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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Preparations: A Year-Long To-Do List

gingerbread house 1
Our parent-writer, Carrie Vittitoe, makes Christmas preparations a little bit easier by starting it all at the beginning of the year, and it all begins with saving money.  It really adds up...

January
• Save money from husband’s first paycheck in the Christmas account.
February-May
• Continue socking money away in the Christmas account.
June-July-August
• Keep saving.
• Purchase an ornament for each child from our summer vacation.


September
• Keep saving.
• Scour consignment sales for Christmas gifts (Santa only brings a new toy from his workshop, but Mommy and Daddy take full advantage of gently used toys and books.)
October-November
• Begin creating list of people for whom I need to buy (nieces, nephews, grandparents, teachers) and ideas of what to purchase.
• Remind my children that just because they ask for something for Christmas doesn’t guarantee that they will get it (repeat often).
• Purchase items on sale/clearance whenever possible.
• Figure out one unique, fun thing to do with the family to celebrate the winter holidays that we’ve never done before. (Last year, it was the Mega-Cavern light display.)
• Avoid Black Friday shopping (no sale is worth that).
• Decorate the house in the days after Thanksgiving.
December
• Finish purchases and wrap purchases.
• Write up Christmas newsletter and mail to friends/family along with school photos of the kids.
• Make cookies or gingerbread houses with the kids.
• Watch holiday movies with the kids.
• Do the new, fun family activity with the kids.
• Remind myself that there is no sense stressing over one day (Wish I’d had this wisdom when I was planning my wedding).
• Remind myself that the important thing is spending time with my kids and having fun. If whatever I’m doing during the holidays doesn’t meet this criteria, I should probably rethink why I’m doing it.


























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