Christmas Planning

Don’t shoot the messenger but it’s only 101 days until Christmas!

 Normally I start planning in July (when the big toy sales happen), but didn’t manage to do that this year and so I’m feeling a little stressed out about it all!  100 days = 14 weeks which means (if you get paid fortnightly like most people) only 7 pays until the big day. This is what I’m doing to get ready for the Christmas season;

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Planning gifts

We talk to the kids about what they want for Christmas all year- my son wants a motorbike, an iPhone and an iPad- he’s 6 and think’s Santa is rich.  I know approximately how many gifts we need to buy and have a few already in my present cupboard, I’m starting to write down other present ideas and search for homemade ideas for our family and friends.  I also have a rough idea of what my budget is to save us from breaking the bank.  I’ll be ramping up my gift buying in October and November.

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Writing a family letter

Every year my family exchange letters with our friends, it’s normally part of a Christmas card and is an excellent way to keep in touch with people who you don’t see very often.  I include a paragraph per family member and a few pictures and I put a letter in almost every card we send out.  I start drafting our letter now, so that I can just update it, edit it and print in in late November

Writing down addresses

To send the family letter and Christmas cards you need addresses!  I check that we have everyone’s and they are correct (nobody has moved), and I add any new friends or family to the list.  I also write out the names of everyone who we will send a card to, and/or a letter so I know how many stamps, letters, cards and envelopes I need.

Planning our Christmas holidays

We have family scattered through the state (and world actually) and so we try to alternate family Christmas’s in different places.  Sometimes we spend Christmas with my Grandma and Dad’s side of the family and so we need to plan where we will stay, when we will go and what we need to take- I start writing things on my planner and calendar now and contacting relatives about their plans so we all mesh.

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Buying craft supplies

Each year we try to do a Christmas craft as a family- one year we made dough ornaments (they fell apart in the humidity fyi), last year we made paper plate Christmas trees.  I’m not sure what we will do this year yet!  I try to make sure we have some Christmas stickers and other bits and pieces so when we find a spare second to make something we can get on and do it, instead of waiting until I can get the the shops and buy what we need.

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Planning an advent calendar (or other Christmas tradition)

Lots of our friends do the Elf on the Shelf, but that’s not on the cards for us at this stage, instead we do an advent calendar.  With kids as sensitive to preservatives and sugar as mine, I’ve found that making our own is easiest.  I generally buy little toys, sticker books etc and put them in our little advent calendar house we have.  It only fits something tiny so sometimes it holds a clue as to where the gift is hidden.  I love the idea of it having something fun to do written down, instead of something physical- a few ideas for this is ‘have a hot chocolate together’ or ‘make a Christmas card’- this is something we might try this year! It pays to start thinking about this now as it gets so busy closer to the time you need it!  If you are making a calendar do that, if you are buying one order it or start looking for little gifts to put in it!

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Scheduling Christmas parties

Every year for the past 3 years our family Christmas party has been on the same day as our community Christmas Tree!  I am hoping to avoid that this year by helping with the planning of said parties.  Start writing down the commitments you know about so you know where you all need to be and when.

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What are you doing to get ready for Christmas, or do you hate to think about it until its here?

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