Tuesday, September 17, 2013

98 days!

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????


  1. You are not alone. I have been in thinking mode as well...probably because in a couple weeks is Jacob's birthday, then in Nov. is Rebecca's birthday, then Christmas. So I am getting geared up for our busy months and if I don't plan it will totally wreck our budget (which I have done already so am imposing a no spend for the next 2 weeks).... Not really into the decorating plans yet, but that will come.

  2. My mom has done a really cute idea for tweens/teens you might like. She has given my girls a cute wallet or purse and filled it with gift cards from multiple places. LIttle ones to "treat" locations like Starbucks or PinkBerry, bigger ones to stores like Tillys, etc. You can spend any amount in your budget and the kids have a gift to open plus some autonomy to enjoy some shopping.

  3. You are not alone, but it is just us, so very low key this year. We are cutting way back! As for tween girls, they are always interested in something. For my daughter - it is music and archery. You better believe she is getting a set for Christmas. Then just clothes - what girl doesn't LOVE clothes.

  4. I've made my shopping list. I list everyone and then put how much we can spend on each person. So far I've picked up mostly stocking stuffers and a couple little gifts that I have found on clearance.

    I hate giving gift cards too. I like to be able to see people open their gifts. I try really hard to search for just the right gift for each person. But if I'm mailing it, gift cards it is.

  5. Nutcracker, did someone say Nutcracker?

  6. I'm already stressing out about Christmas. We saved all year for the glut of weddings we had this summer/fall and there is not going to be much leftover for Christmas gifts... Last year DH & I skimped on gifts for each other - but I don't want to do that again this year.

    At least you guys have a decent chunk of money already saved!

  7. I haven't thought about it at all, other than to think about buying plane ticket, as soon as I have the dates nailed down. That said, looks like our flight will be our entire Christmas budget, almost to the dollar. So, I'll have to finagle some money from another category

  8. You are way ahead of me! Christmas is barely on my radar at this point ...

  9. I have to get through Thanksgiving first! We are having oodles of company as my daughter, son-in-law and GRANDSON will be coming for his baptism. In one long weekend we are having Thanksgiving, a baby shower, and a baptism! LOTS to plan for. I've decided to think about Christmas on December 1st! :)!

  10. Not even given it a thought - but my DH did. Even bought DD the present.....and then gave it to her as soon as it was delivered - LOL.

  11. Go you! Seems like you have it under control :-)

  12. Freaking out in 3,2,1...haven't started organising yet but after seeing the 98 days...I'm onto it ;)