Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Something to Think About

Ok, I've got alot on my mind but I'm going to try to narrow it down for you.
I officially started Christmas shopping today.  I know I know, most people are done by now.  I usually am to.  However due to certain financial circumstances that are out of my control, aka the pay weeks fell at the opposite times this month, I had to wait till today to begin.

My Something to Think About for you today is.......
Do you budget how much you will spend total and on each person you buy for?  and
How do you give as much as your heart would like when finances don't want to cooperate?  Do you have special strategies that you use to get everything or do you just leave stuff out?  What about teachers and neighbors?  Do you give gifts to them to?  If yes, then what?

I know that is more than one question.  But again, my blog, my questions.

Here's what we do.  Yes, we budget how much we are going to spend on each person.  Then I stick as close to that as possible.  I also have a notebook that I use to keep track of everything.  Spending, lists of gifts, menus, grocery lists, everything.  I make one complete list of everything I have to buy and work from that.
Our teachers gifts are homemade chocolate covered pretzels.  The kids and I make them together every year.  It started as an inexpensive way to give a little something to the teacher and to get the kids involved in the gift.  Once we realized how miuch people like and appreciate it, we just kept going.  We will be doing it again this year.  I will also be giving bags of chocolate covered pretzels to a few of the neighbors.  Again, I just wanted to do something and this is inexpensive and easy.
I believe the key to this holiday is planning.  Planning and scheduling and organizing.  It is the only way to get it all done. I used to even mark the calendar.  I would mark days for shopping, wrapping, baking and meal preparations.  I don't need to be that extreme anymore, but when I did it, it reall helped.
I have been planning and organizing Christmas in this way ever since my daughter's very first Christmas. That year we started the tradition of us staying home all day on Christmas.  I had food planned for throughout the day and anyone was welcomed to stop by.  From breakfast all the way through dinner.  Having a small baby meant that if I was going to pull it off, I had to be organized.  I even made quiche's ahead of time for breakfast and froze them.
It worked out well and we still do it now.  Our kids look forward to spending all day in their pajamas.  And for my husband and I, it is a much needed relaxing day.

Now I have to go.
I have presents to wrap.

Gotta stay on schedule!


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