Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Organization-Part One

I have, over the past couple of years, gotten back into a habit that I started when I first married. For years, I had my Christmas shopping finished by Halloween and wrapped by Thanksgiving.

Initially, my reason for doing this was silly. I always put up my Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend. And, I don't like to have a naked tree (no presents underneath). Over the years, I recognized how convenient this practice was. I had no holiday scramble, and truly enjoyed the season. Then I had kids and got out of practice. Last year I made up my mind to do it again, and I must say it would not be possible were it not for internet shopping. But, thanks to Amazon, Froogle, Ebay and Ebates I am able to pull it off.

Shopping this early does take some organization and planning. I have a binder that I will show you in a few days that keeps me organized. It is the only way that I can remember purchasing my father-in-law's gift in August. I mentioned in Hostess Gifts 101 that my favorite shopping day is December 26th. I have been known to buy Christmas gifts for the next year on the day after Christmas.

My decision to start this practice up again last year could not have come at a better time. My mom (who lives several states away) had a heart attack the first weekend in December. I was able to drop everything and go to be with her without worrying about Holiday preparations. My husband loaded all of the wrapped gifts in the car two weeks later and drove down to my parent's house with them. Early preparation gives a margin to my life. This margin allows me to be able to handle the unexpected with grace. I'm still working on getting the margins right, but being prepared early for Christmas helps me to sit back, enjoy the season, and remember it's true meaning.

Oh, and by the way, my mom is doing great now!

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