Until Christmas! (collective groan.........) Seriously.....we are at less than 100 days until Christmas (and sorry my Jewish friends.....Hanukkah is UBER early this year.....the first night is the night before THANKSGIVING, leaving you just 70 days).
I haven't even put out all of my fall stuff, and I am in Christmas mode in my head. Mostly because my mother in law is coming, and that stresses me out. So in order to combat the stress, I plan. And over plan.
We currently have $603 (don't forget that $3....it could be a stocking stuffer!!) in the Christmas savings account. We save $100 bi-weekly, so we have more to come (and then we are back to saving for camp.....didn't they just finish camp????). The nice thing about having about half of it saved now is that if I find a deal, I can snag it. I am not quite at the buying point yet....still making lists.
One adjustment to the budget this year is allotting more money toward my MIL gift(s). We can't have her come to visit, hand her one box while the rest of us have several things to open. So I put a little more in her line item, and with some careful shopping, I should be able to get 4-5 things. Everything is "small" so she should be able to take it all home with her. Worst case....we package it up and mail it.
Of course, buying for someone who doesn't want or need anything is hard. She is at a point in her life that if she wants something....she just buys it. She doesn't need anymore "stuff" in her house (my MIL's house is FULL of STUFF. My BIL jokes that upon her death, it will be easier to push the house over the cliff into the river than go through it).
The kids....why are they SO HARD to shop for???? They are 11, we should have oodles of ideas. But with a daughter who really isn't in alot of "mainstream" tween stuff (we have gotten her all the things that kids her age love....and they just sit)....and a son who is very specific in his likes.....it is rough. We have one idea for Bossy.....woo hoo.
Food will be a little higher, as I would like to do a little "nicer" dinner since MIL will be here. I am trying to pick up a few smaller things here and there that can last. The biggest expense that is a-typical for us is alcohol. We are not big drinkers. My MIL likes her cocktail.
Shipping costs should be low since MIL will be here. There is only one other gift I ship, and I may just do gift cards (even though I don't like them.....the recipients do). I am debating on cards. I like sending them. But each year we get fewer and fewer. And I am doubtful anyone really cares. I might pick up a pack to send to a few people.....stick a picture of the kids in there....and call it a day. We send about 50 (and I usually don't spend that much on the cards themselves)....but postage. YIKES.
I picked up wrapping paper on clearance last year, and "hope" it is enough. I really hate spending alot of money on this....even though I LOVE the act of wrapping the gift and making the bows.
Decor is always my downfall. I know there are a few outdoor things that have worn out, but they are cheap to replace. I have a line item for decor....and I know I will use at least part of it. That is just how it goes. But maybe I won't use it all.
Stockings....I always spend more on stockings than I think they are worth. Gotta work on that.
SO.....anyone else thinking about any of this....or am I alone in the abyss????