Chasing Contentment

Monday, December 4

In the final phase of my Christmas Plan, I work on the gifts. As with everything this year, I'm approaching the gift phase a little differently than before. But, again, I believe that's the beauty of my plan... with a little tweaking each year, it's fully functional.

Typically, I want this month to be about joy and giving and loving. This year, I want it to be about the four of us having a good time together, enjoying one another. I'm a circle-the-wagons kinda girl, and I draw strength from the four of us being together.

I am doing some typical things... we're all eating cheese balls (Mike's very favorite Christmas food) and homemade butter mints (I've already made a big tin of them for Linda). Tonight, I'm going to call my grandmother and request 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 gotten Santa letters written for several of the kids on my list (nieces and nephews and the children of good friends) 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.

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 - for whom I'll need gifts. 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 (the rare occasion when I don't want things to be all about me).

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 - even more this year!). 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.

Mike and I haven't quite recovered from the financial difficulty of going five months this year without any salary at all, so we haven't decided what to do about gifts for one another. I do know that we'll do stockings because they're my very favorite part of Christmas presents.

Here's to a Merry Christmas and perfect little presents all around.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, December 04, 2006  ]


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