Saturday, December 3, 2016

A stress free Christmas


I am intent on having a stress free Christmas.

Decorations: pared down when we moved. Last year, I invested in an artificial tree, at about the same cost as a real one would cost me annually. For every year I use it, starting this year, a tree is a freebie. Ditto my Christmas wreath, advent wreath (with reuse candles). We continue to use the tree and what few home decorations I have, no new purchases in this area.

Gifts: list was pared down as well, I continue to live on projected retirement earnings. I continue to budget monthly for Christmas, so I continue to have the funds earmarked and available, once needed. Annually, I set my timeline for purchasing gifts for before Thanksgiving. I was a bit later this year, but am glad to report that my shopping is DONE as of yesterday.  Daily, I see an uptick in rude customers, hurried, disrespectful drivers on the roads. I choose to stay away from that nightmare.

Celebration foods: this year, at DD's suggestion, we are replacing our  usual Christmas ham with the freebie, 21 lb turkey that I "earned" at Shoprite. Typical sides will accompany. Christmas Eve will continue to include my traditional meat pies, cold shrimp platter, cheese and crackers, a relish tray. Dessert will be homemade, holiday cookies. Still, there are additional costs for the aforememtioned items, holiday baking, treats such as egg nog. This is included in my Christmas budget, line item on my monthly budget. Looks like I won't spend as much as usual, due to free meat, staples bought on sale plue coupon or Aldi's.

So where do I stand besides having completed the shopping:

-wreath on door
-Advent wreath with candles on dining table
-"holiday" scented candles out
-Christmas music playing
-Christmas tree up and decorated (except for Angel topper, her lights aren't working so I have to see what's going on with that)
-holiday cookie recipes selected

To do over the next few days;
-fix the Angel's lights
-put up the lighted roping on the mantle piece
-put up the roping on the front railing and decorate with on hand supplies

In the next few weeks:
-wrap gifts, fill stockings
-mail out Mom's gifts
-bake cookies in batches, freeze until needed

Just prior to Christmas:
-assemble cookie tins for gifting

I truely want this to be a peaceful holiday season.


Florence said...

Great plans for a happy Christmas!!

Anne in the kitchen said...

I am super impressed!

NAN said...

That's great! I have been baking and freezing some cookies and fudge and have my cards ready to mail out. I just send to a few elderly relatives who might not be here next Christmas boohoo. I still have a few gift cards to buy- I like to give my clients without families one and some goodies. They have fun shopping at WalMart/Michael's and one fellow actually requested one from Publix. I budget for the gift cards and honestly, I'd feel terrible if I wasn't able to buy them. Have you ever made egg nog? We love it and this year I am attempting to make some- maybe the cooked kind and uncooked with pasteurized eggs. It's $4 a half gallon around here.

Rachel said...

I am impressed with your planning!

meme said...

Sounds like a beautiful Christmas. I am done shopping - I finished last night with a last gift for my daughter. I have 90% of gifts wrapped and hidden away - We put everything under the tree Christmas Eve after grandchildren have gone to bed. My daughter and I are going to make Christmas cookies with my grandchildren, make "reindeer" feed (oatmeal and glitter), cookies for Santa, and since my granddaughter no longer believes in Santa, and grandson is terrified of him - we are skipping the expensive Mall Santa pictures this year - instead putting the kids in their Christmas Pajamas in front of our tree for the Christmas picture this year - I got free photo paper with ink cartridges that we can size, trim for free Christmas cards to mail this year.

My husband saw his radiation oncologist on Friday...he is having his CT scan on Monday morning, then appointments will be made for the "tattoo's" for radiation to his neck, surgery date set for feeding tube and for "radiation mask" to be made for him. Oncologist said everything should be in place before Christmas, including first radiation treatments and weekly chemo. We are not sure how he will feel - this will greatly impact what is cooked for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It would normally be a Pork Pie for Christmas Eve (we are French) and a ham for Christmas Day - but some food smells make him very ill now from the chemo effects.

All in all it will be a peaceful Christmas here too - with the usual low cost activities that make the best memories.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

You're doing very well. I feel a little better organized than usual, but still have 5 or 6 gifts to get, although I do know what I'm looking for at least. A couple will be gift cards, I think.

I have yet to start wrapping and thought this week would be a good time to do that. Then the cookies can be done at the last minute, since there is little freezer space for them.

I like stress free and organized--I've spent too many Christmas eves tired and exhausted. Better it gets done ahead of time.

meme said...

I forgot that I do tip the mail person (he is very nice to my daycare children - pulling the mail back out of the slot when they run to get it - sticking his fingers thru the mail slot - they think he is hilarious!) I tip him 20 dollars in a card each year. I also tip my newspaper delivery person - she is very nice to my daycare children also - shows them all her newspapers - talks to them about delivery - they love that - so I tip her 20 dollars each year in a card too. I can do those the week of Christmas - I just get 99 cent cards from CVS.