Happy New Year! It’s time to start thinking about Christmas again. I know what your thinking. Didn’t we just do that? Yes we did, but do you remember last month? The last minute scramble to get things finished. The debate with your spouse if cinnamon was worth going out for right now. Other than these thoughts I have a few very good reasons to start thinking about Christmas now.
A More Detailed Plan
You can shop or craft the whole year round on a schedule. You have a whole year of sales to work with. If something is out of stock in May you are bound to have found it by December. You can plan what you will be eating, what decorations you need, if you will be traveling and present details on a higher level than starting around the end of October.
No matter how you plan to gift, there is more time. There is more time to make a plan, craft or save up. Do you fund your Christmas through click site gift cards applied to your Amazon account? There is more time to collect gift cards to stock towards the end of the year. Or you can buy crafting supplies with your gift cards a little at a time through the year.
Christmas Stuff Is Still On Sale
Go by the book section of a Walmart and you will find the books of Christmas past. We went by just yesterday and there they were for much less than they were two weeks ago. The bargain bin is a great place to find Christmas stuff in January. Generic items, like books, decorations, cookie cutters will always be age appropriate for your kids at the end of twelve months.
You aren’t rushing to complete three or four crafting projects at the end of the year. You aren’t stressing about shopping in holiday crowds. You aren’t worried about what will be out of stock or trying to find a substitute for it. The only thing you will really need to do is wrap the gifts, get and cook the food and decorate your home.
Are you already thinking about next Christmas?
Thanksgiving is one week away! One week! How did that happen? If you’re like me, you can’t wait for fall to arrive. It seems to be an eternity, waiting for the season to change. Then, you are thrilled when the weather finally begins to get cool and it “feels like” the holidays. Then, about a week before Thanksgiving, you can’t believe how fast the time has gone! This happens to me every year. Along with that “I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving” comes the slight panic over all that has to get done before that day. Here are a few tips to help you (and me) enjoy more and stress a little less on the big day.
There’s not too much time to plan ahead right now. However, just making sure that you know exactly what needs to be done one week in advance makes a difference. Make sure you know (and even write down) what you need to buy for all the foods you’ll be preparing, all the supplies you may need, all the projects (aside from the usual cleaning) that you want to have done before the guests arrive next Thursday.
Do Whatever Can Be Done Early
Most pies and desserts can be made the day before. Some cleaning and organizing can be done several days before (unless you have little ones who will get into whatever you’ve just organized).
Older children can help set the table, clean, and entertain little ones. Friends might enjoy coming over a little early to chat while helping with final preparations.
Remember that your plans and expectations are not shared by your guests. So rather than letting your expectations taunt you on Thanksgiving, enjoy time with family and friends even if you didn’t get to make everything you’d hoped or decorate exactly as you had envisioned.
What else do you do to ensure that Thanksgiving is more fun than stressful?
Yes, I said the C word and we aren’t even out of summer. But seriously, it’s time to plan. I hate the pressure you get in December from all the money you have to spend. So we are doing our part now to spend small amounts every month until then. Then once December rolls around, we’ll have less pressure and can really just enjoy our time together.
Here are a few tips to Christmas shopping now.
1. Buy on-sale clothes NOW. There are tons of summer clothes on sale right now. I LOVE getting summer clothes for Christmas because then when summer arrives, you already have a whole new wardrobe.
2. Starting now gives you time for homemade gifts. Hopefully none of my relatives are reading, but I am giving everyone pickles. Yep, pickles! My pickles are seriously famous and you know what, you can’t make them in the winter. So, I make them now and they are ready to go for old Saint Nick!
3. Buy out of season gifts. The hard thing about Christmas being in the winter is that there are certain gifts you just can’t get during that season. Buying things now will diversify your gifts and will help you give more unexpected gifts. I bet your husband wouldn’t be expecting some new BBQ tools now would he?
4. Remember where you hide your gifts. One year my mom forgot my stocking because she had it put together so early, but forgot where she hid it. Sad Christmas for me, but it was fun several months later getting my stocking 🙂 Don’t be like that if you Christmas shop early, remember where you hide your stash!
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! Remember that if you are in the market for anything Easter-related, today is your day to hit your grocery store, your local drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, etc) for all Easter related products.
Sweet Tooth. If you have a sweet tooth (uh, come to think of it, who doesn’t…), all remaining Easter candy will be marked for clearance. That’s chocolate, Peeps and any other Easter candy.
Baskets. If you can use the baskets for other things, they will be very inexpensive starting today. Last year, I bought a basket at half price on the day after Easter and I use it to put all my daughter’s “tea party” toys. So, when she wants to have her tea party, she knows where to go to get all her tea cups. But, she can always just carry that cute thing over to wherever she is setting up her “party.” 😉
Stuffed animals, toys. I know of know child who will reject an Easter-related toy because it’s the day after Easter! Last year I bought a little stuffed animal that was a dog with pink bunny ears attached. After Easter, I found a way to detach the ears from the puppy. And, one year later, my daughter loves to play with that stuffed animal!
Of course, if you like to plan ahead, you can simply buy your a basket, plastic eggs and toys so that you can make your own basket next year.
Happy Post-Easter shopping! What else do you like to buy on clearance the day after Easter?