Game Plan: Christmas

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No, it isn’t beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It is barely Fall, but Christmas is right around the corner. You could just buy that sign from Etsy and be done with it. For those of you that love all the holiday spirit, it is a good time to start planning a bit. Here is a quick list to help decide a few things that will make your life easier.

1. Do you have older kids? Start asking them what they want and planning your budget. If a large gift is on their list consider asking other family members to all go in together to purchase it or lower your child’s expectations.

2. Think about what traditions you like doing every year. No point waiting until the last moment to buy play tickets if they are on sale now. And, if no one enjoys going to the neighborhood party, then scratch it off your list.

3. Think about your Christmas cards. Do you have a photo yet? Should you schedule a session with a photographer? How many cards do you need? I love sending and receiving holiday cards, but do I have the money to send them this year? If you are ready-to-go, you can take advantage of quick deals like this one last year from Cardstore.com. In November they ran specials where you could select most any photo card for $.19 including them mailing it for you. Yes, for less than the stamp they created and mailed out your beautiful photo card.

4. Pick dates for parties now. Decide if you even want to throw a party, and email out save the dates to the people that need to be there.

5. BUDGET. I saw that Kmart or Wal-Mart is already advertising their layaway. It is a better idea to put in on layaway now instead of paying for it in January and February on your credit cards.

6. Find that thing you struggle with every year. For one of my friends it is matching Christmas PJs. We found some cheap online this year because normally she is over-paying at the last minute on ebay. For others it might be an ornament or other annual gift. Get going on your photo books and handmade items. They are precious and sweet, but they don’t have to drive you nuts at the last minute.

That’s all for now. What are you thinking about for Christmas?

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