There’s only 16 days till Christmas and I feel the pressure of getting ready more and more. Typically I like decorating my house the weekend after Thanksgiving and then spend the entire month of December shopping for gifts. This year however, I feel less prepared and everything seems a little more frantic. Growing up, Christmas was the biggest holiday of the year and I remember the joy of the christmas spirit filling up our house.
Throughout the years I have struggled with keeping the spirit of christmas alive in my heart, but as Christmas gets closer and closer I remember how much it once meant to me and I start getting excited in anticipation of Christmas day and the joy of opening presents. As Christmas slowly creeps into my heart and into my house I get nervous as it feels like I am running out of time.
Every year I end up spending the entire night of Christmas Eve wrapping presents until 3:00 AM and because Christmas MUST BE PERFECT I make sure every gift is perfectly wrapped and the bows are fluffed and when the last present is underneath the Christmas tree I take a picture of everything looking oh so perfect. Then, early on Christmas Day I wake up to see all those beautifully wrapped presents devoured in less then 20 minutes and I tell myself that next year it will be different. That I will have those Christmas presents underneath the Christmas tree way before Christmas! It is a nice goal, but so far it hasn’t happened…
Are you an early Christmas planner/shopper or do you procrastinate until Christmas Day? This was a question asked on one of the talk shows I listen to during my morning commute. I was surprised how many out there prepare for Christmas, months in advance. I started thinking, how do they do it? What is their secret? So here’s a few tips that might help you prepare for Christmas and save you from falling into the same trap year after year.
- Make a list of things you know will make perfect Christmas gifts early on. I like the idea of getting loved ones gifts that they would not normally get themselves, but I also like the idea of getting them what I know they want, but they probably won’t get any time soon. Those gifts are usually the kind of gifts I wait until the last minute. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to get everyone ask for a list. My family doesn’t normally make a list, but every year it becomes a little more challenging figuring out what makes the perfect gift and this year I decided to ask them to send me a list. Searching for the right gifts online, I stumbled upon some interesting websites that help you figure out what gifts are popular by age, gender and interests: Gifts.com, NoMoreRack, Keep.com and of course Amazon.
- Sign up for emails from the companies you plan on getting presents so you don’t miss out on all the amazing deals happening during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Set up a Christmas Fund and be realistic on what you can afford when setting a per-person budget. I think I have made this mistake too many times of going way above budget when shopping for Christmas gifts, as some things are just simply irresistible and I tell myself I have to get ‘em. Then, right after Christmas, I have to figure out how long it will take me to pay off the credits cards I used, which only takes away from the Christmas spirit and the joy of giving presents.
- Make personalized gifts by getting inspiration from Pinterest, Etsy, Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart. I love getting creative gifts that aren’t bought from a store. Personalized gifts mean so much and it shows that you go above and beyond for your loved ones, plus it won’t break your piggy bank. I think sweet treats and baked goods are the best type of personalized gifts that are most certainly enjoyed by everyone. Mixed CDs and photo collages are great as well.
Wishing you all a stress free and magical Holiday Season,