I’m sorry to bring this up, but in a little more than five months, we’ll soon again be celebrating THE HOLIDAYS. Now, if you’re like me, you’ve procrastinated far too many times. But, I’ve learned from this ‘I’ll start next week’ mentality, and it actually worked out for me (for the most part)!
Here are some things that have worked, so I share them with you.
Based on your finances, start picking up gifts each time you go out. Depending on the person, one gift may be the perfect fit. Or, you may set the one aside and pick something else up to complement it later.
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but Christmas is now 23 + weeks away. If you’re paid bi-weekly, you’re looking at 12 paychecks. Depending on your holiday budget, this is totally doable if you plan it out starting NOW. Not that I’m a proponent of solely online shopping, but if you can beat that Black Friday shopping by starting now, you can reserve those big-sale-items for closer to the holiday.
If you’re like me, your kids want to get gifts for every one of their friends. And neighbors. And teachers. And pets. Okay, maybe not, but the others are quite enough to make you say enough is enough. So, the purpose here is not for gift giving to be a burden. It’s supposed to be about GIVING with your heartfelt intentions. For those who are not so crafty, but seek the perfect handmade gift, Etsy is perfect! And if you’re crafty, anything handmade will be a hit with your kids and you’ll have fun making something, together.
Pick up plain brown or white bags from the dollar store. Sometimes, I’ve found sets of three bags for $1.00 (plus tax). When you’re wrapping lots of gifts, having an abundance of these little bags helps, a lot. Pair with some colored tissue, or some colored whatchamacallit?? Crinkle-cut shredding. Looks pretty and oh-so simple.
Okay, so we know that wrapping paper costs a pretty penny. And, I always seem to not buy enough and have to run to the store at the last minute, or over-buy and have leftover rolls stashed under my bed for the next year… The next year when I forget the paper is still under my bed, so I buy more.
Sigh. [insert solution] Brown kraft paper. This works wonders with a beautiful colored bow or ribbon and it’s so versatile, it’s great for all occasions. Amazon has great prices on 100ft. At $.167 per foot, you can’t beat that. Not sure you’d ever find a use for 500ft, but Amazon has it if you need that, instead.
Common practice is to set up your Christmas tree after Thanksgiving. Although, I do not suggest you follow my lead and leave your tree up until, [ahem]… March.
All of these lovely gifts you’ve prepared will look perfect under your new tree. You’ll feel accomplished for getting things done ahead of time, and you won’t be so burdened by month before Christmas purchases and charges to your credit card (that will gladly take the 22% interest from you as you pay it off until…next Christmas).
Coincidentally, the third annual Amazon Prime Day starts tonight, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET. 30 hours of deals, so you can’t go wrong!
Some things you won’t be able to pre-plan for, like those gifts for the children that shake, shake, shake and plunder through wrapping in an attempt to see what’s inside. If that’s the case, use that to your advantage. The kids are so excited, they will probably be very much on-board with helping to pick out and wrap gifts for OTHERS. Hold their gifts to the last minute.
Don’t forget to donate this holiday season. Many children do not ever see a gift – your donation (if only just a small token) will mean so much.
One Simple Wish is a perfect way to show LOVE and spread joy by personalizing wishes for children in need. Even better, set up a Wish Fund, where you can give – annually.
Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse is a fun way to engage with your kids and provide for a child that would truly appreciate the gesture. Check them out!
Hope this helps you. And I’m always looking for ways to be super-productive with time/money – Let me know what’s worked for you!