Subscribe To Our Posts

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let's Plan for Christmas 2013


I want to encourage you all and myself included to start planning for Christmas 2013. If your Christmas is a very simple affair and you have just a few gifts to buy then this may not appeal to you but if your Christmas is anything like mine, full of holiday gatherings, lots of gift giving, baking, wrapping, shopping, cleaning.... You get my drift. December can be a very hectic month. This last year it was especially so for us with the busy schedules in our house. My husband and I vowed to start early this year and I am starting this month in fact.

First have you packed away all of your holiday stuff? If you have straggler items or have picked up some items cheaply at the after after sales, keep a box labeled Christmas that you can stash these items in or do like me and keep a drawer. I have a drawer in an old dresser we have in a closet. I stash any early gifts or really cheap wrap or bows I find. I bought lots of bags, bows and ribbon at a 90% off sale. Many items were 30 cents. I actually have all my wrap and ribbon and bags for this coming year. All bought at rock bottom prices.


How about starting your gift card buying. I try to buy one every month along with my groceries as the markets sell such a variety of cards. This way by December I have eleven cards already bought and paid for. This is a great option for us as we have so many teens and young adults in our family now. They love gift cards.

Grab a little notebook and label it now CHRISTMAS 2013. Start with what you don't want to do again that you did last year. Were you wrapping on Christmas Eve? I did that one year. I hated it and vowed to not do it again. Were you a slave to baking and spending too much time in the kitchen? Maybe bake only two or three favorites in larger quantities. The things your family hopes for each year. That is what I have done. We bake only cut outs, ginger bread men and one other goodie we choose for the year. I just double batches to make sure I have enough.

For me, I left too much shopping to December. I hate shopping so doing it with crowds is misery. My husband helped me out but we vowed to spend a couple days doing all shopping that is left on our lists in the late fall. No shopping after Thanksgiving. Of course buying throughout the year is ideal but there is always the gifts you have to wait to buy like if your family picks names or for stocking stuffers. We will make a date of it. Lunch out and shopping a couple times in the fall.

What do you vow to do differently this year? Let's make a plan for an organized Christmas and do a little each month.

28 comments:

20 North Ora said...

Elaine - Good ideas. I always do my shopping early because for many years I did several craft shows in the fall and just didn't have the energy to shop after Thanksgiving. Something I do that saves alot of time is do all of my Christmas cards ahead of time. I can pre address all of the envelopes and sign the cards. Then, if at the last minute, I need to write in them I can and they are all ready to go 12/1. It really helps me out because we send alot of cards. So many of our friends we only hear from once a year.

Thanks for the hints.

Judy

Mrs R said...

Elaine, wow you are organized! I love the idea of buying one gift or gift card a month so not to have the expense all at once!

I've started a new blog. You and yours are cordially invited. :-)

Michelle said...

I like the gift card ideal. We bought our girls big gift early. What we didn't expect, was them to buy it for themselves before Christmas. So this year it will be cards. Just to be safe. LOL

Theresa said...

Love the giftcard idea. Will have to do that.

Echoes From the Hill said...

I shop throughout the year, but find myself buying more in December, because I find that I have more for one or two people on my list than for others. I really want to stop doing this. With 22 people to buy for, I really need to be organized. I have a gift closet in the basement, and fill it with things I find on sale throughout the year. I also buy, on line, on Black Friday, going through Swagbucks, to get lots of extra bucks to turn into Amazon gift cards. It really helps.
nancyr

Mary Clark said...

Oh thanks for this great post, so timely. I did buy all my wrapping and ribbon at the big sales after Christmas. But what I was thinking for this year was maybe hide away some money each month to be able to pay for Christmas buying without getting another huge credit card bill like I did in late December 2012. I cannot stand that! Question: do the gift cards have expiration dates or do they last forever? Do you buy store cards or those "Visa" cards? (As in, which do the teens like better?).

Thanks, Elaine, you're so helpful with this money saving thing!

Mary

Simply Shelley said...

I plan every year to do Christmas through the year and have little or no stress come December 1st. I hope I can follow through this time :) Thanks for the encouragement. You have some great ideas ....blessings friend

Tracy said...

Great idea! I'm on board! :)

Cindy said...

I also plan to do shopping throughout the year, but either forget or just procrastinate. I WLL do better this year! Hah!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I've been saying for YEARS that I was going to do this.
Maybe this year should finally be the year!

Great idea.
I guess we need to post and report in on how we're doing?
...by commenting here does it make this an official committment?!

Pat

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Elaine, all really great ideas...and it's good to tackle it all year round, I am always picking up a little something for someone.

Jen

Debbiedoo's said...

In theory it is all sounding like the perfect plan. My intent is good, but I never getter done this way. I did buy some paper and misc things for next year.

Magazine Your Home said...

Every year I vow to shop early but never do, but I have to say that you have inspired me to actually do it this year.

Urmelche said...

Last year was my "blah" - how I call it - one but made it work. Norm is that only few items lef on the list by Thanks Giving, shopping thoughout the year sales. I forgot about the new Gift Card law, so I can start buying them, Thank you so much for sharing, love reading your blog

Kris said...

Elaine,
Great post! I absolutely need to do this!!!! Thanks for the kick in the pants!!
xo Kris

Mimi Sue said...

A few years ago we decided to simplify Christmas and I'm so glad we did. It took a lot of the pressure off me and I enjoy it so much more! Mimi

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Hello!!
In the beginning of 2012, I started a Christmas planner with the help of this site:
http://christmas.organizedhome.com/
I did use it this year but not as much as i intended too but it did come in handy with gift lists and amounts spent on gifts, recipes, food shopping lists and party menu lists plus decorating ideas and thoughts on decorating for next year.

There are so many planner pages that you could run off depending on how you want to use your planner. Check out the site and I am sure you will not be disappointed.
This was my original post about my Planner:
http://adebbie-dabblechristmas.blogspot.com/2012/01/planning-for-christmas-2012-1.html

Enjoy,
Deb

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Hello!!
In the beginning of 2012, I started a Christmas planner with the help of this site:
http://christmas.organizedhome.com/
I did use it this year but not as much as i intended too but it did come in handy with gift lists and amounts spent on gifts, recipes, food shopping lists and party menu lists plus decorating ideas and thoughts on decorating for next year.

There are so many planner pages that you could run off depending on how you want to use your planner. Check out the site and I am sure you will not be disappointed.
This was my original post about my Planner:
http://adebbie-dabblechristmas.blogspot.com/2012/01/planning-for-christmas-2012-1.html

Enjoy,
Deb

Gayle said...

Love the gift card idea!

Every year I say I'm going to start wrapping early, and every year I'm wrapping on Christmas Eve or the day before. Hope I can do better this year.

Thanks, and keep us updated on how you're doing.

Babajeza said...

This sounds like a good plan. But I am content how Christmas maches my time budget. :-) However, I have a list on my i-phone with ideas for gifts (some I have already, some are only ideas so far). have a nice weekned. Regula

Lisa Tucker said...

Great tips Elaine! I love the dresser drawer....great stash...:)

princess said...

Thank you for this interesting information! Great post! I'll keep it in mind!

Melissa said...

Yes, being organized at Christmas makes it less stressful and more enjoyable to celebrate...as a previous blogger commented use the "OrganizedhomeChristmas" planner blog. Every 25th of the month they send you a reminder to do something. I loved the idea of baking a different cookie each month and then freezing them,so by Dec. 1 you have a variety of cookies. I sure like your red, black and white kitchen.

Stacey said...

When my kids were little, I used to be really good about gathering things throughout the year. It made the holidays so much more enjoyable. The huge crowds are just yukky to me. So thanks for the reminder. :)

Angela ~ Call Her Blessed said...

great ideas!

Diann said...

Elaine, you and I sound so similar in this area. I keep a three ring binder just for Christmas inventory, addresses for Christmas cards, recipes etc. I always have a "holiday' box in my coat closet that is for holiday items I find throughout the year (thrift stores & yard sales). And I also have a drawer in a dresser that I keep for gifts that I pick up for next year. These are all awesome tips! Thank you for sharing them with us at this week's TTF party. Have a fun weekend!

ohiofarmgirl said...

I love your idea of buying gift cards each month, do you worry about expiration dates? I adore all the decorations at Christmas, I love to be out in the crowds...I would miss not being out in the crowds but I like the idea of having my shopping all but done.
This past year I did most of my shopping on Amazon..it was very helpful.Dianntha

TheyCallMeTurbo said...

I am the same way!! I love to have all of my shopping finished by October. So far, I've got 4 people bought for. I try to buy a gift for 1 person a week starting in April. It works for me!! :)