You have 100 days to get ready

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Today marks 100 days until Christmas.

I enjoyed Christmas before I had kids, but when I had an army attacking the Christmas tree in the early hours of Christmas morning, I knew the real joy of the holidays.  The key to staying sane through the season is to get organized.  I have a friend who once said “All the holidays are a week apart now – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.”  He was joking, but as my kids have grown, I’ve found it to be frighteningly true.

So as much as you may be sweltering in the heat, or if your porch is still decorated for July 4th, you will be a happier, saner person if you at least start doing a little thinking about the holidays now.

Budget.  Especially with multiples, we can go overboard on the gift and clothing purchases.  Now is the time to put away a little extra or decide to brown-bag lunches.

Set up a calendar.  School concerts, trick-or-treating, parties; there are a lot of events coming up for the family.  Sketch them out now so you can find the time you need.  Want pictures with Santa?  Schedule a good weekend – then think about if you want new outfits for that picture.  Pencil in that shopping trip too.  I find I have to work backwards like this a lot.  There are fewer and fewer “free” weekends for us as the years go on.

Buy costumes early.  Sure, it seems like there are a million of them in the store now, but when you want that Thomas the Tank engine the week of Halloween, there is no guarantee you’ll find it.  I also felt I got my money’s worth if the kids played with their costumes before the big day.  Does your child want something unusual?  Try eBay.  One year my daughter just *had* to be Simba.  The costume wasn’t made by Disney any more, but I found it on eBay for $2.

Create traditions.  I think this is one of the most important things we can do for our children.  They don’t all have to be deep and meaningful, they can be silly as well.  Repeating things the same way during the season gives kids a wonderful sense of anticipation and nostalgia for home.

Set up wish lists for your kids.  I’ll admit I’m not always good at this, although the kids are old enough to do this themselves now.  If you have relatives like mine, some of them shop very early and will ask you what to get for the kids.  Have sizes and preferences ready.  People appreciate some guidance.

The holidays should be relaxed and joyful, without debt despair in January.  You can do it.

We’re getting ready for Fall by testing candy over at Lit and Laundry today.

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10 thoughts on “You have 100 days to get ready”

  1. Ohhh we are already on top of the Halloween Costumes. The boys picked theirs out last week. It was their treat for being great at their first dental appt.
    What will they be: Storm Troopers from Star Wars. One is a Storm Trooper with blue trimming and one with yellow trimming. How cool is it that they made it w/different color trimming. I’m so not SW savvy. I’m sure they were different characters or something.

  2. Oh dear! I’d better start thinking about whether or not I’m going to make people things for Christmas…. Might be that all women relatives get one of the aprons I made! :-)

    I’m ordering Halloween costumes from Old Navy today… I could wait until the twin club sale in a couple of weeks, but oh well.

  3. Oh man scary post. Not only is Christmas tough on it’s own financially but it is also my due date and my in laws are flying in from NJ that day too! I just keep seeing reminders everywhere that the clock is really ticking down I guess I should get some shopping done soon (presents and for the arrival of my boys).

  4. Ooh, THAT’s a bit stressful!!

    My mom and I have a weekend shopping trip to NYC planned. Can I tell you how much I’m looking forward to it? Daddy will have the twins for the weekend while I shop, sleep and eat room service. Ooh, the luxury!

  5. I am not excited about Christmas. Not sure why, but the extra *work* involved just scares me to death. I can barely handle my regular day to day duties: I work hard at the office, I work hard at home. No breaks really exist. I don’t want to add any more work or any to-do list. And the budget? Excuse me, things are so expensive now, I cannot imagine spending more than we already do. I will try to make a nice Christmas for my six year old (cookies, gingerbread house, presents for him), but thats about it. The babies will get a few presents but we are not going overboard. I don’t even WANT presents for myself, I am on stuff overload! I think I’m just Bah Humbug today on the commmercial aspects of the ” holiday season” . I plan to tune out of that commerical noise as much as I possibly can.

  6. Oooh! 100 days?!!?! So exciting. I love shopping and love Christmas. Now that I no longer WOTH, I feel like it’s more of a challenge or a game to shop for everyone. My sister and her husband and us even agreed to a $25 limit this year on gifts–$25 to spend?? On an adult?? Now THAT’s a fun challenge. It’s easy to spend lots of money. Not to easy to reduce the budget and still come up with meaningful gifts. I can’t wait.

    And the kids? Oh yeah, the kids. Well seeing as how my 4yo is thrilled with Silly Putty and the babies ADORE an empty bottle of water, I think I can get away with spending about $13.67 on their gifts and be done. Just kidding. I have my self-respect, you know. I’ll probably blow $50 on the older kid and $50 on the twins combined. The only important thing is for the 4yo to think that Santa came–the gifts I buy have only that goal in mind.

    Yay yay, Christmas. The high was ~99 degrees today, but I’m thrilled to be thinking about Christmas!! Woot woot!!

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