the thinking about getting ready for Christmas edition...
1) December has kind of snuck up on me this year. It's been a busy fall full of new things for us and all of a sudden, today is the end of November. Usually I am much MUCH further ahead in my holiday planning than I am this year!
2) Because of the aforementioned, I decided to get photocards printed this year. I normally craft our Christmas cards and actually really enjoy doing them but I thought this year, I could let go of this! I did some savvy online shopping and got a great special from tiny prints that included envelopes and printed address labels. They arrived by FedEx today and Neil and I both like them. I might add a ribbon just to add a little something. Feels good to have that one thing checked off the list and I think the cards reflect our personality as a family in the same way a homemade card would.
3) I did get organized in time to get the boys' advent calendars in advance of December 1st. The Lego Castle advent calendar and the Lindor chocolate advent calendar have been hiding away for a few weeks now. When I asked the boys the other day about what holiday traditions were most important to them, the advent calendar was one of them.
4) I really do love shopping for and making gifts. I try to be very thoughtful about my gift-giving and do put a lot of time into the thinking and planning. I do kind of need to get going on the actual making and shopping stage though! Along with some giftcard boxes I made the other night, a little gift item I made for teachers are these little magnetic paperclips to hold lists, notes, photos, etc.
5) To get myself organized, I always make some sort of organizational/list notebook this time of year. It's actually fun to keep them and look back at your shopping, meal planning, baking, etc lists over the years. This year I am going to make sure I include an envelope of some sort to keep receipts in. I am planning on making one of these recycled Starbucks cup notebook very soon...I even have the cup washed out, dry and ready to go. This example game from this blog...a fellow Canadian. She did a great 15 projects for Christmas series.
6) As you might have noticed, I love to bake cookies all year round but I LOVE baking holiday cookies. It is one of the special memories I have of the holidays when I was a child. I made this little christmas cookie recipe book back in 2007 and I pull it out every year to start thinking about what kinds of cookies I will make each year.
7) I am working on an updated version of my cookie recipe book but can't share here until after Christmas ;)
9) I have Friday morning "off" of work so plan to pull out our holiday things in between loads of laundry. All year as I have been pulling out holiday decorations (Easter, Halloween, etc) I have been trying to reduce our "stuff" by 50%. So far, so good but you do have to be in the right frame of mind to purge. I am emotionally connected to so many of our holiday things which makes it hard for me to let go.