Click here for the full Countdown to Christmas advent calendar. 

Now that the gifts have been given and the eggs nogged, it’s the perfect time for just one more Christmas Challenge: the Christmas Debriefing.

Think about What Worked This Christmas and What Sucked Buttermilk, and write it all down.

Your “What Worked” list should include things you’d like to repeat next year – like that awesome sugar cookie recipe or the way you remembered to stash some make-ahead meals in the freezer before things got crazy. High-fives all around.

The “What Didn’t Work” list is for any holiday regrets you might have – too much fast food, missing the Angel Tree deadline, running out of Scotch tape on Christmas Eve, the Toffee Disaster of 2014 – and it’s a place for making suggestions for next year.

Every Halloween, when I pull these lists out, it’s like reading advice from a ridiculously helpful (and possibly psychic) stranger.

For example, last year’s lists reminded me to order tickets for Christmas at the Ryman ASAP, schedule Henry’s grooming appointment early, schedule a free weekend and beg Mama to make Christmas breakfast. (Potluck breakfast did not work in 2013.)

Done, done, done and done.

The process makes Christmas a little better every year.

So, sometime this weekend, take a few minutes to think about everything you got right, and write some notes to Future You about how to make next year better. Then stash the letter where you’ll be sure to find it, whether that’s in a computer file or a Christmas notebook or stapled to your calendar.

What would make next Christmas even better?

Think about it. Write it down. And take a nap. You’ve earned it!

Video: Jeff and I shot this video a few nights ago in Dickson, Tenn. Amazing.

Feature Image: Doctor Who TARDIS Ornament from