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Tiaras and Trucks

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bring On the Holiday Checklists

It may only be October, but with Abbey and Dylan around, I sometimes feel as though I’m constantly playing catch-up.  Planning ahead means I might have a chance to arrive at a holiday party only five minutes late instead of thirty-five.

Cold weather makes me want to retreat into a turtle shell lined with cable-knit sweaters, so planning ahead means I can watch snowflakes out the window and listen to Christmas music instead of bundling us all up to brave the weather.

Here's a few things I'd like to do this year to avoid rushing around like an elf who just found a "nice" list buried in "naughty" files.

1. Make a list of people I plan on shopping for this year and get a small calendar to write down party dates.  Carry those in my purse at all times, so I'm not over-scheduling or under-buying.

2. Jot down books people mention.  Glance through sale ads with friends and family in mind.  Shopping ahead of time means I can put a lot of thought into gifts and not stress out about finding something at the last minute. 

3. Pull out holiday recipes and make note of anything new I want to try.  There’s nothing wrong with doing a test run before bringing a new concoction to a party.  All desserts should be taste-tested at least once.  At least.

4. Go through my wrapping supplies and see what I need.  I’ve been known to pick up extra wrapping paper by the cartload, when all I really need is gold ribbon.  Then I have to go back out into the snow for ribbon, plus I need to find somewhere to store the fourteen unneeded rolls of penguin wrapping paper.

5. Decide on cards, because I love spamming my friends and family with actual mail during the holidays.  Storkie has a gorgeous selection of holiday cards, including photo cards.  I love that you can go to one site and find something cute or something sophisticated, something religious or something seasonal. 

6. Scour Pinterest for holiday decorations and craft projects for the kids.  Even Dylan can help make a tulle Christmas tree, and making homemade gifts can save money while making our friends and family feel special.

7. Look through my pictures!  Though it’s always fun to see a holiday themed photo on a card, you may be able to use a favorite photo you already have to fit in with a card you like.  Do you have a picture of your kids making a giant mess?  Contrast it with an angel themed card!
8. Buy a few fairly generic gift cards.  It’s inevitable that you’ll (ok, that I’ll) forget someone on your (ok, my) list.  Having gift cards around, especially if I can pair it with homemade trail mix, cookies, or another treat will save me from venturing to the corner drugstore and figuring out which snuggie I should purchase.

9. Pre-address thank you cards to people always on our list (grandparents, aunts and uncles, best friends).  Let Abbey add stickers or stamps to the envelopes as an afternoon craft project.

10. Stock up on hot chocolate.  If I do the first nine items on this list, I'll be able to  enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate (or a homemade café mocha) on my couch instead of scrambling around at the end of December.

What do you do to prepare?  Am I crazy for thinking about Christmas before I have Abbey's Halloween costume?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation, but all opinions are 100% mine.

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8 Comments:

  • At October 7, 2011 at 1:07 AM , Anonymous Jessica said...

    It's never too early to start planning for Christmas, especially because it can be so expensive. 

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 6:36 AM , Anonymous Mommy's Paradise . said...

    Wow you are really organized. This is something I can only dream of but I'm getting better from year to year. And there are not so many people I have to get presents for so all is in my head. But I agree, a list and a calender to take with you wherever you go us a great idea.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:20 AM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    I seriously love your organizational abilities! If I were HALF as organized as you, I'd be happy. 
    I just put up Halloween decorations yesterday, so no, I haven't started thinking Christmas yet ;)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:12 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I know.  I always think I'm doing ok with my budget, and then I think of about eight more people I need to buy for!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I don't know if all of those things will actually get finished, but it would make things run a lot more smoothly when December rolled around!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:14 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Ha!  I'm not as organized as I would like to be, that's for sure.  I keep trying, though.

     
  • At October 9, 2011 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Missy | The Literal Mom said...

    You're not crazy!  It's an excellent plan!  I used to be much more vigilant about my holiday planning.  You've inspired me to get back to it!

    And . . . I LOVE #9!

     
  • At October 9, 2011 at 3:01 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    The key is not to leave the kids alone, or they might sticker the entire thing, including over the addresses :(  Not that I know from experience!

     

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