I am in full Christmas present mode at the moment. Yes, I know it is only August, but I set myself this little goal back in July to actually be a bit organised for Christmas this year and definitely NOT leave everything to the last minute!
(since I used a photo of Zoe’s first Christmas in my last Christmas post thought it was only fair to show Izzy’s in this one)
I am not alone in this ‘plan for Christmas early’ caper…. there are a couple of other bloggers that I enjoy reading who are doing this too and I’ve been getting inspiration and stealing ideas left right and centre..
Journeyer wrote a series of posts on the subject with some great ideas.
Housewife Hiccups has a great post about her Christmas Planner.
As always Planning Queen over at Planning with Kids has a great series of posts and better yet she has shared her Christmas planning spreadsheets – all the lists you’ll need already done, awesome!
I am all set with a present list now to keep track of who we want to buy for, ideas for their gifts, what we actually end up giving them and approx how much it cost. I’ve also started a ‘gift list’. You see, I have a habit of buying random ‘cool things’ when I come across them because I am sure it would make the perfect gift for someone. I bring it home pack it away and then come Christmas or birthday I promptly forget I have it and buy something else. This will not happen this year – the four packets of water pastels I bought for $1.99 each (bargain or what!) will no longer reside in my present stash by the end of the year!
I want to spend wisely on presents this year. When I leave things to the last minute I often end up spending more than I’d planned on a present just to get something.. anything.. before the big day. It also often means dragging cranky children around shops filled with other cranky shoppers, not to mention Santa looming from every corner (Zoe has always been petrified of Santas – I wonder if this year will be different) and buying something that I don’t feel all that great about on many levels. I don’t want to do that this year.
I’ve already made a start on the buying for this year, and I didn’t even have to leave home to do it! I used the Twinadoe’s Kinder Bookclub – not only did we get seven items for less than $50, the kinder receives a percentage of our sales as books which is win win all round. The Toy library has just put out their toy catalogues and they receive a percentage of sales in toys for the library so we’ll support them too. We have four great catalogues to choose from – educational based toy companies rather than Doras and Barbie filled shops which makes it even better! I think I can get all my kid presents done by the next visit to the toy library and I won’t even have had to enter a shop… or pay for postage!
The other big goal for this year is to make more presents. In the past the girls and I have made some gifts for family, this year I’ll take that a step further with making gifts for friends and gifts for our own kids too. I always love the idea of this but I admit I am always still up at midnight on Christmas eve trying to finish off several presents. I am not super confident that this year will be any different but even if I am up till the wee small hours if we manage to make more than 50% of our gifts it will be worth it.
I’ve begun the fun part of the ‘make more gifts’ project – sitting here in front of the PC looking at loads of wonderful crafty blogs and websites in search of ideas. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this! It justifies hours of happy net surfing as I sit here and dream of the wonderful and amazing things the girls and I are going to make. Yeah, I know that I am not as clever and crafty as these bloggers and that our presents won’t turn out quite so wonderful, and it will be a lot of work, but it is fun to dream.. so for now just let me enjoy it ok!
And so you can enjoy it too, here are a few links to great home made, crafty gift ideas. If you are friends and family reading this feel free to browse the list and wonder if you might be getting some of these great things… then again I might have kept the links that I really want to make secret so as not to spoil the surprise… I guess you’ll just have to wait till Christmas to find out!
Awesome easy tutu tutorial at Skip to My Lou (by guest writer Mammasdoodles) – I think one of these will find their way into my girls Christmas stockings, and maybe for another little ballet princess we know.
The Crafty Crow has heaps of great craft activities for kids, lots of inspiration and ideas all the time!
I think I still have a bit more blog hopping to do to find the perfect gift ideas for everyone. It’s those impossible to buy for grown up men that I find hard. But it’s ok, it’s hard work, but someone’s gotta do it right?? I do have plans for a trip to the fabric store and a day or two creating here and there to see if my ideas will come to fruition but in the mean time does anyone want to enable me by sharing some of their favourite crafty gifty links?