1. CUSTOM Holiday Cards. I LOVE Custom Holiday Cards. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I think they are so personal and adorable, and who doesn’t LOVE seeing those friends and family members whether they live close or far? I adore them, and I will say, my biggest love is with the custom Christmas line that belongs to Storkie. Check this bad boy out:
2. SHOP Early. This is our plan every.single.year. but it doesn’t happen this way. Usually time gets away from us, or we get ideas last minute, or when we do have an idea back in September (air mattress for the grandparents while camping) then they go buy it – who needs to go buy an air mattress for NEXT camping season the year before? but I digress. That’s for another post I suppose…. Anyways, our goal – getting shopping done early. I’m already making my lists and checking the ads!
3. QUALITY not Quantity. Ryan’s family is all about the quality of the gift, not the quantity of them. My family usually is too, except from my Grandma. We love her, however, she is the person that is about quantity and feels like the more little gifts, no matter how unnecessary the gift is better. Remember, it’s not the amount of gifts that you give to those around you, it’s about what Christmas is really about, and those receiving gifts should be more grateful for the thoughts you put into them and the quality of gift rather than the amount they have to unwrap! (Another tip – stay on top of your wrapping, wrap as you go! And don’t forget to put the tag on it so you know who’s is who’s. )
4. Get decorations up Early. In Colorado, the snow will fall as early as October, so getting the house decorations up early aren’t always the easiest when there is a foot of snow up on the roof. I’m talking about the roof decorations, and just because they are UP doesn’t mean they need to go ON. Put your lights up, and not plugged in or on a timer, then around Thanksgiving, turn them on! Save the light up, moving reindeer and blow up snowmen until closer to Thanksgiving.
5. Set a Budget and stick to it. It’s so easy to spend WAY too much money on Christmas gifts. It seems to never fail, there is always that one or two gifts that you find that are just perfect that aren’t within the budget, and every year we go a little over. If you start your shopping now, like I mentioned in #2 – chances are you have more time to find the discounts, coupons, etc. that you wouldn’t have time for when you shop last minute. Also – another great way to stick to a budget is using gift cards; even if you feel bad for the moment, you won’t feel as bad when that credit card statement or you balance your check book and realize you are over a lot more than you thought you were.
6. PLAN now. Even though it seems early, it’s not. If your life gets chaotic like ours, or you have a big family – it’s best to get this going now. Talk with your spouse, and figure out what your ideal holiday schedule would look like, then contact your families and see their plan. A lot of times we have a bulk family get together at our house for Thanksgiving and we split Christmas & Christmas Eve up between the families. Other years we have split Thanksgiving into a lunch at one house, dinner at the other – then had Christmas Eve with one family, Christmas morning with the other, then a joint get together in the afternoon & evening at our house. (this means ordering your custom Christmas line from Storkie sooner than later )
7. DELEGATE. If your family is anything like ours we usually have one holiday event at our home whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, and we invite both sides of the family to our home, so we have on day we don’t have to travel. This is typically Thanksgiving for us so there is A LOT of food, and although most of the time we try to tackle it all, it’s good to delegate so there is less stress on YOU, and everyone has a great time.
8. Think Easy & Think Bulk. Think of things you can do in bulk, give all your neighbors, teachers, and service providers the same small treat such as a baggy of custom candy, or treats from Storkie. Take an afternoon and plan out your holiday gifts that you can make that will be low stress – whether it’s ordering it online, or if you are crafty – creating your own DIY gift basket.
9. GIVE. This one is totally optional – but around the holidays, we have a tradition to donate to Operation Christmas Child. This gives the opportunity to allow less fortunate children around the world to have a great Christmas, and even if that is a $5 shoe box filled with coloring books and toys, it’s more than they would usually get. You don’t even have to monetarily give – you can donate your morning to the local shelter, or if you do have the extra money, help sponsor a family for the holidays!
10. RELAX & enjoy the holidays. This one can be hard sometimes whether it’s the stress of the hustle and bustle, going over the budget, juggling too many things at once, or even if you dread your in-laws (We are pretty lucky since there isn’t anyone on either side that we particularly avoid.)Remember what the holidays are about – celebrating life, one another, and the real significance of Christmas.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.