Yes~~I do realize that it is only the beginning of October! Although, I must be honest~I've been listening to Christmas music for several weeks now! The reason I'm already thinking about Christmas already is simple~ ORGANIZATION!
Last year, Christmas seemed to creep up on me and I felt I wasn't ready for it. Not just gift giving, but the decorating, baking, and family parties also. I decided I didn't want that stress anymore, and made a list of things I wanted to do ahead of time so I could enjoy the Christmas holiday with my family. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year! We take off of school for a few weeks, and like to just spend time relaxing and enjoying the season. So here is some of my organization tips...
- Get started on holiday baking supplies. We love to bake cookies, candies, and other treats at Christmas time. We really enjoy taking those treats to neighbors and widowed family members. I am stocking up on things like sugar, flour, powdered sugar, chocolate, eggs, butter, and more so when we want to start baking, we already have the ingredients.
- Getting the house ready for decorating. We get our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Since I really don't want to spend my Thanksgiving holiday getting the house ready for the Christmas decorations, I start getting the house ready the week before Thanksgiving.
- Making a list for gift giving. This doesn't include our children's gifts, but making a list of people we'd like to bless with gifts this year. This usually includes teachers, babysitters, close friends, and music teachers. This way I won't accidently forget anyone.
- Making a list of potential gifts. I actually start this much earlier in the year. We give our kids three gifts for Christmas~representing the number of gifts Christ received. We have a budget to stick to, so I'm always thinking of things our kids would like to receive as gifts. I also pick things up through the year for our kids as we find them. I already have our parents' gifts so that is something I can scratch off the list!
- Create our Christmas Card and annual letter. I love sending (and receiving) photo cards at Christmas. I start going through our photos or start planning what I want on this years Christmas photo card now so I can get started creating it. There are many websites with beautiful cards~I start looking now to find our "Perfect" card for the perfect price! I also start writing our annual Christmas letter for family and friends. I love writing these, but I don't want to be trying to write it in the middle of December. I start now(ish) and it is usually done by December!
- Plan Christmas dinner. Again, I plan now what we want to have both on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and start grocery shopping for things now. Saving trips to the grocery store during a frantic shopping season is a blessing itself. I want to stay out of the stores as much as possible during this season.
- Stock up on hot chocolate and egg nog. OK, so I can't stock up on egg nog yet, but we love to snuggle up in the evenings with hot chocolate or egg nog at Christmas time. It's just another tradition that makes me smile!
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31