Getting Ready for the Holidays
Posted by RycePapers | Filed under RycePapers
This week I did two things to get ready for Christmas. I know, it is not even Halloween yet, but if Costco is ready for Christmas, then I better get moving. My first act was to take everything out of the Gift Cupboard. Do you earmark a cupboard, or drawer, or shelf where you keep things you believe you’d like to give people as gifts?
Well, I took out every item and surveyed 61 gifts and listed them in Evernote on my iPad. Now I get it: it sounds like I keep the gift-mother-lode right inside my home. I started to put names with the gifts in order to avoid that ‘in store’ moment of panic when I can’t remember if I got something for someone. These are not large gifts, no diamond jewelry or real estate, but small tokens I found along the way, to let someone know I was thinking about them and thought they might like what I found. And there are several hand lotions and candles to say thank you for an invitation to a party or dinner.
I come from a small family and all of my rellies live in the U.S. during the winter. Think items that can fit into an envelope like lottery tickets, money and gift cards for this bunch. The items in the gift cupboard are for friends and neighbours. You may be asking yourself: does she have 61 friends and neighbours? Unlike some people on facebook, I do not have that many friends, nor buy gifts for them. In planning for my holiday giving, I see I possess plenty of ‘in-stock items’ and can relax about finding the cash needed for holiday buying.
Also, the friends who are my age keep saying the same thing: I don’t need anything and I sure don’t want to dust it. My favourite gifts are consumables such as wine, hand cream, food, books, and wine (oh, ya, I already said that). Since these are my favourite to get, they tend to be my favourite gifts to give. I live near a couple who make maple syrup and that is a present many folks have enjoyed receiving from me. This inventory-taking exercise now allows me to remain calm as retailers ramp up the volume and count down the days left to shop. I highly recommend it for peace of mind.
Secondly, after reading Kara’s blog about going to the thrift store for a gift for her kids, I decided since there were 12 weeks until the end of the year, I would take 4 items a week to the thrift store. 4 times 12 made 48, so I rounded the number up to 50 and got to work finding stuff.
To date the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Humane Society and a tiny thrift store near my vet clinic received items to put out for thrifty shoppers. Vases, plates, bowls, books, CDs, 2 packages of unopened holiday napkins, trays, ornaments and a teapot all moved to a new location. I’m already at 37 fewer items in my home, and I may even surpass my 50 item goal. Whoo Whoo.
Just so you know, there isn’t a soul on earth who would now think my home was ‘stripped down’ or ‘minimalist’. I just took a glance at my library and counted over 500 books. I need to either start reading faster, or cull the herd. I put two trays in the bag for the thrift store and that still leaves me with seven others. Exactly who do I think will carry these trays around my home? The Butler?
My holiday preparation tip? Take inventory, make a list, check it twice, and pass along items other people could sorely use, especially at this time of year.
That is what’s on my mind today, what do you think?