Chasing Contentment

Tuesday, November 29

Now that Advent's officially begun, I'm enjoying preparing things for our celebration. I want the month to be about joy and giving and loving.

Last night, I made cheese balls (Mike's very favorite Christmas food) and homemade butter mints (everyone's fave). Tonight, I'm going to make Oreo truffles (yum!). Once the kids are snuggly in bed each evening, I'm working on making the beaded jewelry that I will give to friends this year. And since we're not giving lots of gifts this year, I'm making for friends to give to their families, too.

I've ordered one pretty set of French Toast Girl's Christmas cards (I got to the 'Go Tell' cards), and I've ordered my holiday ornament stamps online. And tonight, we'll take photos of the kids in front of the tree for our Christmas card. (If I order them from Snapfish by tomorrow, I can get the 15% discount - code CARDS2005.)

I've gotten Santa letters written for Griff and Eliza as well as all of the nieces and nephews, and I'm working on my gift list. I like the anticipation of selecting gifts for folks that I think each person will really like. Which brings me to the last part of my Holiday Plan... the gifts.

Chel's Holiday Plan - The Gifts
Every year, the first thing I need is a list. I want a list where I can write down every single person - teachers included - that I'll do gifts for this year. Here's how I do it...

1) Make a list of everyone. Just everyone possible. Best to start big and cross people off than forget someone.
2) Decide who will get hand-made gifts and who won't. Consider each recipient's wishes. I want gifts to be about the recipient not about the giver.
3) As I complete or purchase each gift, I put a check mark by that name, until I've completed all of the gifts.
4) If I'm making gifts, I do all of the gift making the same way I would do the card making, set aside an amount of time and work during that time and then stop. Even if I'm not finished. If I need several blocks of time, fine. But I limit myself, so I don't get too overwhelmed by it all.
5) Make a list of everything needed for wrapping and such (paper, tape, bows, bags, cards, anything) and do all of that shopping at once. Take an hour and do just that stuff. And then, it's all done and available when I want it.
6) Do the wrapping in sessions, too, so it's less overwhelming.

With the list, I make a second list of all gifts that need to be mailed (we've got lots of family in other states). I plan to purchase or make those gifts first, so they can be wrapped and in the mail by Dec. 12, in plenty of time for a Christmas arrival.

This year, of course, we've decided to only do gifts for the kids in our families, so that cuts down on the shopping. Mike and I will do stockings for one another but not gifts.

I do love Christmas!

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, November 29, 2005  ]


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