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Christmas Countdown 2012: Start Planning for a Memorable Holiday Season Now!

In summary, Christmas is closer than you think and it's a great time to begin planning. Black Friday might be a good time to buy gifts, and Organized Christmas | Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrates the Season is a great website to help you have a stress-free Christmas.
raebates
Staff member
18,357
As of today there are 172 days until Christmas. We're over halfway there, and it will be here before we know it. Now is the time to start thinking about:

  • What kind of Christmas do you want? Spiritual? Small? Big? Start planning now, letting friends and family know what you're thinking. That way you prepare them as well.
  • How do you want to do business? Black Friday Sale? Christmas Open House? After-Christmas sale? Look at the calendar. Give your customers a heads-up. It's difficult to "work that in" when you're in the midst of the holidays.
  • Who are you buying gifts for? Two years ago my brother suggested not giving gifts to one another. That would have been fine, but he suggested this at our Thanksgiving gathering. I'd already purchased his gift in April. Though, if he'd said something in July I could have found someone else to give his gift to. (And, he knew, as anyone who knows me does, that I finish my shopping on Black Friday.)

Seriously, this is the time of year to begin planning for a great Christmas.

How do I know how many days are left? I follow @ChristmasCount on twitter. Another great place is Organized Christmas: Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate The Season. I love their site and find lots of helpful ideas and free downloads there.
 
WooHoo!!! Can't wait
 
YIKES! Is it that time of year already? ;)Maybe THIS year will be my year to actually FOLLOW along and be ready! hahahhahahaha
 
Our family just had our annual camping trip/family reunion. I was the bad person who suggested that since we were all together we should draw names! :) Some people weren't happy with me (obviously they are not the ones that do the shopping), but others were happy so we did it. ;)
 
Karen said:
Our family just had our annual camping trip/family reunion. I was the bad person who suggested that since we were all together we should draw names! :) Some people weren't happy with me (obviously they are not the ones that do the shopping), but others were happy so we did it. ;)

That certainly weeds out the selfish from the grateful, doesn't it?
Good for you.
 
I was thinking about Christmas being "closer" rather than farther away!! Sure hope I can get my ideas early this year. I don't have many to buy for but most are men and I have no idea what to get them half the time.:eek:
 
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  • #7
It's not time for the daily countdown yet, but I figured it couldn't hurt to remind everyone that it's closer than you think.
 
Well I already saved today a neat Holiday open house invite I found on this site. My friend is excited to have it as her party- she always does this for Christmas but this way I will do lots of the food for her- she says it will be relaxing and great for us both. Plus I can't wait to hold a Pampered Chef cookie walk. I enjoy Christmas and all that it brings- the joy of Christ and him being sent to the world is year long rejoicing but esspecially at his birth.
 
raebates said:
It's not time for the daily countdown yet, but I figured it couldn't hurt to remind everyone that it's closer than you think.
Yeah, when it's 107° outside.
 
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  • #10
Yeah, we had record-setting heat. Thinking about the holidays helped a smidge.
 
  • #11
I have all the shopping done for FIL and DH said to me last night that he wants to do an anniversary trip instead of exchanging gifts, so his anniversary gift will now be a Christmas gift. That with what I already have for him, he's almost done too!
 
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  • #12
Only 123 days!

If your local school system is on a "balanced" or year-round schedule, you might be able to find back-to-school items on clearance. You can find crayons, pencils, pens, erasers, etc. for pennies on the dollar. These are great stocking-stuffers. Are there budding artists on your list? This is a great time to buy paper. Our son has been writing songs since he was in middle school. He always has a notebook with him for jotting down his thoughts. We joke that buying at the back-to-school clearance kept us out of bankruptcy.
 
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  • #13
Today is September 21. There are only 94 days until Christmas.It's just over three months away. I've mentioned it before, but Organized Christmas | Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate the Season! is a great website. It has downloadable and printable planners, checklists, gift ideas, gift tags, and such. It's a great place to find the tools to help you have a stress-free (or, at least, reduced-stress) Christmas this year.
 
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  • #14
Today is September 22. There are only 93 days left until Christmas!Think outside the normal retail box for gifts. A couple of years ago we did some of our Christmas shopping at a local print shop. The Furry Guy’s niece is a talented artist. She’s into Manga (Japanese anime art). She was 16 by the time Christmas rolled around, so we figured it was okay for her to be in on her gift that year. We had her choose a piece of artwork, (she decided to do something new), and had it made into a large poster for her room. For my mom & dad we decided on a picture. We haven’t had a family portrait done in a long time. Since Mom & Dad live in Florida and our son lives in Texas, it’s almost impossible to get everyone together to get one done. Print shop to the rescue. I took snapshots of individual households. I had an 8 x 10 piece made. Mom & Dad’s photo was at the top. My family was on the lower left. My brother’s family was on the lower right. The background was dark and marbleized. In the middle, in white, was a quote from Desmond Tutu—"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." The piece was printed on canvas. We’ve considered using photos to make calendars for family.These things don’t have to be expensive, just heartfelt and personal. Of course, it does require a bit of thinking ahead.
 
  • #15
Would you mind if I shared your tips on my FB page? I doubt I would share all of them, but every once in a while.
 
  • #16
Last year I gave my mom and grandmother a calendar I made on vistaprint.com that had pictures of me in it. They were always saying they wanted more pictures of me, so it worked perfectly. I think I even managed to get one of them for free (gotta love vistaprint). You can also get free return address labels from them for Christmas cards.
 
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  • #17
NooraK said:
Would you mind if I shared your tips on my FB page? I doubt I would share all of them, but every once in a while.

Feel free. Chances are good they're creatively adapted from another source, anyway. :D
 
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  • #18
Today is September 24. There are only 92 days left until Christmas!(If you're keeping track, you'll notice that I was off a day. Sorry about that. My source just let me know they were off a day. LOL!)Soon my MIL will start asking for wish lists. The Furry Guy and I are starting to work on our lists. We occasionally go out looking for things that we’d like to have but wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves. We make one list for his family including his wishes, my wishes, and our wishes. We make a separate list for each other. Our lists tend to be very specific because that’s what his family has always done. They include what the item is (along with any details like sizes, colors, etc.), where it can be purchased, and how much it costs.Our lists were started a long time ago because at the end of the holiday season I go through the lists and remove anything that was received that year. Soon we’ll look over the remains of last year’s list and take off anything we no longer want or need.
 
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  • #19
Today is September 25. Only 91 days until Christmas (that's 3 months, people)!

Speaking of wish lists, it’s about time for me to help out my husband’s siblings. Every year in early October I send each of his siblings a catalog, a wish list form (an Excel sheet with spaces for page number, product name, product number, and price), and a note that says:

It’s possible that Mom will be asking for wish lists soon. I know several of you enjoy the Pampered Chef products, so I’m sending you this catalog and wish list to make things easier.

If there are things you would like to receive, just put your name at the top of the wish list, write in your “wishes,” and send it to Mom. If you have any questions, you know how to find me.

See most of you very soon.​

Mom usually sends her order to me for the gifts in late October or early November. It's a win-win for us all.:chef:
 
  • #20
The_Kitchen_Guy said:
Yeah, when it's 107° outside.

Ok...I am not on CS too much...but my reply to this post is....details, details!!
And this is TMI but I feel like it is still 107 outside!! The trees are not the only beings of nature that are turning shades of red and in the autumn of life!! :D
 
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  • #21
Today is September 27. There are only 89 days until Christmas.Take time now to look over your Christmas card list. Are all of the addresses up to date? If not, you’ve got plenty of time to call or email your friends and family to find the correct address. I think it’s so frustrating to be addressing cards and realize that my cousin has moved and I don’t have her new address (or, worse yet, get the card addressed and then realize it’s not current). A quick check now will help to save lots of frustration.
 
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  • #22
Today is September 28. There are only 88 days until Christmas!As you’re getting ready to sign and address Christmas cards, think about how you’ll sign. When our son was home, I usually signed the cards “The Bates Family – Chris, Rae, & Shawn.” Now that it’s just The Furry Guy and me, it depends on who the card is sent to. Most of us refer to a couple using the name of the person we know best first. For instance, when you think of us you probably think, “Rae & The Furry Guy.” My family knows us as “Rae & Chris.” His family knows us as “Chris & Rae.” I sign things the way the recipient knows us. By the way, according to the rules of etiquette the man’s first name should never be separated from his last name. That would make us formally Rae & Chris Bates. However, since most of us are much less formal with those to whom we send Christmas cards, I don’t think it’s necessary to stick hard and fast to this rule.
 
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  • #23
Today is October 2. There are exactly 12 weeks, 84 days, until Christmas!


Save money by putting together inexpensive gifts like the ones I give to the volunteers in our children’s ministry. I use ribbon to tie together a package of microwave popcorn with two packets of hot cocoa mix and top it with card that says:

Merry Christmas!
This world can be a cold and difficult place, yet you warm the hearts of children with God’s love and compassion—just as cocoa takes the chill away on a cold day. You show children the richness of God’s Word, and it tastes sweet and good to their souls.

The fragrance of Christ you carry with you is as enticing and unmistakable as freshly popped popcorn. And like these tiny corn kernels, you plant seeds of truth—seeds that’ll one day explode into righteous living and overflow with the glory of God.

Thanks for all you do to touch kids’ lives.


Gifts like this cost pennies apiece (especially when I buy the supplies in large quantities at Sam’s Club) but let people know how much they mean to us.
 
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  • #24
Today is October 3. There are only 83 days until Christmas!What kind of Christmas do you want? Are you looking for cozy family time? Are you hoping for a spiritually-connected season? Are you looking forward to busy excitement? Now is the time to decide so you can plan for what you want. Sit down with your family and talk about what they consider important. You might be surprised to find out what they consider the most important, most meaningful part of Christmas. I asked my son this years ago. Now, don't get me wrong; he's all about Christmas being a spiritual remembrance of the gift of Jesus giving up His heavenly existence to become one of us, knowing how that was going to end. But, his answer as to what makes it really feel like Christmas to him was our "Mousy Calendar." It's an old Avon cloth calendar. It has pockets labeled 1 - 24. Each day in December you move a mouse into the corresponding day's pocket. When Shawn was a little boy we started putting a small Andes candy or Rolo in each pocket. When the mouse moved to that pocket he got to eat that day's candy. That's what made it seem like Christmas to him. He loves the tree. He loves the food. But, it's the calendar & candy for him.
 
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  • #25
Today is October 4. There are only 82 days until Christmas!Think carefully about the craft projects/gifts you have planned. Do you realistically have time to complete them? You don’t want to be up late every night for the last week or two before Christmas finishing them. Worse yet, you don’t want to have to run out and buy a last-minute, desperation gift because you couldn’t finish it. If you have un-finished craft objects lying around (that afghan you never finished, or that cross-stitch that’s still only ¾ done), think about finishing them for someone for Christmas. That way you’ll have less to do.
 
  • #26
raebates said:
Today is October 3. There are only 83 days until Christmas!

What kind of Christmas do you want? Are you looking for cozy family time? Are you hoping for a spiritually-connected season? Are you looking forward to busy excitement? Now is the time to decide so you can plan for what you want. Sit down with your family and talk about what they consider important. You might be surprised to find out what they consider the most important, most meaningful part of Christmas.

I asked my son this years ago. Now, don't get me wrong; he's all about Christmas being a spiritual remembrance of the gift of Jesus giving up His heavenly existence to become one of us, knowing how that was going to end. But, his answer as to what makes it really feel like Christmas to him was our "Mousy Calendar." It's an old Avon cloth calendar. It has pockets labeled 1 - 24. Each day in December you move a mouse into the corresponding day's pocket. When Shawn was a little boy we started putting a small Andes candy or Rolo in each pocket. When the mouse moved to that pocket he got to eat that day's candy. That's what made it seem like Christmas to him. He loves the tree. He loves the food. But, it's the calendar & candy for him.

I laughed when I read this! We have this same calendar! We always put a little candy or small toy, or even a little note in the calendar every day. My daughter is now 24 and feels the same way your son does. Now we do it for our grandchildren!!!
 
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  • #27
Today is October 5. There are only 81 days until Christmas!The weather’s cooling here. I’ve dug out my warm clothes. As I’ve switched my wardrobe, I’ve been taking inventory. I’m making sure I have appropriate outfits for upcoming holiday events. Think about what you’ll be doing during the holidays. Do you have a company party to attend that requires eveningwear? Do your kids have the matching outfits you like to use for your holiday photos? Make sure that you have clothes for all of the things you’ll be doing, and make sure they’re all in good repair. Is anything stained beyond repair? Does everything fit, or does it need to be altered or replaced? Do you have all of the accessories (jewelry, shoes, handbags, etc.) to complete the outfits? Right now cool-weather clothes are starting to hit the sale rack. Plus, you have plenty of time to take your time making choices. You’ll be less likely to overspend or settle if you start now.
 
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  • #28
Today is October 9. There are only 77 days (11 weeks) until Christmas!Some of the Christmas magazines are on newsstands now. Check them out. When you find something you like, tear out the page and file it by type (recipe, crafts, gift ideas, etc.) or scan it into your computer. That way you can toss the rest of the magazine into the recycling bin instead of creating your own towering stack of magazines. Plus, it will be a lot easier to locate that great idea when you want it if you don’t have to flip through 183 magazines.
 
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  • #29
Today is October 11. There are only 75 days until Christmas!Christmas wish lists are great. They are especially helpful for those with whom you don't have regular contact (like, in our case, The Furry Guy's nieces). However, they're no substitute for listening. If your BIL continually talks about his favorite NASCAR driver, keep that in mind. If your aunt mentioned a favorite designer, make a mental (and then an actual) note. Don't count on remembering. Write it down.Also, be sure to keep a list of clothing sizes, color preferences, hobbies, and interests for each person in your immediate family. This way you'll be able to customize gifts to each recipient. You'll also be able to take advantage of sales.
 
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  • #30
Today is October 12. There are only 74 days until Christmas!Start working on your holiday menus now. If you’re thinking of trying something new, make it at least once before the holidays start to ramp up. That will give you a chance to tweak the recipe to suit your family. While you're at it, clean out your freezer and pantry. You’ll save money by planning your menu around what you already have. Plus, you’ll make room for those things you can buy on sale this time of year.Now start to pay really close attention to grocery flyers so you can stock your pantry now with non-perishable foods for your holiday feasts. Canned goods and most frozen foods will keep for several weeks, so focus on sales and buy extras. This will help ease your budget, making room for those perishable items you’ll need to purchase at the last minute.
 
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  • #31
Today is October 15. There are only 71 days until Christmas!How are you planning to do your wrapping? Some people choose to wrap as they purchase. Others, like me, like to take a day to do the bulk of the wrapping. Whichever way you choose, be sure to get all of your supplies together in one place. You can set up a corner as your wrapping station. You can put together a tote of some kind with all of your supplies so you can take it to whatever area is most convenient. Check now to make sure you have plenty of tape, wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, or whatever you use to make your packages pretty.By the way, I have discovered Foof Queens (foofqueens.com). They have ideas and the supplies to create them. They involve tubes of cellophane. Cool stuff.Once you start wrapping gifts, be very careful. Don’t mix up those tags. I once read about a holiday disaster in which a woman mixed up her tags. The pretty, lacy bra that was supposed to go to her recently engaged friend went, instead, to her 90-year-old grandmother. Grandma was so excited about the unusual gift that the woman didn’t have the heart to ask for it back. Don’t let this happen to you. Be very careful.
 
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  • #32
Today is October 16. There are 70 days (10 weeks) until Christmas Day.Is your list complete? Do you know everyone you want to give gifts to this year? Don’t forget your tips/gifts to service people. When you have a complete list it’s much easier to keep from breaking your budget. Do you usually give an extra tip to your hairdresser? Your garbage collectors? Those extras can really take a bite out of your budget if you haven’t figured them in. Keep track of everything you plan to give, everything you've purchased, and exactly what you've spent. Your bank account will thank you. And, you won't have to live in fear of the mail in January.
 
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  • #33
Today is October 17. There are only 69 days until Christmas!I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Take a close look at your calendar now. Block out some personal time. Think about what you really want to do. If you’d love to take one day just to bake cookies and make a gingerbread house, put that on your calendar now. If you’d like to take one day to watch a marathon of Christmas movies put it on the calendar now. If you’re trying to squeeze it in once the holiday season is in full swing you’re not likely to find the time. You need to make the time now. Many people want a simpler Christmas. This is the way to get it. Block out some down time now. Once you’ve blocked out some personal time, I want you to practice with me. Say out loud, “I’m sorry, I already have plans that day.” Repeat several times daily. This is what you’ll say whenever someone wants you to do something on the days you’ve blocked out for personal time. Seriously, I don’t know why we are so reluctant to consider our personal time equally as important as, say, a doctor appointment. There is no need to explain. They don’t need to know that your plans include staying in your jammies all day drinking hot cocoa and watching old Christmas movies. That’s none of their business. Nothing less than a family emergency should derail your plans for a personal day.
 
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  • #34
Today is October 18. There are only 68 days until Christmas!Don’t get derailed on your healthy habits during the holidays. If you’re headed out to a party, eat a light, healthy snack before you go. It will be harder to stick to just one cookie if you’re famished. Make sure to schedule time to exercise. Those extra indulgences won’t do as much damage if you’re continuing to exercise and keep your metabolism revved.Make your choices wisely. If you wait all year for Aunt Sue’s famous triple-layer death by chocolate cake, go ahead and have a small slice. Just don’t eat ¼ of the cake or have helpings of every single dessert. If it’s the rich, creamy twice-baked loaded potatoes that call your name, have a little. Just don’t combine that with three dinner rolls and seconds of every starchy side dish. Oh, and since we're getting close to Halloween, remember this. One Hershey Pumpkin Spice Kiss has about 24 calories. A whole bag has about 1,470 calories.
 
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  • #35
Today is October 19. There are only 67 days left until Christmas!Considering giving a gift that will be really funny? STOP! Think for just a moment. Will the recipient find it funny? If not, don't do it. A gift should be warm and thoughtful. If the recipient will find it funny, go ahead. If not, beware. For instance, last year I got The Furry Guy a bar of soap that smells like bacon. Several years ago one of the boys in our children’s ministry sat down on TFG’s lap, looked up at him and said, “You smell like meat.” We still laugh about it sometimes. I knew he'd find the soap funny (and, he did), so it’s an okay gift to give.On the other hand . . . Years ago a squirrel ran up my mom's leg while the whole family was visiting a park in Florida. Startled, she fell and rolled a ways down the hill. She wasn't hurt. We all found it funny. However, even all these years later, she doesn't. We are always finding things that are squirrel-related that we think would be hysterical to give Mom. Mom, on the other hand, would not find it funny. So, we've never given a squirrel-related card or gift to my mom. It wouldn't be a welcome and thoughtful gift. As a matter of fact, she'd probably not talk to us for several months.Gifts should be all about the recipient.
 
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  • #36
Today is October 22. There are only 64 days until Christmas!Are you a good recipient? In The Autobiography of Santa Claus one of the characters says that it's not the value of the gift but knowing someone cared enough to give. That's so true. Now, I know that sometimes the thought seems to be, "Oh, crap! I need to get something for _________ because [she's/he's] coming over in about 10 minutes." However, no matter how little thought you think went into the gift, your response should be, "Thank you," said with a smile.
 
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  • #37
Today is October 23. There are only 63 days until Christmas--exactly 9 weeks.A little bit of extra time right now will help you down the road. When you make something for dinner that freezes well, make double or triple. That way when you’re in the midst of holiday chaos you’ll have something easy and nutritious just waiting in your freezer. You’ll be a lot less likely to do takeout if there’s something already prepared at home.
 
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  • #38
Today is October 24. Exactly 2 months until Christmas Eve, only 62 days.Are you ready for holiday guests? Take a critical look at your guest room (or the corner of the basement you use as a guest room). Is everything clean, fluffed, and ready for guests? Do you have plenty of decent towels? We have a small basket with things like toothbrushes and sample-size toothpaste, deodorant, and such that we leave out for guests. By taking inventory now, you’ll have plenty of time to pick things up little by little so you don’t overwhelm your budget. While you're at it, check the bathroom. Do you have plenty of toilet paper? Are there clean, accessible hand towels? When you know that people are coming, be sure to check. It’s one thing if your family has to do that duck-walk across the bathroom for a new roll. It’s another if it’s the new neighbor you’re just getting to know.
 
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  • #39
Today is October 25. There are exactly 2 months, 61 days, until Christmas!If you’ve got someone on your list who’s difficult to buy for, try thinking outside the box. My brother and I could not be more different if we were raised on separate continents. In addition to the fact that we have very different taste and interests, he and his wife live a much more affluent lifestyle than we do. (In other words, they have lots more money.) It was always a struggle to figure out something for them. A couple of years ago I gave my brother a memory. When we were kids we’d watch the Christmas specials together. We’d have popcorn, Hershey bars, and Pepsi in Slush Mugs* while we watched all of those 1960s TV specials. Those specials are on DVD now, so I bought a few of our favorites. I found a set of 4 Slush Mugs and packaged those together with the DVDs, some popcorn, and some bottles of Pepsi. I included a note saying that I hoped he would be able to build some of the same kinds of fond memories we had with his own family. *Slush Mugs have an internal sleeve (kind of like the old Chillzanne products) that you freeze. You pop that sleeve into the mug, then add your drink. Soon slushy ice begins to form on the sides. I always scraped mine down so it got all slushy quickly. My brother let his sit until it was almost solid. If you search online you should be able to find them if they interest you.
 
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  • #40
Today is October 28. There are only 58 days until Christmas!How’s your video library? Now is a good time to start watching for that old favorite that usually sells out before you get a copy. You probably know that some of those childhood classics like Charlie Brown and Frosty are now on DVD. Keep your eyes open for your favorites.
 
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  • #41
Today is October 30. There are only 56 days until Christmas--8 weeks from today!Think about scheduling a pajama day. Take one day during the holidays to stay in your jammies all day and watch Christmas movies and specials. It’s a relaxing day for you, and your kids will love it. Also, Christmas stamps are available. They have beautiful Nativity ones available this year along with some very cute Santa ones. I'll be picking mine up soon. The postmaster told me she was surprised I hadn't been in already. I usually ask about them a week or two before they've arrived in mid-October.
 
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  • #42
Today is October 31. Happy Halloween. There are only 55 days until Christmas!If you aren’t already almost done with your shopping, set dates now for dedicated shopping trips. You might even consider making the first one a reconnaissance mission. Before the crowds start making it difficult to really see what’s out there, stroll through malls and boutiques looking for inspiration. If you see that perfect gift for your niece, you can pick it up, but don’t feel like you have to buy anything. Just get ideas. This way you can be focused on what you want to purchase on your other shopping trips.
 
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  • #43
Today is November 1. Only 54 days until Christmas! Only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving!If you have small children, it’s possible that they went trick or treating. If they came home with waaaaaaaay too much candy, there’s a way you can use it to your advantage. Hard candies, Smarties and Necco Wafers can be set aside to use on a gingerbread house. Kids are much less likely to object to putting candy away for now if they know they’ll get to have even more fun (and still eat it) later. Speaking of candy. For the next few days Halloween candy will be on sale really cheap. Buy those big bags now and put them back for stocking stuffers. The outside has Halloween stuff, but inside it’s just fun-size candy. Leave it sealed, though. This will keep it fresh and safe from nibbling.
 
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  • #44
Today is November 3. There are only 52 days left until Christmas!

If you can’t, don’t. You’ll be asked to do lots of things during the holiday season. When that request comes to head up the holiday bazaar, think realistically about your schedule. Can you do it? If not, remember these responses:

No. No is a complete sentence. You are not required to make an excuse or justify your answer.

No, I’m already committed.
Have you already agreed to head up your church bazaar? Direct the children’s program? No one said you have to do everything.

No, but I’ll . . . If you’re willing to take charge of the spring carnival or chaperone the next four field trips, let them know.

Let me think about it. This is actually my standard answer. I realized years ago that I usually became overscheduled because I didn’t take the time to really look at my schedule and see if I had the time to do what I was asked. Now I routinely ask for a day or two to make a decision. If they need a decision right that minute, I have to say no.​

I learned a number of years ago that one of the guilt-trips that worked well on me was to say that if I didn't do it they might have to cancel. It took a long time for me to realize that if it was supposed to get done but I couldn't do it, God was tapping on someone else's shoulder. It wasn't my fault if it didn't happen. Plus, if I did it when I wasn't meant to do it, I was cheating the person who was supposed to do it out of the opportunity to serve where they were supposed to serve.
 
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  • #45
Today is November 5. There are only 50 days until Christmas!How’s your music? Do you love classical Christmas music or are the classics (like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) your passion? Check over what you have. Make sure they’re in good shape. Make note of any replacements you need. This way you can be on the lookout for good deals.
 
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  • #46
Today is November 6. There are only 49 days until Christmas! Seven weeks from today is Christmas Eve.Try something new. Trying something new doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. Think about something you’ve always wanted to do during the holidays, and try it. After Christmas talk with your family members and see if it’s something you want to keep, change, or eliminate. Then again, you can't do it all. If you add something, consider subtracting something else. Talk to your family now about what you love and what you can let go of.
 
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  • #47
Today is November 7. There are 48 days until Christmas. Seven weeks!Keep a healthy perspective. I love Christmas magazines at least as much as the next person, maybe more. However, they can make you crazy. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but Martha Stewart doesn’t actually do all of that by herself. If you don’t have a full-time staff supplemented with additional seasonal help, you cannot do everything she does. The same goes for Paula Dean, Rachel Ray, and even Sandra Lee, the Semi-Homemade lady. Don’t beat yourself up if your home and dinner table don’t look like the ones in the magazines. Take a few ideas and run with them. Make them your own. Just promise me you won’t be awake at 3 a.m. the night/morning before the big family dinner hot gluing leaves (or snowflakes, or baby Jesus cut-outs) to your napkin rings.
 
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  • #48
Today is November 8. There are only 47 days until Christmas!Zatzkapol—a present you don’t want, can’t figure out what it is, and can’t for the life of you imagine why someone would get it for you. We’ve all gotten them. Practice your reactions before you go to gatherings so you’ll be ready in case you receive a zatzkapol this year.
 
  • Thread starter
  • #49
Today is November 9. There are only 46 days until Christmas.A calendar can be a great gift. Just make sure it matches the taste/interests of the recipient. You might like the Dessert of the Month calendar, but the cousin who just joined Weight Watchers might not.
 
  • #50
A 2013 Pampered Chef calendar makes a great gift!
 
<h2>What kind of Christmas do you want? </h2><p>It's important to start thinking about the type of Christmas you want to have now. Will it be a spiritual celebration, a small gathering, or a big party? Make sure to communicate your plans with friends and family so they can prepare as well.</p><h2>How do you want to do business?</h2><p>Consider your holiday business strategy now so you can give your customers a heads-up. Will you have a Black Friday sale, a Christmas open house, or an after-Christmas sale? Look at the calendar and plan accordingly to avoid any last-minute stress.</p><h2>Who are you buying gifts for?</h2><p>Make a list of everyone you plan on buying gifts for this holiday season. This will help you stay organized and on budget. If someone suggests not exchanging gifts, make sure to communicate that early on so you can make alternate plans.</p><h2>How do I know how many days are left?</h2><p>Follow @ChristmasCount on Twitter or check out "Organized Christmas" for helpful holiday planning resources and a countdown to Christmas. It's never too early to start getting into the holiday spirit and preparing for a memorable Christmas.</p>

Related to Christmas Countdown 2012: Start Planning for a Memorable Holiday Season Now!

What kind of Christmas do you want?

It's important to start thinking about the type of Christmas you want to have now. Will it be a spiritual celebration, a small gathering, or a big party? Make sure to communicate your plans with friends and family so they can prepare as well.

How do you want to do business?

Consider your holiday business strategy now so you can give your customers a heads-up. Will you have a Black Friday sale, a Christmas open house, or an after-Christmas sale? Look at the calendar and plan accordingly to avoid any last-minute stress.

Who are you buying gifts for?

Make a list of everyone you plan on buying gifts for this holiday season. This will help you stay organized and on budget. If someone suggests not exchanging gifts, make sure to communicate that early on so you can make alternate plans.

How do I know how many days are left?

Follow @ChristmasCount on Twitter or check out "Organized Christmas" for helpful holiday planning resources and a countdown to Christmas. It's never too early to start getting into the holiday spirit and preparing for a memorable Christmas.

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