A friend on Facebook wrote a few weeks ago that it is only 13 1/2 weeks til Christmas. I commented, “Stop it!!!” I love Christmas, but I don’t enjoy the frantic, scurry, hurry, panic of trying to get it all done. As soon as I read her post I felt the acid rising in my stomach. So, I thought, what can I do now to prepare? The following is the list I came up with to get ahead of the game so I can truly enjoy the season.
- Make a list of all people you are purchasing for this year. You can do this on paper of course, but a great app I use now is Evernote. That way I have my list with me all the time.
- Prepare your Christmas budget. Always allow for more people than are on your list. You may make a new friend!
- Decide on service gifts and buy multiples. For instance, if you purchase for your hairdresser, nail tech, doorman, dog groomer, caregivers, house/pet/baby sitters, purchase several gift cards at one time, like iTunes, Starbucks, or a restaurant.
- Purchase multiple hostess gifts to have on hand for parties. You can gift wrap them now in a solid color paper in case you don’t use them. You will then have a “gift shelf” in a closet for those last minute birthday/anniversary/graduation gifts. In order to remember what is in each gift, place a sticker on the bottom with a number or letter written on it. Keep a list of your gifts with your chosen coding system on the shelf. You can remove the sticker before adding your ribbon.
- Address your Christmas Cards if you purchased them after Christmas last year.
- Decide on a few appetizer menus you’ll keep on hand for taking to get- togethers and buy any staples you can keep on hand now.
- If, like our family, you have special candy-making days, put that on the calendar and share with family so no other activities get in the way of that family time. Every year, we make chocolate and peanut butter fudge and divinity.
- Plan any special gatherings in your home now and send out a “save-the-date,” early to friends and family.
- Plan your menu for your special gathering.
- Stock your pantry, liquor cabinet and wine frig – if your parties include adult beverages.
A few ideas for hostess gifts:
- Candle with snuffer or wick trimmer.
- Anything in blue and white. Blue and white vases, cup and saucer with specialty tea bags, boxes, etc. A little blue and white goes with every decor.
- Candy dish with candies.
- Guest towel with pretty soaps.
- Specialty olive oil and vinegars.
- Antique watering can with small plant. (Purchase plant day before party.)
- Book with bookends (I have a book that I love giving as gifts – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp) Keep your eyes open for bookends throughout the year for great deals. There are some now on One Kings Lane.
It is now only 10 1/2 weeks until Christmas. I may wear mouse ears on vacation, but there will be no scurrying by this shopper this year!