Thursday, November 7, 2013

Early November Christmas Thoughts

I've had several posts here, here and here about Christmas books lately, but...Christmas is still two months away, and here in the States many people like to leave most things Christmas until after Thanksgiving, which doesn't fall until November 28th this year. That's a bit too long for me to wait...on some things.

Christmas Tree Cookies

So here's my personal list of what I will and won't do before that late November date:

To Do Early:

1. Begin Christmas shopping (seriously, if I waited until December to start my Christmas shopping, I'd never finish or I'd end up so stressed that the month would be spoiled).

2. Make any gifts I intend to make or sew anything that needs sewing (such as gift bags).

3. Read Christmas books to get in the mood (we've talked about this here before. Kudos to Laney4 who reads Christmas books year-round).

4. Start researching any new recipes I might want to make (like the Christmas tree cookies above).

5. Gather supplies (wrapping paper, cards) if they happen to be on sale. Otherwise, I'll wait on this.

6. If (big if) there's an especially warm day near the end of November, we might put the outside lights up but not turn them on. (I'm not sure we've actually ever done this, but it's always a possibility).

To Leave Until December

1. Most of my shopping

2. Wrapping things

3. Listening to Christmas music

4. Watching Christmas movies (Note: I'm not criticizing anyone who does any of the things on this part of the list early. I just get burned out if I start too early with music and movies...usually).

5. Snow (as if I had the power to make this hold off. I like having snow just before Christmas. Otherwise, it can wait. If I only had a magic wand...).

I'm absolutely positive that I've left scores of things off the list. What's your list like? Are there things you do early or even all year and other things that you like to leave until the last minute? Either way, I hope you have fun with your preparations!


Mary Preston said...

Snow for Christmas!!! What nonsense is this?

I buy cards & wrapping paper etc at the after Christmas sales. They practically give it away. Easy enough to store.

Laney4 said...

I buy gifts year round for all occasions, depending on the sales. Last year our local Zellers closed up, and I managed to buy a bunch of wedding/shower presents for less than $10 that normally cost $50 or more each. Still have a few to disperse.... One time I went into Sears to pay my bill and heard an announcement re comforters on sale. I bought four queen-size comforters for $9 to $17 each. Last year when we needed a new one for our own bed, I searched high and low and refused to spend $150 on one that "would do", when it just hit me out of the blue that I might have one of those left at home. Indeed, I had kept the one I liked the best (blue corduroy) and it was sitting there waiting to be put on my bed - a good reason to have spent $11.47! I was thrilled, but of course my husband gave me "the look" and asked why I didn't remember this BEFORE we shopped till we dropped. Oh, the joys of aging....

Like Mary, I buy my cards and wrapping paper at the after-Christmas sales - usually at the dollar store in early January! Mind you, I write a year-in-review poem that either gets printed on 8.5x11 Christmas-themed paper I bought at a yard sale a few years ago, folded in half (and glued onto cardstock for thickness), or gets printed on regular paper and glued inside a premade card. I'm kind of partial to the free cards sent out by the Heart & Stroke Foundation every year, as they are large enough for my long poems (usually 10-14 stanzas). Seniors get the bigger fonts on the bigger cards....

I leave my gift wrapping till the last minute, as our living room windows give too-good-of-a-view to passers-by (putting things in our mailbox) if we had presents under and around our tree at those front windows. Usually my husband and I sit at the dining room table on Dec 23 or 24 (and stack gifts placed in our way all over the dining room, behind living room furniture), where I choose the boxes (I keep dozens to reuse year in and year out) and he chooses the paper. He holds the paper in place while I go to town, taping as quickly as possible like an assembly line. We started this when the kids were small so that I had ALL the presents bought and sorted into two equal piles. Even if one kid had more things than the other, they still got the same number of boxes to open. I still try to keep them "fairly" even, although my "kids" are now 26 and 28.

Last year you had a blog showing us how to make a box out of paper. I followed those directions (keeping the blog "bookmarked" on my computer) and made a box/lid out of a Tim Hortons wall calendar, then I put some homemade butter tarts inside and gave it to a bunch of retirees who host an annual Christmas party for all the "Tim Hortons gang" in their group (of which my husband is one of their youngest members). They asked me where I bought this special box, as they thought Tim Hortons sold them! When I told them I made it myself, they were astounded. I might just do this every year, as I'm sure Tim Hortons will provide yet more calendars each year, and I'm also sure my friends would appreciate a few more homemade goodies!

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Mary, snow in December? It must be wizardry! :-) (Someday I'm going to travel to a warmer clime for Christmas. Should be interesting not having to wear a coat and mittens all the time).

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Elaine, you are so organized! I'm in awe. And I'm glad that the boxes out of the Tim Horton's wall calendar went over so well. I'm going to have to look that blog entry up since I never actually got around to making a gift box last year.

Laney4 said...
Your Nov 20/12 blog.