Who thinks about the holidays in March? Have I finally lost my marbles?
I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so, unless perhaps you participated in last year’s “All Done By December One” holiday initiative. Happy Simple Living sponsored our group effort to simplify and get organized earlier so we could actually enjoy the holiday season. Read what one participant had to say:
“All Done By December One was AMAZING in my life! Thank you so much for posting it. I did not get everything done but I scaled down a LOT of unnecessary things, and I am so happy and having so much fun this year for the first time in a long, long time! Thank you! I have most of my shopping done, and everything that is bought is wrapped and ready to go. Skipped Christmas cards and only put up minimal decor. VERY liberating!” ~ Christina
I realize it might sound kinda nuts to some folks, but if we take some little baby steps in the coming months to get a jump on things, the 2013 holiday season might be even sweeter. Along with scaling back and simplifying, here are some ideas:
1. Start a gift list, and write down any suggestions or ideas that arise during the year. For instance, if you’re browsing in a store and your sister admires something, make a note or even snap a quick photo of the item.
2. Make or buy a few gifts in the coming months, and tuck them away. Does your library host an annual used book sale like ours does? This can be a great place to snag some gifts for the book-lovers in your life.
4. Accumulate free gift cards. Last year I discovered Swagbucks, a search site with free rewards for gift cards and other goodies like PayPal credit. You can also earn bucks by watching videos (handy if you’re stuck on hold), filling out surveys and referring others. I try to remember to use Swagbucks as my primary search engine, and it’s already netted us several free Amazon gift cards.
6. Tuck away a little money. The $5 Bill Savings Plan is an easy, painless way to save for the holidays.
7. Watch for opportunities to take a fun family photo for the Christmas card. While you’re at it, jot down memories for the Christmas letter.
How about you? Do you start knitting sweaters and buying a few gifts long before the holidays, or do you prefer to wait until it’s closer to the season? Perhaps you’re thinking about skipping the trappings altogether. (Read about the McDonalds’ real simple Christmas here.) Whichever camp you’re in, we’d all love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Fa la la la la la la la la,
P.S. Have you entered to win a free copy of the book The Ultimate Guide to Permaculture yet? The drawing is open until midnight MST on Tuesday, March 12.