Thursday, December 11, 2014

Your Two Weeks 'Til Christmas Checklist


Can you believe it?  There's just two short weeks until the kids will be opening up gifts, a feast will be prepared and eaten, and parents all across around the world will start thinking of the debt that they're now in due to the mess of toys and gifts strewn around the house.

Yep, there's just two weeks to go, and I figured I'd write up a little checklist of stuff that should probably be done if not close to being done by now in order for Christmas to go smoothly.

1.  Should be just about done with gift shopping.

If you're anything like me, you HATE battling crowds of people in order to do some Christmas shopping.  Well, if you haven't bought all of your gifts yet, then you're in for some crowd battles.  The closer it gets to Christmas, the more droves of people go on the hunt for the last minute bargains and forgotten items.  Stores become arenas of high stakes battle-royales.  The Christmas cheer mode seems to dwindle as people will push, grab, and think nothing of ramming you with their cart if you get in their way.  If you want to bypass the "close to Christmas crabbies" I suggest having the majority, if not all, of your Christmas shopping done by today.

2.  Make sure you have plenty of wrapping paper.

There's nothing worse that waiting until the last minute to wrap some gifts, only to find out that you don't have enough wrapping paper to get the job done.  Then, you have to venture out to the stores... and I'll refer you back to #1 for that scenario.  The best time to stockpile on wrapping paper is after Christmas, but if you didn't manage to pick some up during last year's sale, make sure you have a few extra rolls than you think you'll need... just in case.  Also, when selecting your wrapping paper, make sure you pay attention to square footage.  Stores love to try and trick buyers with the bundle packages of wrapping paper.  You can get one roll for $3 or three rolls for $5.  Well, the three roll pack sounds better, but sometimes there's just as many square feet of wrapping paper on the one roll as there are on the combined total of the three pack.  Also, make sure you plan ahead for bulky items that will require more wrapping paper.  It's no fun realizing you only have bits and pieces of wrapping paper left, and none of them are big enough to wrap that gigantic gift.  It doesn't hurt to measure the biggest box you'll be wrapping before you go out and buy your wrapping paper.  

3.  Don't forget the gift bags AND tissue paper.

I personally think that some manufacturers get a kick out of how they box up their items.  I'm pretty sure there's a competition at these companies for who can come up with the most awkward shaped packaging for something that would fit quite nicely in to a square box.  I can see it now, the head packaging designer sitting at his desk, drawing up some sketches, and chuckling as he says under his breath "no one will ever be able to wrap this easily" with a "mwuahahaha" evil laugh.  Thank goodness for gift bags, right?  While my kids would much rather unwrap their gifts than pull them out of a gift bag, there are just some things I refuse to try and wrestle with in order for to be wrapped.  Having some gift bags and tissue paper around does the job, nicely, and I can limit my wrapping fights.  But, make sure you have a variety of sizes in your gift bag collection.  Also, just another bonus, but use little sticky labels for tags instead of using the actual tags, so that the bags can be kept and reused.  There's nothing wrong with recycling some gift bags.  And don't forget the tissue paper!  Some stores sell some great gift bag assortment packs, but they leave out the tissue paper.  It's something that can easily be forgotten about until it's too late... so pick up a few packages.

4.  Also don't forget the tape and gift tags. 

I don't know how many times I've put a Christmas movie on, fixed a nice cup of hot chocolate, dragged all the wrapping paper out, pulled in all the Christmas gifts, and sat down to wrap only to find out there's no stinking tape.  That's one of THE most frustrating Christmas situations I can think of.  So, always make sure that you stockpile tape and gift tags.  Nobody wants to run out a few days before Christmas to hunt for tape.  Those tape dispensers can be quite dangerous when you're being jostled and pushed around by the crazy, wait until the last minute, Christmas shoppers.  

5.  Don't let the Christmas time get away from you.

Around this time, about two weeks before Christmas, I start to think about all the fun Christmassy stuff I'd planned on doing the first week of December that I never got to.  Don't let the Christmas time pass you by without enjoying it.  This time of year is always a busy time, but it's important to make some time for some fun family Christmas activities.  Sit down and watch a Christmas movie while drinking hot chocolate.  Sing Christmas songs in the car with the kids.  Go see a nativity.  Take a drive around the neighborhood and look at all of the pretty lights.  Go to the Christmas parades.  Trust me, the closer we get to Christmas, the less you'll think about this type of stuff so DO IT NOW!  You'll find the time to do all of the other stuff, but there's nothing worse than getting to Christmas Day and realizing that you really didn't do much celebrating of Christmas because you were too busy getting ready for Christmas Day.  

And that about does it for the two week warning.  I'll have another one for you a week before Christmas.  I really need to think about these tips, myself, because I still have some gifts go buy, I haven't checked my wrapping paper inventory, and I know we don't have tape.  Looks as though I'm in for some fun times this weekend as I go out and take care of the last few items.  

Until then, though, I'm just going to enjoy the Christmas countdown.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!


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