Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25 - Simplifying Christmas

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:

Christmas 2006
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.


  1. Hi Amy,
    I've been following along all month and am LOVING your posts! There's so much I'd love to comment on, and may eventually. Just wanted to throw something out in relation to this post that has been a huge help to me: Shopping online! I really don't enjoy shopping, and have found it SO much easier (and less stressful) to do my shopping online (Amazon, ebay, etc). A couple of years ago I did about 90% of my Christmas shopping online, and was very happy with the results. I've also been able to get better deals that way than I may have otherwise.

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel, for your encouraging words! I haven't done much online shopping, but have several friends who do. You have really challenged me to do more though. Several gift items that I have in mind for this year would be perfect to look online for rather than searching Walmart after Walmart. I'd love to hear more of your ideas! I love watching your videos on Facebook and seeing pictures of your adorable little ones. Take care!