Another TOS FREEbie~Check out all the others on the FREEBIE FRIDAYS button!!Christmas is just around the corner. Right around the corner! I have been thinking about what I am going to do in order to be ready. Do you decorate? Do you make any of your gifts? Do you buy much of them? What activities do you participate in? Oh I know it's only November 2nd...I am still in the Autumn, Thanksgiving mode myself, but with a little planning the holidays can be less stressful and a time for the entire family~THIS IS YOU TOO, MOMS to have some quiet and peace! I am beginning a series called Twas The Month Before Christmas! where I going to share all the tips and ideas I can for you to glean for your holiday season. Let me say I want to hear all that you are planning or your favorite things or anything you like to do this time of year too! I love your input and comments! Thanks for being so responsive!
So today, over six weeks out . . . let's consider Gifts.
Gifts has to be one of the most stressful things about the season for those of us on a budget. If money is tight, and who isn't going through that right now? You can reast assured that when you make that list you will want to check it twice.
1. Make a gift giving list.
Who can come off, who stays and who gets added.
2. Decide what you want to give each recipient.
Of course your young children and spouse are a high priority. But what about your husband's coworkers, bosses or anyone he works with or yourself for that matter? Is this a tradition that can't be broken or one where you can say, "this year, let's don't..." I did this some time back, not because we cared less, but because we had less with some closest friends. They had more than we, but even with the "Oh you don't have to get me anything..." statement made us feel so bad, that the gift recieved was worse than recieving nothing from that friend. Do you understand what I am saying that it's more blessed to give and when you can't just getting can be painful. Don't get me wrong, we have had and continue to have wonderful gifts, but for those close enough to know we are on the budget and well...it's such a sticky matter! You have to do what makes you comfortable, but remember that you can only DO WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD~ONLY! This goes for your personal and extended families also.
3. Now that your list is "checked twice" and you have decided on what gifts, consider finding them for as little as you can. Shop ALOT and buy occasionally! Look for the lowest prices on items you are looking for in a price you can afford! Don't get lured in with the Christmas music and sights of the season with beautifully merchandised items CALLING YOUR MONEY! I hate going into the national discount retail stores . . . but I really hate it this time of year! Why? Because they want my money! AND often they will get it unless I am VERY careful! So stick to your list and if isn't on your list, and you think it's the perfect gift for Great Aunt Matilda, then WRITE IT DOWN, the price and place and KEEP LOOKING! Retailers are countning on impulsive buying to put them in the black this Christmas season, and they are working hard to get our money! Do you want a trampeline for the kids this year? What do they cost now? When is it on a good sale~by knowing the cost before the season you will KNOW when the sale will occur!
4. Make your items. A word of caution goes here! I have cruised the net, and true there all ALL KINDS of pretty handmade ideas out there~I am not a Scrooge about this, but I do want to say that if you are planning to make any gifts, consider your time and money as part of the gift for what you will give. An example of this is recently I made a handmade throw for a newlywed couple we love~I owned the yarn and it was my time I offered really. Now I am paying shipping to send it because we live away, but I wanting to send something nice for my money. While I wait to hear if they like it and HONESTLY may never know if they don't~remember gifts that are handmade are a toss up! Sometimes they bomb! Have you ever gotten one that. . .uh..well...uh...well...??? I know I want my gifts to be loved and well recieved by the person I am giving to, and while most are gracious, and we all KNOW it's the thought that counts, handmade UNLESS you KNOW the person can be a toss up! Just be careful. NOT saying DON'T~just be cautious! Sometimes a card is enough~or some candy if it's not ill health affecting! I've done that~bought candy and a pretty container when I didn't know what else to do!
Gifts are one of the big things about the holidays that can cause stress for the homeschooling family! Let's consider everyone in the family including both parents who may feel extra burdened this time of year~for some enjoyment and relaxation!
We are schooling right up to the few days before as we want to finish when the weather breaks in Spring! Of course this is your decision how you want to proceed. For now, I wish you a wonderful Autumn day looking forward to twinking lights and sweet smells and sounds!