Three weeks ago signs went up in our post office here on SHAPE. On it were several dates, dates in November! It listed drop dead shipping deadlines for posting packages to the United States. So if one wanted to get one's packages to the United States by Christmas, these were the shipping deadlines. My initial reaction (keep in mind I am an advanced planner) was "yikes!"
I usually am ready for Christmas by Thanksgiving. This year with moving and keeping up with the kids I'm not sure I'm going to make that deadline.
Many gifts have been purchased, many have been thought about. But I am not ready. All the local Christmas markets, held in town squares across Europe don't even open until next weekend. Maybe I'll be shopping for next year's gifts - really advanced planning.
The postage deadline doesn't just mean sending gifts out, it also means I've got to get things ordered in hopes that they arrive here in time. Allen and Kyra keep revising and re-prioritizing their lists so I've got to make an educated guess as to where they will have landed by Christmas time.
I'm also working on Christmas cards. Family photo - check. Cards in hand - check. Chasing down everyone's new addresses - in process. We weren't the only ones moving this year.
After I get all the packages and cards taken care of I then need to turn to the task of keeping family traditions up in a new place. Belgians don't have a long standing tradition of Christmas trees, so finding a tree might take some work. Hopefully the commissary or PX will help me out. I'll let you know.