Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Grown Up Christmas List

The holidays are always a source of joy for me...

Pssh.  Who am I kidding?  I would LIKE the holidays to always be a source of joy, but sometimes, just sometimes, they make me a big ball of stress.  But I want to love the holidays.  I want to soak up all the family time, drive around and look at the beautiful decorations and enjoy the gift giving.  Which is where my steps for holiday planning come in..

I am an organized soul (no really!)  I know it doesn't appear to go hand in hand with creativity, but the only way I can truly feel free is to have a place for things.  Knowing where my supplies are, having a system of organization for my clothing and accessories and a process for buying, cleaning and selling my vintage items allows me to not have to think about the details.  The same holds true for planning my holiday gift giving.  Here are some of the steps I like to take to make the holiday season a joyous one.

  • Make a list (and check it twice!) - Write down all of the people you need a gift for (don't forget teachers, postal workers, etc.!)  You can do this in a notebook or, if you're like me, on an excel spreadsheet.  Next to each name, jot down a few gift ideas and a budget.  As you gather gifts, check them off the list and adjust your budget accordingly.  If you plan on making gifts, this is also a good time to create a separate list of what you plan to create, along with a column of supplies that will be needed.  I like to use a second tab on my excel spreadsheet for this purpose (..and I maay cross reference it with the database I created that lists all the supplies I have on hand..  I told you I liked organization ;)

Sock Octopus from my Inspiration Pinboard on Pinterest

  • Start gathering ideas - I like to begin with places like Etsy and some of the blogs I follow.  Sometimes something will get my creative juices flowing, and other times I will just purchase an item outright.  I like to use Pinterest as a tool for tracking my ideas, but you can also print down pictures and keep them in a folder, or add to your favorites on Etsy.  If you prefer to buy from more mainstream shops, you can also go through sale fliers from your sunday paper to get ideas or check out Black Friday ads for deals.

    Image Credit
  • Create your plan of attack! - Schedule in time for gift making.  Make it fun!  Have some girlfriends over, make some cookies and cocoa and have a gabfest while you create.  Give yourself plenty of time and make it enjoyable.  Then, schedule a few shopping trips (or an evening to shop online) to fill in the items that you will be purchasing.  Try to schedule it so everything is completed one or two weeks ahead of the holidays so you can relax and take time for some fun ( like picking out your tree or watching holiday movies!)

    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • Wrap, Decorate, Give - Plan a day to wrap your gifts.  Include friends and loved ones (but not their gifts!) to make the time fly by.  Make the wrapping just as thoughtful as the present.  Everyone loves getting a pretty package :)  You can also plan to decorate your home or tree together on that day.  You are now prepared!  All that's left to do is give your gifts and receive hugs and smiles in return ;)
Hugs and Smooches,

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