Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Preparing for Christmas

So Halloween is over, and we're into November, and we all know what's ahead of us... Christmas.

I love paper snowflakes, and even more so when made from fine tissue paper. This fabulous photo is from a great blog I just found called Genine's Art Blog.

Loathe it or love it Christmas is time consuming, and it's best to prepare early. I've set up a little to-do list to start preparing for Christmas, so that Christmas can go smoothly without the stress, and we can just enjoy it. I hope you find some of these points useful - so add those that are relevant to you to your to do list, and hopefully you too can simply enjoy Christmas when it comes around. Even if you're not a big fan of Christmas, it's such a good time of year to sit back, take a look at the people around us and enjoy them in the moment. So start early and enjoy the anticipation without the stress. And in order to do so, here are a few things you might want to start with...

  1. First off, set up a Christmas budget , decide what you can and can't afford, and how you'll pay for it. Don't forget things like food, wrapping paper, fuel if you'll be driving long distance and those bags of wood you might be buying for the open fire. Oh, and include the Christmas tree if you'll be wanting to buy one. Christmas will seem allot less fun if you're faced with a massive credit card bill in January.
  2. Write down gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. Keep things simple, and look out for Internet sales. Edible gifts are always good, and don't cause clutter for others. Last year my sister in-law made us Christmas hampers warning us in advance not to buy a Christmas pudding. It was great not having to worry about the pudding, and getting such a useful box of Christmassy goodies was such a caring gesture.
  3. De-clutter before the holidays - this is a great time of year to donate to charities. Get the kids to help collect their old toys that are still in good condition and take them to a local children's home. Stuffed toys without loose bits and old blankets would be greatly appreciated by your local animal shelter.
  4. If you're into Christmas decorating around the house, decide on your colour scheme now (I'm going for simple red & white again this year) - that way if you see Christmas decorations, you wont end up buying every colour under the sun. I think simple paper cutouts work great. Get the kids to start cutting out paper snowflakes for garlands and stick some up in the windows.
  5. Check and update your address book ASAP so that you when you get around to writing your Christmas cards you won't have to phone everyone up last minute to get their addresses... again!
  6. Look through magazines and cookbooks to see what you are planning for Christmas dinner - those turkeys do sell out fast, so you might want to pre-order by the end of November. If you're not hosting Christmas (count your blessings here) organise to take something along for your host to ease the pressure off them, but don't surprise your hosts with an unexpected pudding when they've slaved away trying to get a pudding made in time, pre-arrange it.
  7. Start collecting Christmas music to set the atmosphere. I found that playing Christmas music in the background makes it feel so much more like Christmas. Visit charity shops, they are bound to have some Christmas cd's or look out for CD sets on ebay.
  8. Try and plan for a morning or evening before Christmas to do something charitable - perhaps serving soup at a soup kitchen, taking a dog for a walk at the local animal shelter, or why not take the kids to visit an old age home with some biscuits. Christmas will feel all the better if we take the time to appreciate what we have, and to give to those in need. So go on, get into the spirit of it!
Some inspiration to get crafty...
Recycle old Christmas cards into colourful baubles - this great example is from Junk mail Gems blog
Here's a tutorial on how to make paper snowflakes for those of you who have forgotten, this great diagram is taken from kinderart:

This year I have my mum, also known a
s Mamma Lalla to those of you who follow her blog, arriving in the UK on the 26th of December. It's very exciting for me to have my mum come and visit so close to Christmas, but we also call her 'the inspector' because my mum can spot an untidily made bed in a second. She'll be inspecting to see how clean the house is too - hopefully she wont be donning a pair of white gloves to check for dust. But I'll definitely have to get the house very tidy and clean... even my wardrobe! Eek, that's one place I'm not great at keeping in order.

So watch this space for a post on organising your wardrobe, because that's what I'll be doing next!


Ivy said...

Great tips for Christmas. I always say I will prep and shop in advance but I never do. I will declare this year be different. :)

P.S. Can't wait to see wordrobe organization-I definately need help there. Eh, the organization comes and goes depending on how busy I am.

Judy said...

Great tips. My #1 is updating my address book. I've been going to do it all's a mess!!

The Vintage Kitten said...

Fab Tips! I have my large notebook covered in a Cath Kidston paper (it has to look pretty)at the ready that I have been making notes, jotting down thoughts and ideas for the Xmas menu and then a shopping list to follow. It sounds organised, but I am sooooo not! YET! Your post has kicked me up the butt to get going! X

Hampers Galore said...

I just love your tips I was once good at before hand gift shopping but somewhere along the line I have lost that, but one this is for sure next year will be totally different.
I love your post

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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