Disclaimer: I posted the exact same writing last year around this time in this post, (different outfit, of course) and it had received positive feedback, so I decided to re-post this year. I will try to come up with something different for next year, but this year, this should suffice. Better repost post than none at all. Haha!
Christmas in October? Are you kidding me? October is for Halloween!
Well, think again. It's only nine weeks and a half before Christmas, and time flies really fast. And I mean really fast. Don't you remember what happened last Christmas?
You forgot to buy present for an auntie who, on the previous Christmas, gave you a super expensive, super pretty, Tiffany brooch.
You ended up buying your husband a very nice, expensive tie, when you know he nevers wear tie, because it was a last minute gift.
You ended up buying your coworkerd either too expensive, or too cheap (and cheap-looking) gifts for Christmas party.
You screamed at everyone at the top of your lung because you had twelve family members and friends coming over for Christmas dinner, you still have five more presents to buy, and you forgot to touch up your roots, so the thought of the hostess looked smashing for the event went out of the window. Ouch.
If you love celebrating Christmas like me, you must know that despite all the hassle and stress, you still want to celebrate it big time. There are so many things and preparations for Christmas. Not to mention that before Christmas, came Thanksgiving! So, let's start preparing now while it's still nine weeks away, shall we!
At least get one thing out of the way: the Christmas presents. Yup. So you can scratch that thing off your Christmas to-do-list. Then at least you can still busy cleaning, cooking, shopping, dancing with the turkey and cranberry, and trimming the tree, but at least you are sure that everybody on your list have already had their gifts bought or made and wrapped nicely, tucked safely inside the big cupboard in the garage.
So, I urge you to start now in the Christmas gift department and get it done in eight weeks. So you can dedicate the ninth week and beyond for other things.
Week 1: List all the names of recipients of your Christmas gift
You can always edit this along the way. Don't forget to list recipients who live out of town. Decide this week who is going to get gifts, how much the budget you would put aside for each, and who is going to get only cards. Jot down the gift ideas, as well.
Week 2-5: Make your gifts, hunt or shop for them!
If you, and the recipients, are comfortable with the idea of regifting, search around the house for things that you don't want or need, but you know might bring delight to other person.
I'm not talking about junk, but nice things. For example, one time in college, a friend of mine received a black Esprit wallet from her boyfriend. She doesn't like huge wallet, I do. So she almost never used it, and once she broke up with the guy, she gave the slightly-used wallet to me. I didn't care it wasn't a bought present, I loved it and have used it up to now, nineteen years later.
Another example, last year I bought a book about the world of socialites, because I was curious. It was an interesting book, but I didn't care to keep it to my book collection. Some friends of mine wanted to read it, but didn't want to spend money to buy the book. Now the book had been regifted more than twice among friends. It's better than it sits in my corner collecting dust.
What about that huge picture frame with eighteen slots in it that you bought three years ago, but then you realized that you have nowhere to hang it? Give it to a friend who have three children who will love to hang it on her living room.
The coffemaker you received as a wedding present when you already had two of them already? Give it to your dear single friend who loves coffee but thinks that a coffeemaker is too much of a luxury buy for her.
The fancy embroidered dinner napkin set that you bought in a fleeting moment of Martha Steward, but then you realized that you didn't really care for fancy home entertaining, prefering casual BBQ instead? Give it to your friend who loves to hold dinner parties.
Get everyday items as stocking stuffers! Whenever you go grocery shopping, and you see a good deal or marked down on favorite items, buy something for some recipients on your list.
That way, you won't be "trapped" in buying all your gifts full price during last minute gift shopping just for stocking stuffer, or buy kitschy knick knacks that look cheap and not very useful! Small items on sale like stationeries, soaps, beauty kits, small sewing kits, nail polish, socks, toiletries, etc. are great as stocking stuffers.
If you see your husband's favorite aftershave on 'buy two get free razors' at Walmart, snatch a couple of those. Tie a pretty ribbon around one for stocking stuffer, and keep the rest, and the free razors for everyday use - with no ribbon.
If your and your sister's favorite lipgloss in on 'buy one get one free', get them. One for her stocking stuffer, one for yourself.
Everyday items are well appreciated as stocking stuffers, because people can actually make use of them. They are thoughtful gifts, also, because it shows that you really know what the recipients use on a daily basis.
Make the most of Black Friday shopping
Get the big-ticket items when they are marked down! That's pretty self-explanatory!
If you want to give small gifts to a lot of people, like for neighbors or coworkers, the most efficient way to go for it is to buy them in bulk then decorate them individually, or make them yourself.
Bake a big batch of cookies for everyone early, then freeze them. Later on, all you need to do is to wrap them for each recipient in plastic pouches and tie a ribbon.
Make colored bath salts or fancy vinegars. There are a lot of instructions and how to's on the internet on how to make these easy bulk presents.
Buy the gifts in bulk. It doesn't have to be expensive. The key is presentation. You can simply buy two dozen bars of soap with pretty packaging in Costco, then decorate them with ribbons. Yes, you can do a lot with ribbons! And trust me, I would love to receive fancy looking soap as a gift at my office Christmas party. It is certainly something I can use! What if I don't like the scent? Big deal. I can always use it as decoration, or use it to wash my hands in the kitchen. I mean, hello, who cannot use a bar of soap?
Week 6-7: Wrap them!
If you need to write Christmas cards, do it during these weeks, as well. Just do a little each day, within two weeks you will have finished wrapped lots of gifts and written lots of cards!
Week 8: Keep the gifts somewhere safe, or send them.
If the recipients live out of town, send the gifts now instead later. You don't want them to receive your gifts late. Who knows they might start their holiday early and leave the house for out-of-state trip days before Christmas? You would want them to receive your present before their holiday!
Now you can rest asure that all the present-related matters is done. Don't worry, you will still have plenty of things to fuss about for Christmas. Haha!
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: