and in retrospect I should have cobbled together camp/childcare/etc and worked until Josh is off for New Years’. But it’s too late to change things so the best thing to do is to commit to enjoying the time off. I keep feeling tempted to visit family but then I also feel like some chill time at home will be really really nice. (Plus – seems a shame to waste our good weather season – it’s so fleeting!)
  • Move into my 2024 planner stack!!! I’m excited!!
  • Go to the Japanese Gardens (in Boca) with a friend — this was on my 2023 list, so this will be a nice thing to cap off the year!
  • Enjoy a chill few days in Amelia Island. I’m not sure how hospitable the beach will be this time of year, but I’m picturing a lot of movie time, games, etc. Really looking forward to it.
  • Declutter over winter break. I always have the impulse to do this, but usually don’t have that much time at home. This year looks promising. The kids actively WANT to clear out their rooms. We will see how long that lasts!

Things that are DONE:

  • Teacher cash gifts. I know I could add something else, but I probably won’t. I know the $ will be appreciated. Maybe I will get the kids to write out cards before the last day. I do really love and appreciate their teachers.
  • 6/8 of Hanukkah! TWO MORE NIGHTS. (If it sounds like I am over it, it’s because that is 100% true. 8 nights is too long for me. 5 would be better.)
  • Two kid classroom book exchanges, wrapped + sent in
  • Office Elfster + blog swap gifts purchased; soccer team gift swap gift purchased + wrapped
  • Most of my niece/nephew gifts (I have 2 left but I think we will go the easy route for those two and send gift cards!). I am very grateful we do not do any gift exchanges for adults in the family
  • Most of my 2024 goals list. I refuse to call it finalized until it’s transferred into my goal planner, but I think I’m close 🙂
  • G’s bday party logistics (booking / invites / cake order / food order / decor / sticker books for favors. By the way, a kids’ bday party is absolutely a multi-step project. I am giving myself credit.)
  • Holiday gifts for college BFFs!

WHEW. This is why this season gets its own quintile. ALSO! School soccer is over and travel soccer will be on break after tomorrow until January 8 so that is exciting. I am ready for a little hiatus.

EVERY DAY COUNTS. Jenny‘s slogan made my planner page today. Just needing the reminder!

(Why yes, I am tracking media consumed –> podcasts / books / music / etc. This is a current fun experiment I am conducting. My hypothesis is that writing things down will lead to more intentional choices in my listening / reading / etc, AND more enjoyment of said content. Will report back.)


  • Reply J December 13, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    Looks like you are really enjoying the season! Happy Hanukkah!

  • Reply Grateful Kae December 13, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Wait, you consumed all that media already today?? How?! Or is this planned to listen to today? I guess maybe run + commute could get all those pods in maybe?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 13, 2023 at 2:40 pm

      You got it – run and commute! (Also the first one I was almost done. And I listen on 1.5-1.75 speed …)

  • Reply (TX) Brooke December 13, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    I’m about to start reading Real Self Care after I finish The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control!

  • Reply omdg December 13, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    Ugh. Thank you for reminding me about all of the gifts. I think I am going to do Amazon gift cards for the majority of my research staff (clinical staff get pooled gifts), but I am going to have to remind my husband to give the cleaners a gift. I bought the Secret Santa gift today for my coworker, and have to figure out who else / what else to get people.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 14, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      Amazon gift cards or just CASH is always a great gift!!!! I’ve done target cards too. Can always find something fun OR practical there

  • Reply Evi December 14, 2023 at 12:59 am

    Thank you, this is a great checklist for me as well. With regard to your idea of maybe visiting family, if you can, I would. What do you say on BOBW, people are worth investing in 🙂 Happy holidays!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 14, 2023 at 12:24 pm

      You make a good point ….

  • Reply Gwinne December 14, 2023 at 9:02 am

    I have settled into something of a Hanukkah formula, as I’ve developed larger philosophical concerns about how it has come to mine consumerist versions of Christmas in the US yet I also really liked getting daily gifts as a kid. So I alway/mostly include for my kids pajamas, books, a game or craft, something tasty like hot chocokate and a mug, and a night of charity in their name. Tint Boy, 12, wants to donate to an organization that helps homeless cats. A roll of quarters to use at the arcade was a huge hit this week

  • Reply jennystancampiano December 14, 2023 at 9:25 am

    Yes, I can definitely see why this season needs its own quintile. You have all the usual holiday madness, plus a birthday to celebrate- both my kids have December birthdays (SIGH) so I know it’s hard.
    My husband is a teacher and I can tell you, they definitely love gift cards and cash. It will be much appreciated!
    I was thinking about “Every day counts” when I read Kae’s post today. I like how she’s planning something for each of the next twelve days- it makes each day special instead of all running together and flying by in a haze. I’m going to use her idea!

  • Reply shalini December 14, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    How do you decide what $ amount to gift the teachers and other helpers (nanny/lawn movers) ?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 14, 2023 at 3:05 pm

      1-2 weeks pay for nanny etc .. teachers I just ask around or contribute to group gift if that is an option (at this school it is!)

  • Reply Michelle January 5, 2024 at 9:28 pm

    What does the tracker in the upper left signify? With the letters and music notes? Just curious!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 6, 2024 at 6:12 am

      Meditation, time outside, reading, listening to any music, Duolingo!)

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