Sanity Saver: Christmas
Providing Happy Traditions Strengthens Family Trees
I’m excited to tell you about one of my favorite things to
do in July. I call it “Christmas in July”. I have been surprised to see there are lots
of other people who have a “Christmas in July” also.
Once my list is assembled, I study the sales and begin making purchases. I have a couple permanent hiding places for gifts in our home. Plastic tubs and a large cardboard box in a closet (sometimes I use a black trash bag) are selected to house the gifts that I purchase in advance for Christmas. I make a point not to use credit cards for buying gifts. Beginning with a plan in July allows me to spread out purchases for our budget’s sake, if I need to.
I wrap and tag each gift as it is purchased (while listening to Christmas music, of course). No bows are attached until gifts are placed under the tree or are ready to be given. On the tag, I write letters (beginning with A) for each individual. (For example, one child will have four gifts, therefore, letters A through D are used, one letter on each tag. My husband may have three gifts, so the letters A through C are used on his tags.)
This is what follows next. 1) Each time I wrap a present, I write the letter (from the tag which is placed on the gift) on my Christmas master planning sheet next to the name of the gift. Remember, this is under the name of the person who will receive the gift. 2) I place a check mark beside the gift item when it is purchased and wrapped. 3) I place the package(s) in the Christmas hiding place and breathe a sigh of relief that I am one step closer to having fun at holiday time. Making preparations in this manner is the way I remember what is in the packages without reopening them, and I don’t have to rethink my plans a thousand times—I just look at my Master Planning paper.
Even if the hiding place is discovered, the packages are already wrapped. If people sneak a peak, they simply lose their own surprise. I did that once as a child, then never again. I hated already knowing what I was getting. I spoiled my own fun, and I wasn’t willing to do it again.
ADDITIONAL TIP: One thing I do that you may or may not want to do is that I use code when writing the gift name, so people will not know what they are getting if they discover my list. You can write the words backwards, if desired. I write the words backwards two letters at a time (example: the gift of a “journal” would look like this in my code: l n a u r j o It’s written backwards, two letters at a time j o then u r then n a and the l comes last) It’s not foolproof, but I also keep my list in a folder or 3-ring binder which is out of the sight of my family anyway.
I love “Christmas in July”. I’ve spent one too many holiday seasons feeling that I was missing lots of the fun, joy and peace because I had too much on my mind with planning, purchasing, wrapping, etc., etc., etc. I have a fairly large family and spinal issues that make shopping, standing and wrapping very difficult. This plan makes it easier for me in every way. I hope it benefits you, as well.
Please remember to scout around the navigation bar at www.familytreequest.com for family-strengthening, out-of-the-ordinary gift ideas. Let’s take every opportunity to strengthen lives in THIS generation and provide fun traditions and safe and secure homes--physically and emotionally.
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Family Tree Gal, Carolyn Murphy, owner of www.familytreequest.com, is committed to igniting a sense of extraordinary family purpose in individuals. She helps others discover their "roots" as well as strengthen the "branches" of their own family tree. She is especially encouraging to those who have had extreme stress, sorrow or dysfunction in their family line. Visit some of her other sites: Family Tree Gal Blog, Family Tree Quest Blog, JOURNALriffic Blog, Twitter, Facebook.