If you are reading this on October 5th, did you know there are only 82 days until Christmas? 82 DAYS… YIKES!!!! Don’t get all crazy on me now. Breathe and calm down. If we start doing planning for Christmas now we will be able to breeze into the holiday season and really enjoy a holly jolly Christmas! It is NOT too early! Trust me on this! Let’s talk about what to do NOW for Christmas!!!!
Today is a really fun and personal Decorating Tips And Tricks!!! We are sharing ways WE KEEP OUR HOMES ORGANIZED, CLEAN AND RUNNING SMOOTHLY!
You can listen to all 107 episode of DTT HERE
OKAY… let’s talk Christmas. Don’t we all want to enjoy and soak in this beautiful and blessed time of year? One of the best ways to help that happen is to start thinking about and planning and doing things for Christmas now! Here are my best “do it now” ideas…
MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Actually, make a few lists! Lists are a great way to plan. And I always say… “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”! So true!
Start lists in a notebook or on your smartphone (I love the Evernote app). Here are some lists to start to put together now…
- gift list
- things to do
- things to buy
- things to make/ projects/DIY
- events and parties
- Christmas card list
- meals and menus and food shopping
- cleaning list
- guest lists
You can also make a Christmas planner, but I find it just as easy to dedicate one notebook to each Christmas year. And I do so many lists right on my smartphone so I always have my lists with me.
GET A WISH LIST FROM EVERYONE YOU GIVE GIFTS TOO
Well maybe not your mailman or Fed Ex guy, but it’s a great idea to get an idea of what your family would love to get.
When my children were younger it was so easy to buy for them. I knew their heart’s desire. But now that everyone is out of the nest I like them to let me know what they are hoping for.
Don’t forget to ask for sizes and colors too!
Here’s how I get my gift list together for my family. I send out a family email and ask everyone to give me 5-8 ideas for gifts including size and color etc. Then I ask them to send me a link to that item in an email. Boy, this makes things so much easier! They also know just because they sent me their wish list does not mean they are getting everything on it. I might have some better ideas for them.
I miss some the element of surprise by asking them what they would like, but I always have other surprises for them up my sleeve!
I keep all the wish lists in a Christmas 2017 folder in my email.
Last year I ordered almost everything for Christmas online. I LOVED it! I kept a good eye on for sales so I got a bigger bang for my buck!
KEEP A GIFT CLOSET
One of the best things I ever did was to create a gift closet. Really, it’s part of a closet in my office. I have cards for all occasions on hand and hostess type gifts. When I go shopping and see something really special I pick it up and put it in the gift closet for future use.
Here’s how it come in handy at Christmas. These pretty gifts become hostess gifts and gift exchanges and teacher gifts etc. And I always have a couple extra gifts wrapped under the tree for friends that drop by! Make sure your gift closet has some nice men’s gifts too!
No stressing to get those extra little gifts at Christmas! Done and done!
BUY OR PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS CARDS NOW
If you send cards it’s a great idea to start them early when the hustle and bustle of Christmas leaves no time to write them. If you like to take family pictures let your family know the what, where and dress for the Christmas family picture early.
No, this wasn’t our actual Christmas card but my boys had so much fun! Anderson was about a month old, Abby was expecting Emma Katen and was feeling queasy, Jonathan was observing that old and honored hunting tradition no-shave-November, I was miserable with a broken ankle and the park ranger was not happy that we parked the car on the road and not in the parking lot because I could not walk very well! All in all, it was such a great family day even though to get pictures it was like herding cats!
The pictures were taken at the Nation Arboretum in Washington DC.
I love these funny pictures just as much as the ones that made the cut! And believe me, we have lots and lots of them!!!!!
Jacqueline and Jonathan did use this image for their Christmas Card…
I took almost 900 pictures to get our perfect Christmas card. But I have so many funny, sweet and beautiful pictures in the bunch that are so precious to me!
Anderson looked like this for such a fleeting moment! Now he’s on the move and won’t stand still for a picture! I’m so glad I have these memories in pictures.
I have already let everyone in my family know that Christmas pictures will be taken the weekend before Thanksgiving here at StoneGable. We are going to be in the back of our red Ford pickup with lots of greens, plaid blankets, and a Christmas tree. We are all wearing red/ white/ khaki and denim. Sounds like a plan!
Do yourself a big favor this year, plan on a family Christmas photo. These pictures are priceless! And you will have a blast!
START YOUR DIY PROJECTS AND GIFTS NOW
I have a list of things I am planning on making for Christmas this year. And I’ve just begun to get my supplies together. I can’t tell you the gifts I am making for my kids because they read StoneGable and I don’t want to spoil it. But I’m really excited to start this project!
The time to not start your Christmas DIY projects is after Thanksgiving. It is just too stressful! Start NOW!
You might like to see HOW TO BLEACH PINECONES DIY HERE.
WRAP AS YOU GO
Other than lists, if you do this one thing you will make your Christmas so so much easier! Create a portable gift wrapping station like the one I have HERE
Wrap gifts as you get them and stash them away. Just a reminder… number your gifts! I give each package a number (mark it on the bottom of the gift with a marker) and make a list (yes, another one) with the number of the gift, the recipient, and what the gift is.
Really, do this because it will help you avoid giving your son your daughter’s Victoria Secret bra. And your daughter will not be embarrassed by your son wearing it on his head like Micky Mouse ears ( don’t deny it, Christopher, we have pictures).
You can see HOW TO WRAP BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS GIFTS HERE.
PLAN YOUR EVENTS, PARTIES, AND DINNERS
Everyone’s calendars fill up so quickly during the holidays. Plan all your events now! Get it on the calendar and let everyone know!
If you have always wanted to host a Christmas cocktail party or Progressive dinner plan it now! If you are dying to have a Cookie Exchange get it on the calendar! It is not too early to send out save the dates or invites!
Plan your menus for Christmas and make a shopping list. It’s far easier to buy non-perishable and frozen items as you go.
If your holiday meals involve everyone helping out and bringing something work that out now and get it on the list.
It’s all about peace of mind and not stressing because you have too much to do in a short time span.
KEEP CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
Our Christmas traditions are the thread that runs through each Christmas making it special to our family. I bet you have your traditions too!
Take a little time to think about your Christmas traditions and purposefully plan for them.
We kick off the Christmas season by going to some kind of Christmas event the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a big extended family. This takes planning but it is so worth it!
In the past, we have gone to the Ford’s Theater in DC to see A Christmas Carol, toured Mount Vernon by Candlelight, enjoyed a Christmas Review at The American Music Theater, experienced the first Christmas at Sight And Sound and spent an afternoon at Santa’s Village to name just a few. This tradition is so precious to our family! We have already planned our Christmas Kick-Off for this year!
We have lots of special Christmas traditions! And they define our Christmas celebrations as OURS!
My favorite tradition is we read the Christmas story from the book of Luke and sing Christmas carols before eating or opening gifts. It a time of family worship and celebration!
If you don’t have Christmas tradition start your own this year!
I bet you are seeing a common theme of this post. Plan, plan, plan… NOW!!!
I hope I’ve helped you think about ways to make Christmas meaningful and fun for you without all the stress of last minute preparation!
I’d love to hear any Christmas planning ideas you have. Please share!
You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.