Not Christmas shopping -- ha ha ha! Barely started!
No, I am proud because this is the earliest that I have ever planned my family's annual post-Christmas gathering!
For many years as a child, Christmas Day was a huge family dinner at either Grandma's townhouse or at my aunt's church's social hall. But once my grandmother died, and a few other events transpired, we stopped doing it. In a way, it was a relief, because there was so much going on in December for everyone. But it was also very sad, because then we didn't do anything at all.
A few years ago, several of my cousins and I realized we missed all the fun times, and wanted to do something -- but what? So one year, I took the bulls by the horn and planned a gathering at a nearby seafood place. 26 people showed up -- which I thought was REALLY good. It continued at varying locations, and the last one (January 2004) we had 35 people! This past January was the first that I just didn't have the time or energy to plan anything -- but we also had a gathering at my cousin Lori's over Labor Day weekend.
This year, I have a little extra time and energy to devote to the gathering. My plan is to have us all meet in January at a nearby barbeque place that also has live entertainment (a bluegrass band). That ensures that my dad's brothers will be the last to leave the place -- they LOVE bluegrass!
So I'm working on the invitations now, to go out into the Christmas cards! WOO HOO!!!!!! I'm so thrilled that this is now off my list of "Things To Do Before December 10!"