I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I have just mailed all of my Christmas cards, and that I have finished all of my Christmas shopping. All of it. The teacher gifts, the stocking stuffers, everything.
After the last few years of stressing out about trying to get child care so I could shop, trying to get everyone dressed just right for a Christmas photo and frantically sending out cards on Christmas Eve, I decided to come up with a strategy. This year, I broke my shopping up over several months; the nieces and nephews in October, and the kids and my husband in November. (I think it also helps that I don't really do any shopping for the other adults in my family, by mutual agreement.) It's easier on my budget to do it a little at a time, and it saves me the stress of having to worry about it all coming out of the account in December.
For most of my nieces and nephews, I decided to order from Etsy.com, and I just had their items shipped directly to them. WHY hadn't I thought of that before this year? It was so much easier than buying something, wrapping it, finding a box to fit it in, and waiting in line to ship it.
Another goal of mine was to have the Christmas cards done by Thanksgiving, and since I'm also photographing several of my friends' families, I did ours super early. I sat at work the other day and addressed all of them, and I dropped them in the mail on Monday.
Normally, I do a lot of my shopping on Black Friday (at the reasonable hour of 6 a.m after all the loons are done), but this year I didn't need to. I got it all done online. I got free shipping from just about every store, so why waste my time going there in person, right? And it is just fun, SO fun to get the packages in the mail.
There is a purpose for all of this... December is a busy month. My husband works long hours getting ready for a Christmas production at church, the kids and I have tons of activities and parties that we like to attend, and the calendar just always seems to fill up with one thing after another. This year, I'm hoping to slow that down a little bit; at least to decrease the level of activity for myself. To be done with the obligations and have time to actually enjoy this season for what it's really about. To really teach my children about the birth of Jesus, and about giving to others. To take my kids to buy presents for needy kids and not stress so much about the budget. To have time to do the sugar cookies and the gingerbread houses. To maybe, just maybe, not be so crabby and tired. And mainly, to avoid running around like a chicken with my head cut off, scouring the grocery store shelves at 11:00 on a Saturday night to try to find gifts for the Sunday School teachers.
Not that I speak from personal experience, ahem.
So anyway, that's my "Christmas strategy" for this year. I'll let you know at the end of the month if it actually worked. Ha.
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