Sunday, October 5, 2008

81 Days

It's not even Halloween yet, and I'm thinking Christmas. I'll tell you why.
I often just live in the moment and the season sort of knocks me over. I get overwhelmed and am maybe not able to enjoy it without stressing. I feel like I'm going to really celebrate this year with a little bit of organized planning. Not to mention, our break starts a full five days before the holiday this year, when we've only got two or three most years. I'm thinking of the gift wrapping, music playing, Christmas baking that I'll be doing in those days and it makes my heart sing!

There's a web site that I've been enjoying. 100 Days to Christmas. Of course, now it's down to 81 or something like that, and I've only been a few times. I know I'll use it more as we get closer.

Another goal I hope to accomplish by organizing my thoughts ahead of time is simplifying and staying in some sort of budget. Unfortunately we've dipped into our Christmas savings more than once and I don't have as much as I had hoped. But still, I want to make some gifts, use my talents, and show the true spirit of giving through a little extra effort and planning. Rather than grabbing some random gift at Target the week of Christmas because I've neglected someone on my list!

What are your planning goals this year? Do you budget? What works for you? I'm curious...
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9 comments:

HDMac said...

I, too, am participating in 100 Days of Christmas. :) It is helpful to keep me focused and I am hoping for a stress free holiday. :)

Will enjoy following your Christmas organizing and planning!

Jenifer said...

For me I start with a master list and usually check what I gave the person last year, since I keep my lists on the computer. I then watch for sales etc. since sometimes the sales are better now than closer to Christmas.

Really, I just try to stay on top of it all. It sounds simple, but really it is a challenge.

We have also started exchanging names, especially for the kids. When we get together with one group of friends which is 5 couples and 11 kids, each kid gets one gift and the budget is $20. This is such a smart idea because while everyone has something to open it isn't piles and piles of gifts.

It might seem hard to bring it up, but I was relieved when someone in our group did.

We also limit gifts for our own kids to 5 from Santa. They get so many gifts from family and friends this really keeps the focus on Christmas morning on being with each other a little more.

LoriAnn said...

I'm a planner - always have been. October 1st I go through my Christmas card list to double-check addresses and add any kids that were born during the last year. It also helps that I only have four nieces, two nephews and one step son to buy for. The nieces are all close enough in age that they can each get the same thing - just different colors. Last year it was pull over fleece half-zip jackets that I got at LL Bean with free shipping. This year I've already purchased them a cute tote bag from Life Is Good.com The nephews are 14 and 17 so money and gift cards make them happy.

I buy my stamps early, and start addressing envelopes early, too. Usually have those ready before Thanksgiving. I also divide the cards into piles of those that need a hand-written note and those that don't.

You're right on top of things if you have a budget and a plan - it's going to be a good year for you!

Mama said...

My best piece of advice is to follow family traditions. Then you don't have to think much. e.g. 1- I bake the same items every year. 2- I put my decorations the same place(or close to it), for me it works to do themes- all the snow men in one room, all the reindeer in another, blue items in another, etc. 3- I try to shop for my children with a theme- for each child we give....clothes, a book (always a book), something silly (always something silly), music (always music) and something they request. Some years they've all gotten a coffee table book.... Brett an atlas,Scott a Bob Dylan book and Katie and Stacey got a "Wicked" book. 4- I put on my tude and recall Mary & Joseph were in a mess and had to wait in huge lines. Where would we be if they'd chosen to skip all the hustle and bustle and lines??? JUST THINK ABOUT THAT!!! I stand in line and thank God for (in some lines you can about cover everything.)the many blessings I've received, I deserved none of them. 5- When we were young we chose one craft to make and everyone on our gift list got it. Don't do too much.

Mad said...

I just started making a list today. I only need to buy for my immediate family which makes it all easy.

Last year, MadDad's brother gave Miss M an advent calendar that is like a cabinet that will hold 24 different presents. He filled it last year; now it's our job and that has me stressed more than anything.

Mimi said...

NOOOOOOOOO!

I'm not ready. Not ready to think about it yet. At least, we buy for very few people, mostly celebrating the season with parties and cookies.

gulp. not ready.

nikkis30by30 said...

Mama is always so smart about these things!! And always good for a giggle, too!

I too am going to keep it simple. This year is going to be more about family and less about gifts. I of course will get the usual for the kids, but others may get skimped on. There are bigger things to think about this year and I am ready to focus on that.

Budget? Not really. We get a check buying back hubs' unused sick time and it comes..... ohhhh.... about three days before Christmas Eve. So, I buy a little here and there, but overall go at the end.

Have I told any of you what my mama gets this year?!?!? We are all REALLY excited about it!!!!! AND I HAVE 80 SOME DAYS TO WAIT?!?!? AAAKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

Aliki2006 said...

I really want to try and budget AND plan ahead this year. Every year I always want to shop early, and buy things I know my family will love, without feeling pressure. But every year I end up too busy, and doing to much last-minute catch-up! So we're going to try hard and budget this year--I'll be looking to you for inspiration!

Beck said...

I actually started my Christmas shopping tonight (I bought a high school musical lip balm - arg - to put in The Girl's stocking. IT COUNTS.). I'm planning on having my Christmas shopping done by the second week in November - and it's not because I'm super organized - hahaahah, no - but because otherwise, we spend too much and end up in serious debt in January.