Christmas is next month! Those words likely bring you a mixture of excitement and of “oh crap, I’m not ready!” Don’t worry, you still have time. Here are six things I have made a point to do and I promise it has helped me breathe a bit easier as the holidays get closer.
Start Making Gifts Now. One thing I do each year is to make homemade gifts. You can find some of my favorite ideas in this past post. Right now is a perfect time to start at least thinking about what gifts you want to make. Anything non-perishable is game to start making as early as you’d like! Once December hits you will be so happy you already have a stack of things ready to give.
Start Buying Stocking Stuffers. There have been years I swear I spent more on stockings than I did on actual gifts. The reason is because I waited too long and I ended up impulse buying small things that added up big in money. This year I have been much wiser. We have a suitcase in our garage that I have slowly started filling whenever I find amazing deals on stocking appropriate items.
Start Building Lists. I am not advocating for telling your kids to begin their Christmas wish lists. That will be a very long and annoying couple of months. What I am suggesting is that you start building lists of things they have mentioned so you can maybe have a few surprises. I keep an Amazon Wish List for each of my kids and then add/delete throughout the year. Start building your own wish list too!
Order Christmas Cards. Ok, I know this one might get some eye rolls. We have family pictures taken each fall and I use a picture from that for our yearly cards. A couple of years ago, it donned on me- If I already have the pictures, what am I waiting for? I gotta tell you, it was such a relief having those cards early in the season. No more chaos of me throwing them at my husband yelling, “stamp!” or “Didn’t the Nelsons move?!” Instead, I had plenty of time to stamp, correctly address and get into the mailbox early in the season.
Give Back. Each year, we adopt a family. But it’s about this time of year that I start researching what the best option is for us. Maybe it’s adopting a family, Operation Christmas Child, or volunteering at a food bank. Thanksgiving is a great time to do this as well as Christmas. If your kids are old enough to participate, start talking to them about any ideas they have too!
Talk About the Schedule. It’s common for family drama to occur around the holidays. For many reasons. One is due to schedules and when you go to Grandma’s versus Nana’s and so on. Talk to your spouse now and include Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our schedule has shifted over the years. Before we had kids, we could be flexible. Then we had kids who napped and were not going to disrupt that schedule. Now our kids are past nap ages but it’s important to us to have quality time with just them, meaning we build in time to ensure it’s just my husband and our kids for a bit on Christmas day without any other family. Set those expectations now with your family to avoid last minute drama.
Don’t you feel just a bit more organized now that you have six things you are being proactive with?
Read more of Stephanie’s contributions to allmomdoes here.