Thursday, August 25, 2011

The 4 Month Countdown

I have a confession to make, I am a Christmas FANATIC!  I love nothing more each year than the Christmas music, parties, baking, sending and receiving of cards, gift wrapping, snow… I just love everything about the season!  And today I came to the realization that CHRISTMAS IS IN EXACTLY 4 MONTHS!
I don’t know how many of you are this excited for Christmas each year, but I start looking forward to the next Christmas just days after the current one has passed!
Being frugal, means lots of pre work, but BOY – OH – BOY does it save us so much money and stress each year!  I always want to be sure that are gifts are thoughtful, and well received.  I want the baking to be fresh and delicious and I always want to be sure that I mail a Christmas card to each and every person that is important in our lives.  Being from a large family, we typically have between 20 – 30 gifts to buy each year, 5 – 10 Christmas parties or gatherings to attend and bring food too and very little free time during the month of December. 
This year is am SUPER OVER THE TOP REDUCILOUSLY EXCITED because it is my first Christmas as a parent!  I know that my son will only be 7 months old, but I cannot wait to start traditions, play Santa and watch him experience his first Christmas.  I have literally been dreaming of being a parent at Christmas since I was small. 
With all of this business and Holiday Cheer, it can be a task to stay on budget, on time and full of the holiday spirit.  So, here are a few tips that I find helpful in staying organized and on budget for each Christmas:
·         In everything I do to prepare for Christmas I crank the Christmas Music or pop in a Christmas DVD.  This always helps me to stay cheerful and in the spirit of the season.  Plus My husband has mead a rule that Christmas music may only be played during the month of December each year!

·         I buy all of my wrapping and cards for the next Christmas during the boxing week sales right after the current Christmas passes.  I cannot say that I have EVER paid full price for any of these items!  I have a gift / craft / wrapping room in my basement where I keep all of my pre bought gifts and wrapping organized and ready to use all year long.  It is quite possibly my favourite room in the house!

·         I start writing out my Christmas cards at the beginning of November.  This allows me the time to make each one personal and special – without feeling rushed (or cramping my hand)!

·         I start buying gifts all year long!  What better place to start buying gifts than the days after the current Christmas?  I watch for sales all year, and pick up items for people as I see them on sale.  This saves us a BUNDLE of money in the end, and allows me to spread out our shopping over a year’s worth of pay cheques.  It also means that I usually miss the Christmas rushes at the mall, as I am always sure to be DONE my shopping by the beginning of December.

·         We always buy our Christmas décor items on sale after Christmas time.  I store all of our Christmas items during the year anyways, so why pay full price?  I got our 8 foot pre lit Christmas tree for 75% off with a pre lit wreath and storage bag this way!  Because I want to have a house full of festive items at Christmas time, this is the way I can afford to do it.

·         I start baking at the beginning of December (sometimes the end of November).  Baking generally freezes really well!  So I bake an item every time I have a chance.  As long as your freeze them in separate containers, everything turns out tasting fresh and not like the other baking!

·         I start wrapping gifts as soon as they are completely purchased.  There is nothing worse than a mad dash to wrap all the gifts the night before!  I always want our gifts to look like they have been wrapped with care.  As I mentioned I am always done buying gifts by the beginning of Dec, and they are all typically wrapped at least 1 week before Christmas.

·         I start stocking up on appetizers and finger foods early.  I love the frozen boxes of gourmet this and that, but they can get expensive.  As they go on sale, I stock up.  It makes taking food to events a breeze and I don’t have to think about what to get!  It is also super handy for those surprise visitors around the Holidays!
Jheesh!  All this Christmas talk is getting me excited already and it isn’t even Thanksgiving or Halloween yet!
If you have any tips or tricks that you use to stay on budget, time and in the spirit during the holidays, please let me know!  I am always looking for a new tip or trick to make the Holidays great!
I would also love to hear any tips you have on making Baby’s First Christmas memorable! 
Have a great day, and happy 4 month countdown!
Enjoy a few Photos of Christmas's Past...

our tree and all the wrapped gifts

I love teh decorating of our house

nothing better than fresh Christmas baking!

This is my Hubby's job (with some direction from me of course!)


  1. you are a girl after my own heart! I'm already stressing that my latest trip to the states proved not to be too good for my Christmas shopping. I'm not sure what to do now! haha. ALL shopping must be done by the end of October in my house!

  2. Wow, you beat me! Wow... Any thoughts for a first christmas?