Sunday, October 14, 2012

10 Weeks to an Organized Christmas



Before kids, I was ready for Christmas long before Christmas Day.  Even when I had my first and second children, I was still pretty "on top" of all things Christmas.  Last year, with three little people and a job, I was shopping and baking and planning up until the day before Christmas.  I was scatter brained and forgot many things.  I don't know about you, but I would WAY rather spend the days surrounding Christmas celebrating and enjoying my time with my family and friends.

This year I'm determined to be prepared.  I'm determined to have a plan, a budget, and spend lots of quality time with my family.  I'm going to be breaking down "10 Week to an Organized Christmas" into several bite-sized parts.  Each week, starting today, I will present an idea or two to help us start organizing ourselves for Christmas.  By the time Christmas rolls around, we should be totally done and prepared with any "gifts" we might be giving, have fun activities and teaching points for our children prepared/completed, and have our homes and hearts ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

This week's challenge:

There are two challenges for this week, and they both have to do with the "gifts" side of Christmas.

1.  Determine your Christmas budget.

How much do you want/plan to spend?  Have you been saving up throughout the year, or do you need to start saving now?  Where will the money come from?  Think about the amount of money that you can realistically come up with and the amount that you are willing to spend.

Is your desired budget more than what you can realistically come up with right now?  If so, consider some of the following ideas to come up with the difference:

  • Sign up for Swagbucks.  Swagbucks is a really easy way to earn gift cards.  I redeem mine for Amazon gift cards, and then use those to buy my gifts online (450 points=$5 Amazon card).  You can use their search engine to earn points, complete special offers or polls, or trade in things like old cell phones.  It's pretty easy to earn points by spending just a couple minutes a day.  
  • Sell unused/unwanted items on Craigslist or eBay.  Trade in old books to places like Amazon, or sell old baby clothes to places such as Once Upon a Child.
  • Do you have any special skills that you could use to earn extra money such as babysitting?  Odds and ends jobs?  Housecleaning?  Baking?
By the end of this week, have a written Christmas budget, and any plans to earn the extra money you may be wanting to spend on Christmas.


2.  Make your people list.

Write down each and every person to whom you'd like to give a gift.  From you husband and children to your next door neighbors, write down everyone.  It doesn't matter if you plan on giving them an extravagant gift or baking them a muffin.  Write down their name.  If you already have an idea of what you'd like to give them, go ahead and jot that down.  Otherwise, we will start planning out our gifts in next weeks "Organized Christmas" challenge.

People to remember/consider on your list:

  • Family-immediate and extended
  • Friends
  • Teachers, bus drivers, delivery drivers
  • Classmates, students, co-workers, clients
  • Neighbors
  • ???
By the end of this week, plan to have every person on your "gifts list" written down.

That's it for this weeks' "10 Weeks to an Organized Christmas"!  Have fun with this, and keep checking back for more on this challenge!  There will be one part of this series posted each week. As we get closer to Christmas, there will be several post throughout the weeks, as well, containing teaching, crafting, baking, and decorating ideas.  Thanks for reading!


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