Christmas 2013 Countdown

Please Follow Deliciously Inspired on Bloglovin

I know just a few days ago we welcomed June 21st – The First Day of Summer so what’s up with talking about Christmas?  Looking at the calendar today – we are six months away from Christmas 2013.   

Christmas 2012 - Caden with words

I believe with just a few good ideas and a little planning, Christmas can be more about what it was intended for – the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the wonder of it all.  So here are a few ideas I want to share with you that I try to apply to my own life.

1.  Start saving now..

Set up a separate account earmarked for your Christmas spending and have an amount automatically deposited each month.  It doesn’t have to be a lot but get in the habit of saving something for this holiday on a regular basis because it comes every year.  The amount saved by December may not cover all the costs of the holiday but I can tell you that I have been very thankful when it comes time to pay the gift bills and I have this amount set aside to turn to.

Buy a cute bank and start placing your spare change into it (and who knows maybe an occasional bill or two).  A lot of coins adds up to dollars that can help offset the cost of the season.

Set your budget before you begin shopping and give yourself the gift of not paying for Christmas into the next year.  

2.  For those that like to create something handmade…

Online magazines, blogs, Pinterest , regular magazines, craft books – oh my.  We are not lacking ideas but sometimes too many ideas can become burdensome.  So do your browsing – find one or two homemade ideas that will work for several people and assemble your own Santa’s Workshop this summer.   The holidays start the end of October just about the time all the holiday ideas become visible.  In reality this is also the time life starts to pick up speed and is not usually the best time to start crafting for the holidays.

Think about choosing another holiday – Valentine’s Day or Easter – and choose something to make that will enhance a future holiday.  It may not be that exciting to get a heart or a bunny at Christmas but it will be welcomed once that holiday occurs.

If you want to give a food item, dedicate a day or two several weeks before you will give the gift and create and freeze so you can have the fun of wrapping and tagging the already prepared item.

Here are a few ideas:

Snowman Tags –

Snowmen Button Tags

Quinoa Granola (Fill a mason jar and tie a ribbon around lid) –

Qunioa Granola

Easter Egg Plant Sticks (they look so cute tucked into an existing flower arrangement)-

Easter Egg Plant Sticks

Chocolate Scotch Cookies – This recipe can be formed into logs and frozen – then baked when you are ready. 

Chocolate Scotch Cookies 

3.  Keep your eyes open for sales during the summer….

Remember your budget and make sure you love the item for the person you have in mind and then stick to it.  Funny how we get bit by the shopping bug once the store decorations go up (when is that Labor Day now?)  Try not to go to the mall until you have a specific list of what you need to buy.  The more times out to the stores or browsing online allows for opportunities to impulse buy and usually take us over our budgets.

It is important to have a designated spot to collect the treasures we buy or make ahead of time.  It is hard to wrap something we prepped ahead of time because we can’t find it.

4.  Do you need to ship gifts?

Look at your calendar and decide what date you want to have your boxes ready to go.  Place a mark on your Christmas List next to the people you ship to.  Now you have people and a date to work with on having gifts bought and wrapped to make your deadline.

I’d love to hear how you prepare for your holiday shopping and gift giving ideas.