Monday, June 25, 2012

Six Months until Christmas!

Happy Monday, everyone!!!

Today's fun fact... It is only six months until Christmas!!  How are you doing on your preparations?  I have always had a hard time thinking ahead and preparing for things.  I am one that likes to wait a while and then schedule my days full of only the pressing project.  I can't say that is something I should be proud of, though.  It is often the cause of pressure, stress, hasty words and irritation as I scurry to take care of details that could have been done with thought and calmness if I had started earlier.  Let's work together and try to take some of the pressure off of the holiday by doing a little head and footwork over the next few months.

Here are a few things to think about...

Who am you buying gifts for this year?  What is your gift buying budget?  When will the money be available?  Can you watch for sale items and stash them away - especially to fill stockings and have on hand as extra gifts?  So far this year I have found Shower gel and hand sanitizer at Bath and Body Works, and a beautiful set of baby clothes and some men's t-shirts at Walmart for next to nothing as they clearance out for the next season.   Many homemade gifts can be started now as well!

Would you like to participate in any sort of charity during the Christmas season?  Perhaps packing a box for Operation Christmas Child, or buying gifts for a person in need through Project Angel Tree.  If so, can you start to set aside money now especially for that purpose?  It is so easy to have good intentions, but not follow them through because of lack of planning!

What will you do about Christmas cards / pictures / letters?  Could you start my Christmas letter now?  Events from the first six months of the year will be much fresher in our minds in June than in December!  Do you need to buy or make Christmas cards?  Will you need to have a family picture taken?  How about your address list?  Could you print labels with addresses on them now, so they will be all ready when the time comes to mail the cards?

Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful times of family get-togethers, cookie exchanges and pie socials.  Take some time to scan through your recipes and pull out a few new must-try's to add to your old favorites.  Make a few "company meal" menu plans and tuck it into your planner in a section labeled "Holiday Ideas".  Start a running holiday grocery list that you can add to as needed, and put a star by any non-perishable items that you could pick up little by little over the next few months, to reduce strain on your grocery budget later.

Gift wrapping!  One of my most favorite parts of Christmas!  Do you need to add any wrapping paper or gift bags to your shopping list?  How about boxes, bows, tags, tape and scissors?  Take a minute to consolidate and inventory your supplies.

How about family events?  Would you like to spend an evening together decorating the tree and watching, "It's a Wonderful Life"?  Or would a late night car ride to look at Christmas lights be a fun memory?  Perhaps you would like to decorate cookies together, or plan a family game night with a special dessert that is usually reserved for "family gatherings".  What about an evening for Mom and Dad to go out together for dinner and shopping?  Jot some of these ideas down now, too, and you will be able to pick and choose from the list as the holidays approach.

Household guests are often part of the holiday as well.  Can you take some time this summer and fall to prepare the guest room by cleaning out the closet and adding a few special touches to make your guests feel at home?  You may need to replace bedding or towels as well.  Planning ahead will help you to avoid a last minute scramble!

Whew!  What a list!  It is no wonder we struggle concentrating on the preciousness of the Saviour's birth with all of these details hanging over and about us!  Let's encourage one another to love and good works as we plan our holidays together!!

Here's today's Happy Monday prompt...

My favorite holiday is....   

Blessings!  I'll be back later today with something fun!!  Keep watching!!

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