When it comes to the holiday season, ask any wife and mother what she needs most, and she'll tell you, "More time!" Yet this same busy lady will fill her Christmas gift list with elaborate hand-crafted gifts, requiring substantial outlays of cash, time and skill.
Result? She careens into mid-December either (1) working nightly until 1 a.m. to finish the lot or (2) substituting hurry-up last minute purchases for the unfinished gifts.
Handmade is great ... if you don't bite off more than you can chew (or sew, stamp or knit)! To reduce holiday crafting stress, get organized--and get realistic--when it comes to holiday crafts. Try these tips for a reality check for handmade Christmas goals:
Friend Cindy, formerly of Flylady fame and now winging it at KellyAndCindy.com, has a great frugal saying that I've claimed for my own: "Shop at home first!"
Today, we'll do exactly that: check closets and drawers and boxes for holiday supplies, overlooked gifts, and all the holiday wrap-and-mail supplies we'll be needing in the weeks to come.
If we'll need it for Christmas, and we have it somewhere, today's the day we'll rout it all out and put it into the holiday lineup!
Gift items bought at the summer crafts fair. Stocking stuffers collected during the year. Gift wrap bought during last season's post-holiday clearance sales. Holiday cards or supplies for holiday letters. Stamps, mailing boxes, bubble wrap and packaging tape. Wherever they are, wherever they live, it's time to shop for them at home, first.
Use blank lined paper to note what you already have, and only then, add any missing items to the master shopping list. Shopping at home first pays off!
Do you keep a gift closet? To save money and cut gift-giving stress, you should!
A gift closet is a secret stash of gifts, ready for the giving. Think of it as a pantry for presents, a place to accumulate and store gifts bought year-round (and at attractive prices).
It doesn't have to be a dedicated closet; a gift closet can live in a covered box, an underbed storage unit, or a high shelf in a bedroom or den.
A well-seasoned gift closet is a giver's best friend. Find a great bargain at a clearance sale? Snap it up and entrust it to the gift closet for safe-keeping. Need a quick gift for an unexpected event? Shop the gift closet first!
An organized touch: print a free gift closet inventory form to keep track of stored gift items ... and get organized!
Christmas gift lists are great organizational tools--as far as they go. Truly talented gift-givers, though, rely on more than a single list of name-to-gift; they harness the power of a gift ideas planner.
By keeping track of clothing sizes, color preferences, hobbies and interests, a gift ideas planner makes it easy to select just the right gift for each person on your Christmas gift list.
Stored in your Christmas planner, the gift ideas planner will be there to take notes--and keep them-- when gift-giving inspiration strikes.
Get a great idea about a gift someone needs? Add it to the list; it'll jog your memory when it's time to shop for birthday presents or Christmas gifts.
Holiday gifts can amount to a substantial outlay of time, energy and money. Keep tabs on holiday giving with a Master Gift List: a single, central listing of holiday gifts and giving.
A Master Gift List is the go-to source to organize Christmas giving. Added to your Christmas planner, it'll record gift recipients and gift ideas, while you track costs, gift sources and a running budget tally.
Form is not important! Print a free master gift list and tuck it into your Christmas planner. Cyber-savvy holiday planners tap a computer spreadsheet, or register with an online gift-list service to track Christmas gifts over the coming months.
Give your family the best gift of all--a debt-free Christmas--with a Master Gift List!