Just a few hints for Christmas prep. I have got most of my gifts already because they raise the prices of everything around Christmas, so I buy things throughout the year. I can't go shopping so I buy online or send a delivery service to pick up some things, and its still cheaper with the price of the delivery if the item is on sale enough.
I have to start wrapping gifts in October. I just can't sit and wrap for more than 5 minutes at a time so I start early. I also read a book called "Unplug the Christmas machine" which changed my life and showed me how easy and simple and happy and unrushed and unstressed Christmas can be, that if I cut out the things that don't bring me joy, the things that overwhelm me, or find another way to deal with them or delegate them out. Wow, what high expectations I was forcing myself to live up to each year, and ending up in the hospital every year too. I "had" to do the baking for neighbors and the cards and decorating and make the Christmas day meal and MAKE most of my gifts, and go to parties and the list was endless. I finally learned that the way to an easy, easy work, stress free Christmas is to start early and demand less from myself. My family became much happier at Christmas because I was not so grouchy and weepy and overwhelmed from all of it. I know its early to start talking about Christmas, but I hoped to help some others this year by mentioning the book. Our Thanksgiving is Oct. 10 in Canada, or somewhere around there. The Christmas catalog came out before the kids even went back to school. Years ago it started coming out earlier and earlier and I kidded that soon it would come out in July, AND IT DID!!! This is a sign of a recession, that the prices have gone up much faster than the paychecks, so we have to use more paychecks to prepare for Christmas. Also we got our first snow this week (only lasted one day) but made me start thinking of Christmas preparations. In our case, it is very hard to even want to decorate or have Christmas now that Dad is dying (may be gone by then) . Well,make Christmas easier for yourselves this year and enjoy it more.