Only 2 months to plan, purchase, and prepare for Christmas... One of my favorite times of year and I like taking it easy and enjoying it.
I am one of those people who start decorating after a shopping trip on Black Friday and leaves the Christmas tree up until after New Years. Yes, I am that person!!!
This year, I'm getting a jump on Christmas crafting. I'd like to make the kids some gifts this year and let them have the opportunity to make some things for themselves and others.
With 2 months til'the big day, there is no time like the present to get started.
Every year, my husband and I have good intentions, but every year, we tend to go overboard... We like to go out a couple of days before the holidays and get the stocking stuffers and always end up pocking up things we hadn't planned on but couldn't resist..
We have a plan that we try and stick to, but over the years we have altered it to meet our lifestyle and our way of doing of things when it comes to gift giving with the kiddos. Several years ago, I read an article about the gift philosophy of "WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ" ... I loved the concept but it was difficult to stick to (at least for us, it was). Over the years we have altered it to suit our specific family needs and the way we like to do things. Our Christmas plan now looks something like this:
- something they WANT
- something they NEED
- something to WEAR
- something to READ
- something to WATCH
- something for PLAY WITH
- something to LISTEN TO
- something to EAT
- something to CREATE
Plus it helps when my mom or sister want to know what the kiddos would like for Christmas - I am able to tell them something from the LOOONNNG list they started making in January...
I guess the most important thing this plan has done for me is to help SIMPLIFY my life uring the busy holiday season making it easier to relax and just enjoy it...
Now, how do I fill out the list?
My kids begin making lists early. When they see something they want, we put it on a list. They then have the option of either saving up for it or letting the dice roll and see if it turns up for Christmas or a birthday. While they know that making a wish list is not a guarantee that they will receive what they ask for, hubby ans I do try and get them something from the list for each of these holidays.
Really, do our kids need anything? Probably not... But there are certain things I throw in this category. A new pair of comfy PJs or those crazy toe socks. I usually use this category for something the kids need for school, but not neccessary like Snap Circuits or a special drawing pencils.
This is where I buy them something that they are needing like new shoes (Crocs or Vans for Tommy or some new leggings or boots for Libby). I look for these items earlier in the year when I can find them on sale and keep them put up until needed.
I always get kids something to read. Last year I bought them each an Adventure Bible. One year, I got Tommy a Lego Master book.
I am blessed with a girlie that loves to read and a son that only wants to read what he chooses. So, I try and buy books that fit in with their specific interests and desires. I read an article last year that said studies show that kids that read what they enjoy will develop better comprehension skills and be able to read at a higher level than if they are forced to read something they are completely not interested in.
We usually try and get a movie for them to share - whether this is a Christmas movie like "ELF" or the "Avengers".
- PLAY WITH
This category sometimes gets overlooked - especially if there are lots of toys on their wish list. I usually try and buy a family game for all of us to share. We like playing games and try to play every Monday afternoon as part of our school day. So, usually a "learning game" (as my kiddos call it) is on my gift list.
*Rainbow Resources has some great educational games in their Christmas Wish book...
- LISTEN TO
Now that they have different musical tastes, I have to buy 2 instead of one for us to share. But that's ok... Tommy is into classical rock bands like Boston and Rush and Libby is listening to the Barlow Girls and Adele. This year, I think I am going with Toby Mac and Third Day CD's since they both enjoy these groups. And then put them on the iPod and Mp3 for them...
Well, hope you hav enjoyed looking at my crazy Christmas shopping habits. Hopefully, I will be able to get my list completed and shopping done way ahead of schedule and just sit back, wrap gifts, and enjoy the season - looking forward to all the fun this season brings us!