christmas preparation

peppermint snow

Becca from Adventures In Decorating  “I think that this is most FAVORITE tree. I decided to make this our FAMILY tree … to remind me and my family of what the holidays are truly about. I added black and white pictures of days gone by, along with familial sayings and chocolate *gold* coins (a/k/a treasure … as in *treasure* your family). I find myself going in there to stare at the pictures of family who are no longer with us … this tree makes me feel as though they are truly a part of our holiday.

My Christmas decorations are stored in containers that are labeled by room, this makes it easy to decorate with lots of decorations.  Toni

This is how I do Christmas – it doesn’t mean how you do Christmas. Toni

Black and white photos in canning jars. decorate canning jars with lights strung inside (drill hole)

Managing the details of the holidays can be tricky. How to stay organized….

Start with 3 containers gifts, charity tub

“For each holiday I have have one large plastic tub I mark Open Oct 1st (halloween), Dec 1st etc.  In those tubs I have the starters for decorating for the holiday.  Hand towels, soap dispensers, window decals, picture frames, candles, the small stuff that doesn’t take much time to set up and it gets the house going for the holiday.  Then as the days pass throughout the month I just add more stuff.  I find that that 1st box it all it takes to get me motivated to finish and I usually have everything done in the first few days of the month.  And if I don’t add anymore then the 1st box the house still has small touches of the holiday.” D – Denver, CO

Simplify Card Giving
As for the often daunting task of card sending, Vicki suggests, “Give yourself a break during the busy Christmas season, and consider sending cards at a different time of year.”
“Automate your card list,” Lisa advises. “Enter contact information in a spreadsheet using separate columns for each category such as first name, last name, street address, city, state and ZIP code. Add columns for gift ideas, ages and birthdays. Refer to it year after year, without having to invent the wheel each time.” Go a step further and convert a spreadsheet into mailing labels. Addressing cards is as easy as print, peel and stick.
“Breathe. You don’t have to do any of this. It’s possible to enjoy the holidays without giving yourself a migraine. Our seasonal experts offer their top tips for helping you celebrate the season with a minimum of stress.”After a year when I rushed around at the last minute trying to find gifts that people would like, I began shopping for the following year at the after Christmas sales. Now I shop year round and I am excited and eager to share my treasures with their recipients. For those that “have everything,” we give gift certificates to their favorite restaurants or tickets to an event we know they will enjoy.
Marilyn Cinami, Canterbury, Conn.
By the time Thanksgiving is here, everything that I could get ahead of time is already bought, and I have only last minute shopping to do. We can spend the rest of the time shopping for simple fun items like stocking stuffers, a Christmas tree and the ingredients for the special desserts we make. We get to wrap gifts, decorate, send cards, bake and visit friends and family — joyfully! And isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? We try to never get stressed out or we would lose the true meaning of Christmas, which is love!
Dottie Wolfe, Richmond, Va.I start shopping the week before Thanksgiving. The sales are on and everything?s in the stores, but definitely not as many people. I hate crowds. Best day to shop without a crowd is the day before Thanksgiving. Know what you?re looking for and the stores are all stocked with goods. This way if you see it on sale after Thanksgiving, some stores will give you the discounted price.
Kathleen Christy, Shelton, Conn.

Because of chronic health problems and not knowing when I’ll be up and around, I start my Christmas shopping right after Christmas and continue through the year. I keep a file card in my wallet of all gifts bought for whom, and usually I’m done by the end of summer.

I also start next year’s list during the current Christmas season. It helps me remember who and what we gave last year including how much.
Relieve some of the pressure of holiday baking by waiting to do it in January. I send my neighbors (or whoever I plan to bake for) a Christmas card letting them know they will receive their holiday goodies in January. I have found that this is always appreciated a lot more because December seems to overdose most of us with too many sweet treats.
Susan Lister, Anderson, S.C.I have discovered that many people are so loaded up on fat and sweets during December that friends always enjoy my evening menu of homemade soups (two or three choices). My guests provide the appetizers, a salad or a dessert.Because my trees are small I keep them decorated and place a large plastic wrapper over them to keep out the dust before storing them in a closet. When it’s time to decorate I just bring them out of the closet, set them on the appropriate table and I’m done!

Start now, don’t put off your planning. Make lists and stick to them. Don’t get caught up in all the magazines’ suggestions about home-making all the goodies or decorating extravagantly. Know when to stop. Defend yourself against the “shoulds” and “oughts” and the guilt trips by going back to your lists and checking things off one by one.

We also felt the kids were losing track of what the holiday was really about and just getting into the present frenzy. We decided to change the focus and minimize the gifts.

Posted on December 26, 2009
Categories: christmas, holiday awesomeness

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