Believe it or not, tomorrow marks five months until Christmas Eve. Before you go into a panic attack, cGc, let’s take a minute to catch our collective breaths. With a little planning and list-making now, maybe we can actually enjoy the holiday season this year. What a novel idea.
1. Christmas Cards
- Decide on a photo versus a greeting card. If you will be sending a photo card, start going through your vast digital library from this year or plan a photo shoot with the necessary players in these last weeks of summer. I got lucky last year and scored this picture in Venice during our Italian adventure.
Sue at Design Corral made the rest happen.
- Update your address list. If you haven’t taken the time yet to do so, consider transferring your address book to an Excel spreadsheet. Over the coming years, you will thank yourself.
- Look for pre-season card sales. You should be able to find them everywhere at least until the end of September.
- Read Ellen’s post from 2013, Start Planning Your Christmas Cards Today for Joyful Greetings in December. Though the price of a stamp has risen, her timeless recommendations will guide you to the perfect choice.
2. Christmas Gifts
- Find a pocket-sized notebook to list your gift recipients and possible ideas. Keep it in your purse to go with you whenever you are shopping. I need to take my own advice pronto as I just ordered my first Christmas gift of the season.
- Craft a homemade gift. My favorite gift last year came from a fellow photo card hoarder. Look what kMg did with some of our old family Christmas cards.
By cutting and pasting words, designs and photos from past cards on both sides of a gold-painted wooden heart from A.C. Moore, she created an heirloom that I will cherish each year when decorating our tree. Even if you have organized your photos into albums like cFl showed us in A Posse Member Shares Her Christmas Photo Card Solutions, you can scan some of your friends’ photo cards and print them on photo paper before decoupaging and sealing with an acrylic gloss.
- Consider buying gifts in bulk for the hims, hers and couples in your life.
- Get a jump on gifts that require advanced planning, like a custom embroidery or monogram design from Sarah Gibson Wiley at Huger Embroidery. She’s hit the big time with a feature in House Beautiful’s June 2015 issue. Talk about a welcome gift.
3. Christmas Cooking and Baking
- Pull out the cookbooks now. Every June I receive my annual copy of Christmas with Southern Living.
It takes me at least a month to peruse the ideas crammed inside, but once I do, the Christmas plans start to gel.
- Use fresh produce and freeze a special holiday treat. Blueberries are being harvested right now down the road at the Chesterfield Berry Farm. If I am smart, I will purchase several just-picked pints this weekend from my favorite Farmer’s Market and make the always popular Christmas Morning Scones to freeze and share with my family and friends come the crazy holidays. sSn often does the same during peach season and delivers gallon-sized bags of her frozen homemade peach pie filling, along with a box of premade piecrust, to friends in December.
4. Wrapping and Decorating
- Beat the holiday crowds and schedule a trip to those big box craft retailers during the slow season. They may not have all of the Christmas trimmings out just yet, but they will have a lot of other items that you will need when it’s time to wrap and decorate.
- For all of our RVA friends, guess who is back in town? If It’s Paper, the beloved Westwood Avenue institution until IP restructured its business, has been reincarnated by a South Carolina mom.
You can find the new local store in the Stein Mart Festival Shopping Center on Midlothian Turnpike with many of the same paper products, as well as some cute new additions.
If It’s Paper also has locations in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston, S.C., and Macon, GA.
5. Get in the Spirit Now
- Make some Ice Cream Christmas Cookies with the kids this weekend and dole them out through the upcoming dog days of summer.
- Listen to Ellen’s Merry Mix of Christmas Tunes.
See? No stress, cGc. Just some ideas to get your Christmas juices flowing. Think how chill you’ll feel come December, whether you want to or not.
July 23, 2015