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Pampered Chef: Christmas Countdown 2009

  1. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    I know. I know. It's waaaay too early to be thinking about Christmas. Or is it? There are only 180 days. It's less than half a year away. Plus, I was in Hobby Lobby earlier this week, and they were putting out their Christmas items. Seriously. It was crazy.

    Now, my focus right now is on NC, but think about this. While you're in Chicago you'll probably have a great opportunity to shop. Keep your eyes open for gifts for those on your list. As a matter of fact, you might want to take a quick look at your list to help plant some ideas in your mind. Then, while you're shopping, look around for that perfect gift for someone special.

    If you're a plan-ahead person like me, you might want to check out organizedchristmas.com. They have wonderful make-it-yourself ideas for all of the holidays, as well as ideas for doing a little each month in order to have a sane and relaxed Christmas.
     
    Jun 28, 2009
    #1
  2. DessertDivaFL

    DessertDivaFL Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I find it hard to think about Christmas when the weather outside is 95 degrees! Ha! Ha!

    But you have good points, Rae.
     
    Jun 28, 2009
    #2
  3. baychef

    baychef Senior Member Silver Member

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    Love this Rae! I am the typical person of this thought process:
    July though September:
    excuses: either too early or too busy
    October: trying to gather ideas...considering I purchase for 10 family members...all are men except 3. They NEVER have any ideas!!
    The women? The only one is my Mom who I could purchase gifts for from now to eternity. My sister in laws...no ideas to share?:grumpy:
    November: panic sets in but busy with PC and worn down from my day job already!
    December...
    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
    As the Christmas cards don't get made out...
    I want to holiday bake....HAAAAH...no way!!
    The gifts become gift cards.

    So Rae, I have no idea what you are talking about!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    I have an employee that I hear has her shopping done in July. She spends September or October wrapping her gifts. SHE probably enjoys Christmas!!! Where me...the best part of Christmas is knowing that it is over and I can finally RELAX!!

    Guess I will check out that website!
     
    Jun 28, 2009
    #3
  4. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    I'm a plan ahead-er too. I do all my shopping in Aug & Sep, wrapping in Oct. I want everything done and ready before Halloween. I do get a few little things here and there in Nov and Dec but for the most part I consentrate on cards, decorating and baking when 'holiday time' rolls around.
     
  5. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    I keep my eyes open all year, and buy things here and there along the way. I finish my shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I also use that day to pick up a few things for myself or the house. After all, the sales can be great.

    Christmas cards are signed, addressed, and stamped in early November. The ones that won't get a newsletter are sealed, too. That way I can simply print off the newsletter and add it to the envelopes before sealing them and mailing them all out the week after Thanksgiving. For the newsletter, I make notes all year long so I'll be able to remember what I want to tell people about.

    Gifts are wrapped that first week after Thanksgiving, too. Decorating is done on Saturday after Thanksgiving.

    This means that all of the "work" is done by the end of the first week of December. That gives me plenty of time to bake, entertain, go shopping with friends, visit with family, and just sit back enjoying the season.

    I'm not saying that's the only way or even the best way. I just know that it's what works for me.
     
    Jun 28, 2009
    #5
  6. kuntrycook

    kuntrycook Novice Member

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    Shopping is a foreign language to me...don't like it. I purchase one nice gift for my "hope-to-be" wife, and give mom and dad gift-cards. BUT, I do love Christmas (although Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday). I usually pull out my Christmas CD's in August and start listening to Christmas music...weird...I know...
     
    Jun 30, 2009
    #6
  7. rennea

    rennea Legacy Member Gold Member

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    I have already finished shopping for my sister this year:p


    I start shopping for the next Christmas in January!
     
    Jun 30, 2009
    #7
  8. baychef

    baychef Senior Member Silver Member

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    You all make me look so bad. I like this way of doing things.

    You don't sweep the cobwebs down all summer so you are prepared for Halloween decorations. Then for Christmas you throw some glitter on them and be done with it!!!:D

    For the last few years I honestly can say that I do less decorating etc. because I only enjoy Christmas that night when everything is DONE!!!
    Ms. Scrooge!!
     
    Jun 30, 2009
    #8
  9. pampchefsarah

    pampchefsarah Senior Member Gold Member

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    Shopping ahead of time doesn't work for me. For example, I went to a jewelry party a couple of weeks ago, and bought a necklace for my sister for Christmas. I'm giving it to her this week when I pick up my daughter from her house. As a 'just because you're such a cool person' present.

    However, I am well aware Christmas is less than 6 months away - and hope to capitalize on people with Rae's mentality by having a Christmas in July show!!
     
    Jun 30, 2009
    #9
  10. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    I have started thinking about Christmas and have started making a list. I did see 2 cool electronic things I want to get my dd, one is a Leapster Didj and I got an email that the Leapster website was having a 25% off strictly email sale, do you think I got it? NO. But I will the next time it goes.

    And as far as Chi Town goes, I pick up a different ornament every time I'm there! But I"m sure I could get some cool gifts at Navy Pier.
     
    Jun 30, 2009
    #10
  11. TrishPCMommy

    TrishPCMommy Member Gold Member

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    I'm so glad there are others out there like me!!!! I like to have ALL presents purchased and wrapped by Thanksgiving Day. The day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) is still for getting up early to go shopping, but it's to buy gifts for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. Then we go home and start addressing our Christmas cards for friends and start making homemade Christmas cards for family.
    I'm definitely going to check out Organized Christmas: Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate The Season! Thanks!
     
    Jun 30, 2009
    #11
  12. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Had me giggling over here!
     
  13. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    I always have plans to organize and prep better. But like Sarah, I end up giving the gifts before xmas! Or I can't find them come xmas...or i find MORE great gifts and buy those too!

    Need to learn self control!
     
  14. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    If finding the gifts at Christmas is the issue, designate an area as your "gift closet." Gifts for your children might have to be hidden. For those you can keep a notebook and make note (in code if necessary) as to where you've hidden what. Otherwise, just having one general place to keep gifts makes it so much easier. Plus, check people off your list as you purchase things. This keeps you from buying additional items for that person because you've forgotten that you already bought something for them.

    As for the urge to give a gift right away, I can't help you there. ;)
     
    Jul 1, 2009
    #14
  15. Beth1170

    Beth1170 Member

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    If you are thinking about the holidays now, there is a chance others are thinking about them as well. Now is a great time to add it into your business talk at shows. "Who would like to have a debt-free holiday this year?" By starting your business now you would have more than enough to cover all of your expenses at holiday time. This could work from now until Oct/Nov. Just a thought.
     
    Jul 1, 2009
    #15
  16. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    I start all of my shows from September on with a countdown. As I'm trying to gather everyone together to get started I say, "I want you to think about the number [days until Christmas.] That's a very important number."

    Once everyone's gathered together I ask for guesses as to why that number's special. I use the guesses as little sprinkles for bookings and/or recruiting.

    That's how many products are in the catalog? Oh, there are lots more products than that.

    That's how long PC has been in business? Nope. We started in 1980, so we've been around 29 years. That means we're very likely to be around for a long time to come.



    You get the idea.
     
    Jul 1, 2009
    #16
  17. Melissa78

    Melissa78 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Rae, I love that intro for starting the show! And what a great way to talk about the company. LOVE IT!

    Like you, I'm a planner (if no one can tell by now)...I'm already trying to brainstorm my first PC Holiday season.

    Can anyone start to offer their best practices, tips, tricks, do's, don'ts, ideas etc for the many newbies that have joined CS & PC since last year as well as for those who wish to take a new spin on Holidays 2009????

    I've been wondering if an open house helps with as many products out as I can get so they can touch and feel, play with, demonstrate etc...with snacks/goodies avail, and maybe stir up some bookings as a way for them to shop by saving (have a party get your gifts for free or discounted). Has anyone done this and with any success? When do you sugguest planning this? Any HO promotions done year to year?

    Thanks again Rae! I'll be honest and I plan on using your lines... Imitation is the best form of flattery! :D
     
    Jul 1, 2009
    #17
  18. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Never hesitate to creatively adapt any of my ideas that I share here. Chances are really good that they've been creatively adapted from someone else. ;)

    My best suggestion for you is to either do a search here or just keep an eye out as we get a little closer. I think your Open House is a good idea. I'll tell you what I tell my hosts. Pick a date that works well for you. You might even do Friday night and Saturday morning. Things could mostly just be left out, so you'd only have to refresh the food. This would allow for the most number of people to attend.
     
    Jul 1, 2009
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  19. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Thanks for the idea Rae. I also am loving the idea of the number of days left. I need to try and remember that tip.


    Beth ~ Great idea! What an incentive for starting your own PC biz!

    Thank you both.
     
  20. Melissa78

    Melissa78 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Laurie - I knew I wouldn't remember the days so I just numbered my PC calendar backwards from Christmas. Since that is glued to me at all times, I can just pull it out for a refresher just before the show and know my number. HTH.
     
    Jul 1, 2009
    #20
  21. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

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    Nice. Thanks Melissa.....will do exactly that tonight before bed! With you and Rae combined, I may actually pull off an organized front! Hee Hee
     
  22. Chef Endora

    Chef Endora Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Rae...This is like a virtual cattle prod. :eek:

    I do want to enjoy the holiday season this year so I'll get started.

    Funny thing is, I used to be organized and I don't know what happened. :confused:
     
    Jul 2, 2009
    #22
  23. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    The very best way to have a good Holiday Season is to have a good Summer & Fall! From the time I started, my director has repeated over and over that what I do now will affect my business 90 days from now. I have seen that to be true time and again! Sooo, if you want a good Nov. & Dec., then you need to make sure that you are booking enough shows for August and Sept. Many consultants will say that they are taking the summer off, or not doing a whole lot for the summer, and then Sept. hits and they are looking at an empty calendar, and having to scramble to try take advantage of the new season. Stay consistent with your schedule, and your Fall/Winter will be great!
    I usually do a Show of my own the end of Aug, beginning of Sept - to show off all of the new products, and to showcase new Party themes and recipes.
    I NEVER call it an Open House, though. Open Houses are almost always a flop. You want to give it a special name - I usually only invite my past hosts, and a few very good customers, and ask all of them to bring a friend. (I've been doing this for long enough, that my past host list if very large!)
    I'll call it a Fall Extravaganza, or a Host Appreciation Party, or something like that. I save up free product that I earn or get from hosting other shows, etc...through the year, and use it as giveaways, plus everyone gets a goody bag to take home with a SB, and some other small gift, and the recipe cards for the new recipes...I almost always finish filling my calendar for Sept. & Oct. when I do this show (avg. 5-8 bookings), and I've never had less than $600 in sales.
    Oh - and I have the recipes made ahead of time, and let my guests sample them, and then they rate them, and let me know which one they'd most like to have demo'd at a show. Here is the form I use:
     

    Attached Files:

    Jul 2, 2009
    #23
  24. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Today is September 1. There are 115 days until Christmas.

    This is when I really start focusing on Christmas. I'll be starting any craft projects soon. I'll be working on getting my card list up to date. by starting now I have plenty of time to really think things through.

    One of the ways I get ready is collecting cash. I do my best to make sure I pay cash for everything for Christmas. One of the ways I do that is to collect change. I use full dollar bills to pay for almost everything. I put all of my change in an ice cream bucket. Near the end of October (when I start my serious Christmas shopping) and just before Thanksgiving (when I finish my Christmas shopping) I take that bucket to the bank and have them convert it back into bills. I usually wind up with a total of $200-$300. Since I buy things all year long, this is usually plenty for me to finish up.

    I can't guarantee that I'll post a tip every day. If you'd like to get great everyday information, go to one of my sources. They have great tips.

    www.organizedchristmas.com


    Here's hoping we all have happy holidays.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
    Sep 1, 2009
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  25. pc_jessica

    pc_jessica Advanced Member

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    omg only 115 days to christmas!?!?!?!?!? eek i need to get the show on the road at my house! I have accomplished my first christmas to do: getting my holiday booth booked yesterday i am starting Black Friday and Ending Christmas Eve. My next Christmas to do: start a holiday gift shopping list, and then start shopping! I envy all those that are done shopping before Thanksgiving even gets here, maybe that will be me this year (hopefully anyways)...I am definietely going to be checking out that website you mentioned!!!!
     
    Sep 1, 2009
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  26. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    The Furry Guy and I talked over the details of our Christmas budget today. I find it helpful to set a clear budget for gifts and for other expenses. Getting clear about those things now makes it much easier to stick with them as the holiday gets closer.
     
    Sep 1, 2009
    #26
  27. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    I've been perusing a great website the last week or so.

    Organized Christmas: Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate The Season

    Everything from Grand Plans to start cleaning/organizing/Holiday Planning NOW to gift ideas, budgets, etc. Tons of things! I'm hoping to keep on track with the cleaning plan- that starts this week....so by Christmas, my house will be tip-top and I can relax for Christmas!
     
    Sep 1, 2009
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  28. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Great minds think alike, Bobbi. That's the website I suggested in today's post. I found it last year and fell in love. They have stuff for many other holidays, too. Their focus, though, is Christmas.
     
    Sep 1, 2009
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  29. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Today is September 2. There are 114 days left until Christmas.

    “Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.” — Helen Rice


    Last year I put together a Christmas Planner. Mine is in 2 parts--a computer file and a large 3-ring binder, complete with a few pockets. I used it to gather ideas, keep track of things I'd already purchased, plan menus, and make notes for this year. No matter what you use, it's a good idea to keep all of your notes and info in one or two places. That will make it easier for you to access and use the information.

    BTW, if you need a little help getting your planner started, there is a downloadable planner at Organized Christmas: Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate The Season. You can pick and choose which parts to print.
     
    Sep 2, 2009
    #29
  30. pc_jessica

    pc_jessica Advanced Member

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    okay sooo...i just printed my very own Christmas planner!!! i am feeling more hopeful that i WILL be one of those early gift buyers!!
    plus i think with you reminding us of the daily countdown that will give me more a kick in the rump to get busy with my Christmas to dos!
     
    Sep 2, 2009
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  31. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    I saw someone buying Christmas ornaments at Hobby Lobby today. I congratulated her on getting a good start, since there are only 114 days to go. She laughed and said that she wasn't really doing that. She just knew that the ornaments she liked (the glass ones) were usually the first ones they ran out of. She was surprised that there were so few days left.

    I told her about Organized Christmas: Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate The Season. I also talked to her a bit about PC. ;)
     
    Sep 2, 2009
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  32. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    Way to seize the moment, Rae! Sorry- I hadn't read far enough back in the posts to see you had posted the same site! Duh. I was skimming,posting, and running- I get sucked into this site for too long..i was trying not to do that. :D

    This thread should not only be a countdown- but a Christmas Accountability thread for those of us trying to do a planner approach this year! *lol* I for one, am ALREADY behind. What else is new!
     
    Sep 2, 2009
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  33. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Today is September 3. There are 113 days left until Christmas.

    “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other” — Burton Hills


    Two suggestions today. The first has to do with the quote, which I got from Organized Christmas: Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate The Season. Take the time right now to figure out what's important to you as a family. This will help you to trim good but not essential things from your calendar. There's a family values worksheet available on the website. At the very least, talk together about what's important to each of you and why. You just might learn something about your family members.

    The second is to start making your lists. Here are some ideas:

    • Gifts to be given, amount to spend (include family, friends, school, church, etc)
    • Christmas card list (computerize it!) Print list and update it, if needed. Decide how many cards are needed.
    • Visits to make
    • Parties/Entertaining
    • Menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, other parties
    • Goodies for Sharing/Gifts. Decide how much needs to be made and divide it between the weeks from now through December 1.
    • Favorite Meals of Family members for freezing ahead.
    • Long-term shopping list divided into: canned foods, perishables for each holiday, linens and dishes, decorations, etc.​

    These will help you stay on track as the weeks go by.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
    Sep 3, 2009
    #33
  34. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Bobbi, I'm all for using this thread for accountability. We did a bit of that with the countdown last year.

    One advantage to keeping many of my lists on my computer is that I'm able to update instead of starting from scratch.
     
    Sep 3, 2009
    #34
  35. pc_jessica

    pc_jessica Advanced Member

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    whaoo!! i have my christmas card list done...unless between now and dec 15th i meet anyone new or my husband decides to add anyone else to his 'friend' list!
     
    Sep 3, 2009
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  36. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    That's great! But even if you have new people- just add them to it as you get them, that should be easy enough.

    I've done more 'cleaning' projects today- hosed down my front porch today. Not exactly "christmas"-like....but it figures into my overall plan of cleaning house/preparing for the holidays.
     
    Sep 3, 2009
    #36
  37. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    Another good reason to start planning for Christmas too is that the PC incentives stop at the end of the year. And with most of us, our PC business stops the day we can last order for Christmas Delivery. With all the things we need to do with our personal lives, I still want to be able to reach level 1 to get free NC next year. So besides planning all the fun family stuff, I need to plan my business stuff to. That Planner sounds like just the ticket for both! Thanks!
     
  38. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Today is September 4. There are only 112 days left until Christmas.

    There's still time to have a cash-only Christmas. Start by setting your budget now. Include everything--gifts, food, decorations, fuel/travel expenses, etc.

    Begin setting aside a bit out of each paycheck now. Next year you can start a Christmas Club or, at the very least, place $10 out of every paycheck in an envelope marked "Christmas."

    Look for ways to cut back. The Furry Guy and I often make gifts for Christmas. There are lots of great ideas out there. They just take a little time and thought. That's why we're starting now.

    Seriously, consider paying as you go for Christmas this year. Use the credit cards to order items if you must, but pay that off as soon as you get the bill. Your bank accounts will thank you in January.
     
    Sep 4, 2009
    #38
  39. straitfan

    straitfan Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Do we know what that date is yet? I just had a customer e-mail me wanting to know!
     
    Sep 4, 2009
    #39
  40. pc_jessica

    pc_jessica Advanced Member

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    someone said Dec. 10th...but i think they were guessing and counting back 10 business days or something like that.
     
    Sep 4, 2009
    #40
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