I know, I know - you really don't want to think about Christmas right now; you're still getting used to your family's new fall schedule.
Christmas is only 3 1/2 months away, months that are going to fly by! So if you want to keep from overspending during the holidays, NOW is the time to start planning. This also makes it easier to plan homemade gifts as you can make them gradually over the next 3 months, rather than all in the last two weeks before Christmas (I just might be speaking from experience when I say I don't recommend the latter!)
Things to do now:
-If you are planning on spending significantly less on Christmas this year than in previous years, now is the time to discuss that with your spouse, kids, and any extended family members and friends with whom you traditionally exchange gifts.
-Take an inventory of your gift cupboard (if you have one) and start making detailed notes about potential gifts for specific recipients. I'm going to write more about my gift cupboard later this week - it's a fantastic way to save both time and money on gift giving!
-After you've gone through your gift cupboard, start jotting down ideas for each person on your gift list that you don't already have a gift for.
-Think very carefully about the handmade gifts you plan to make this year. DO NOT be too ambitious! That means there should not be a hand-knit sweater or pair of socks for each person on your list :) Be realistic about what you can accomplish, and plan to start working on those handmade items now, if you haven't already.
-If you're a canner (or open to trying your hand at it!), take advantage of the current bounty of fruits and vegetables, and make a few batches of goodies to tuck away for gifts. Some great ones to try that are perfect for gifting:
-Take a quick inventory of your holiday supplies (gift wrap, cards, decorations, etc.) Ideally you would have stocked up on anything you needed the week after Christmas, but if you didn't do that, you can at least take advantage of pre-Christmas sales to top up your stash. Buy only what you need for this year, then plan on hitting the post holiday sales for next year's supplies!
A little time spent on these activities now means a lot more peace and relaxation (and a lot less money spent) during the holiday season.
What are you doing to start getting ready for the holidays?