Last year I was in charge of our church Christmas party. This was a dinner for 300 people with decorations and a program. I had a committee whose help was invaluable, but I did not spread out the work nearly as much as I should have. The party was declared a success by all those who attended. I’m glad they told me, because I was far too frazzled to be able to tell if any of it was working. This year I’ve been assigned to order and prepare 120 lbs of ham to be served as the main course. (This is 14 whole hams.) In comparison to last year, this sounds easy. Oh I’ll still be part of the set up and clean up crew. I’ll still be busy all day long on the day of the party (Dec 10). I suspect that my skills and knowledge will be thoroughly tapped to help resolve crises. An event this size always has a crisis of some kind, no matter how well the committee plans. Already we are all glad for the notes I took last year. I wish I’d taken more. I’m going to be quite tired when the party is done, but there is a chance that I’ll actually be able to experience some of the party rather than running it the entire time.
It would seem that this Christmas season will be easier than the last, but life doesn’t tend to lower the difficulty rating. If the party were all, that would be easy. However I’m also the Scout advancement chair and I’ve been informed that we will be holding a Scout court of honor three days before the Christmas party (Dec 7). It is my job to do all the reports and paperwork in advance of this event. It is also my job to organize a Board of Review for the scouts who are advancing (On Dec 4). These arrangements are not all that difficult, in theory. I’ve never done them before and experience tells me that any job I’ve never done before will present me with unforeseen complications. Naturally I’m feeling a little stressed about it because part of my brain is trying to foresee those complications and prevent them. Only to foresee the unforeseeable is a bit of a paradox. Whee.
This is not all. One day prior to the Boards of Review which are mine to arrange, we’ll be hosting a shipping party to send out the calendars (Dec 3). That day will be completely consumed by the shipping of packages. We’ll be hosting this event in our house since Dragon’s Keep is unavailable on Saturday. This will require a smaller volunteer crew, longer hours, and a complete cleaning of my house in advance of the event. The two days prior to the shipping event (Dec 1 & 2) will be consumed by printing postage and the aforementioned housecleaning. The days prior to that will be focused on helping Howard do all the necessary sketching. Monday November 28 will be the day that Janci and I sort all the invoices, figure out what sorts of boxes we need and then place the order. Before that I need to go into the store reports and make sure I have enough dice sets, Emperor Bundles, and magnet sets assembled. If not, then we’ll be using our Thanksgiving weekend to make more. I’ve run lots of shipping events. It is routine, more or less. Of course each one presents it’s very own unforeseen challenges. (See earlier note on the unforeseen.)
On top of all of that, we’re cooking pies and rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, one son needs a hair cut, three children need new pants, the leaves need to be raked, there are non-calendar orders to be shipped daily, three pallets of books need to be relocated from our garage to the storage unit, the kids are going to want to put up the Christmas tree, and I want to put up the shelving in the garage so that the food storage can be moved out of my office.
When I line it up, all of it fits. In theory. If I’m working at top efficiency. But if I seem flaky or distracted in the next three weeks, now you know why.