No need to panic. This is just a friendly reminder that Christmas will be here before we know it. Last year, we spent a week celebrating Christmas in July. Ellen and I thought you would appreciate thoughts of cooler days ahead during the mid-summer heat, but instead we managed to raise some of the posse’s temperatures. Our goal in starting the countdown is to help reduce your stress with a few reminders for things you can do now that will make you happier come December.
Go Through Last Year’s Holiday Cards
Every year my Christmas cards end up in a designated basket or bowl that sits out for months. To it I will add post-Christmas cards that more people are sending in lieu of the traditional end of the year greetings in order to keep their lives more sane. I also add change of address cards and return addresses from Christmas cards received from addresses not on my Christmas excel spreadsheet.
Yes, I do keep a spreadsheet that I update at least annually with new addresses. I also go through my cards to note on the spreadsheet whom we heard from in the past year. If someone hasn’t exchanged greetings with us for several years, I will usually take them out of the count for Christmas card order.
The dog days of summer are the perfect time to go though the bowl, make my updates and decide how many cards to order this year. This weekend I also want to fill the red photo album that cFl gave me for Christmas last year after we profiled her Christmas photo card solutions. Ellen received one too, and naturally she has already pulled hers together.
Plan This Year’s Christmas Card Photo Shoot Session
I can’t believe I actually have a photo for this year’s edition.
Don’t hate me. Usually this time of year I start to think about when I might have a photo-op for my two children. End of the summer and beach pictures always look good in December on bright cards. If your family is like mine, the photo shoot is usually frustrating, but preparing the family in advance and negotiating the time frame can help your kids feel a little more in control over what seems to them a painful process.
Start Looking for Holiday Card Sales
Between now and the end of September is the best time to find deals. Keep your eyes open. It definitely helps to have your picture already selected. Here’s are Ellen’s recommendation for Planning Your Christmas Cards.
Buy Vintage Christmas Now
Over the next month or so, you will start seeing the Christmas items come out at local vintage and antique sales. Don’t just walk buy them while you are thrifting.
Vintage ornaments make the perfect final touch to Christmas gifts.
Speaking of Gifts
Every year I dig out the pocket-sized notebook I used the year before to create the list of people whom we will be gifting this year. I am going in search of it this weekend so I can at least get the list in my purse for reference while I am shopping.
Plan a Family Surprise
Want to do something really special for your family for the holidays? Maybe plan a surprise getaway?
Now is the time to begin.
Last year, I gave my family the best Christmas gift ever: a new puppy.
For a family with older children, he was the perfect gift, and I completely surprised my husband and kids on Christmas Eve. Unless you want to select a rescue dog, start checking out breeders on the q-t for reputation and availability come December.
So we’ve put Christmas on your mind and hopefully without the dread of the holiday frenzy. If you start doing a little planning this weekend, you may actually reduce your stress in a few months. Our aim with this reminder post has been to inspire and not cause you to perspire. Did we succeed?