I don't know why people even bother trying to keep the Christmas season at bay until after Thanksgiving. Even if department stores didn't put up their greenery and start playing festive tunes, chances are you'd be thinking about holiday gift giving in advance anyways.
This year, my family smartly decided to switch over to a pollyanna gift giving format because we're getting too big to buy everyone an individual gift. (My immediate family is now comprised of 8 adults, 7 children & 2 dogs). We drew names over the summer while we were all down at the beach and set a monetary limit of $35-$40 with a "no gift card" rule. Because that's cheating.
As early as August, I create an "idea list" of what I'm thinking of getting my gift recipients, and the list slowly evolves over the next few months. By now, it's pretty much set and I've either bought some of the items and/or have picked up the supplies necessary to make them.
|This year, I'm keeping my Christmas list on my new favorite app - Cozi.|
I like to do a mix of handmade and store-bought, depending on the person. Let's face it, giving all handmade gifts can come across as cheap (even if they weren't cheap to make) and sometimes, what you plan on making isn't as cool as you thought it was going to be, so it's good to have something else in the box to back it up. Unless you're some world class knitter who consistently bangs out trendy scarves year after year, it's probably best to not rely 100% on your crafting skills. At least, I would never completely rely on mine...
Once November rolls around, I start feeling the holiday pressure. And additional pressure this year, literally, because there is a baby's head pressing on my internal organs. Stores jumping the gun on Christmas may add to this pressure, but in some weird way, I'm thankful for that because I'd be kicking myself if I waited until the beginning of December to start thinking about the holidays.
In addition to finalizing my gift list and starting to cross things off of it, I always think about how I'm going to wrap everything. Last year I posted about how I dislike "traditional wrapping paper." You know, the kind with cartoon santas and reindeer on it? Not a fan. If you give me a gift wrapped in paper like that, I'm not going to judge you or think it's lame, because clearly that wrapping paper spoke to you. The way we wrap gifts reflects our style, whatever it may be.
Those who received gifts from us last Christmas may recall this wrapping paper in black and red. Spoiler alert! I'm going with solid colored wrapping paper again this year. I'm picking up a large roll of brown butcher paper, plain brown gift bags, colorful bakers twine and printing my own gift tags on cardstock. Free printable gift tags are available all over the internet. Like here & here. I love the simplicity and rustic look. Plus, you can wrap presents in this stuff any time of the year!
So don't get angry at Macy's for playing "Santa Baby" the day before Halloween. Take it as a hint and start prepping early so you can actually enjoy the month of December.