For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you probably already know that my hubbie and I were given a last minute opportunity for a date night. What a blessing it was! Our girls were thrilled, and we were able to enjoy some delicious Japanese food in peace, and even get a jump start on our Christmas shopping. So it was actually my husband, Marty, who gave me the idea for this post to share a little bit of what we do to prepare and simplify Christmas.
One idea (inspired by my friend, April) that has really helped me to stay organized and a little less stressed in preparing for Christmas is to have a gift journal (not sure if that is the right name, but it’s the only thing I can come up with at 9 pm). She showed me hers back in 2006 and I have loved it! It’s simply a small 5 x 7 scrapbook/art pad with a little Christmas paper on the front and divided into four sections.
- Our Family
- The Miller’s (my family)
- The Middleton’s (Marty’s family)
- Friends (neighbors, teachers, coworkers, etc)
Each section begins with the year we began and lists the family (or friends) names who we desire to give gifts to. For example:
Marty: frisbee, marshmallow shooter, Worship CD, Pirates of the Caribbean DVD, bedroom slippers, Handyman magazine
Amy: scrapbook idea magazine, earrings, novel, strainer
Chloe: train set, Little People barn/farm set, Veggie Tales DVD, Esther, books
Naomi: farm yard toy, soft book, rattle toy
Maybe too simple for some, but be mindful that we were in the middle of seminary at this time. (Still more than Laura and Mary got in Little House on the Prairie.) After each Christmas, I’ll write down what Marty and the girls gave me for Christmas, and this has proved to be helpful to them as well to be able to look back and remember what they gave and to get ideas again. This is also helpful throughout the year when an idea comes for a gift for someone, there is now a central location for me to keep all these ideas. When buying gifts much earlier in the year, I love being able to write them down in order to avoid overbuying or completely forgetting about the gift altogether. I try to write down our birthday gifts as well, but that has not been as successful in getting down on paper.
If this sounds confusing, I’ll be happy to try to clarify. I’ve seen some amazing Christmas organizers out there, which include the gift lists. But I love being able to carry my little Christmas gift journal in my purse when I need to, as I did tonight. (We bought four Christmas gifts and one December birthday gift tonight! So excited!) Just wanted to share something that has helped to relieve a little stress in our family as the season of Christmas soon approaches.
This is a sneak peak for November as I hope to share more Christmas ideas from our family and from other families who seek to simply Christmas and put our Savior in His rightful place.