November 2005: Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is approaching and you feel like you have lots of time to shop, wrap gifts, send out cards and bake cookies. Then, all of a sudden, it will be December and you haven’t done any of it! Sound familiar? The problem with most of us, is that we think we have all the time in the world, so we procrastinate and then we are in a panic trying to get it all done at the last minute.

Last year I vowed, never again will I be wrapping gifts passed midnight on Christmas Eve nor will I be rushing to the post office to mail my holiday cards and wait in line with all the masses. I send out Hanukkah and Christmas cards and because Hanukkah is often before Christmas, I get a heads up. Last year, I started addressing envelopes on November 1st. Then after a few days, I started writing cards. My cards made it out in plenty of time and I actually enjoyed doing them because I didn’t feel so rushed and pressured.

I do cheat a little, however and send out a newsletter updating everybody on our family’s activities for the passed year. I used to cringe at the thought of a newsletter but received one from someone and thought, Wow what a great idea! Yes it is not as personal as a hand written note but who in this day and age has time to write 50 hand written notes. My cards are handwritten and there is a small personal note in each. Each newsletter is signed by each member of the family. It’s so disappointing to get cards from friends you haven’t seen in years with no pictures of their kids and no news about them, just to you from us etc.

Last year, I shopped on my days off during the week. I don’t like crowds and I don’t like malls on a Saturday. I was buying things here and there and hiding them here and there.

Note: Good idea to keep a list (even written in code) where and what you hide so you know what you have. I must admit, this is the one point I keep missing! I wrapped things and labeled them while the kids were in school so I would not have to face the task Christmas Eve. Last year, I wrapped a few last minute things and then enjoyed the rest of the evening with my family. We played games and watched home videos of the kids when they were little! It was a special time! And it sure beats wrapping gifts until midnight!