Start Your Holidays : Holiday Organization, Part 1

This is part of a Holiday series for Starbucks and their StarbucksÆ Christmas Blend coffee!

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and while this time of the year is full of family, friends, and time together, it can also be a bit stressful.†

Wouldn’t it be nice if there wasn’t a single ounce of stress around the holidays? Planning ahead, which is something I’m still learning to do, always pays off in the end. And this year, I’m cracking down on the gift list early. I tend to just go shopping with no direction or ideas in mind and just “see what comes to me”. That has resulted in many gift cards and frustrations that I didn’t put more thought into gift buying.

I’m a sucker for a cute printable or organizing app for my phone, so I found a few tools that will help me, and maybe you, be more organized this holiday season.†

First, take time to sit down and think about your gift buying list when you are in the mood. Maybe light a Christmas candle, or start to pull out some of your gift wrapping supplies.†

My favorite two printables that I came across online can be found here, and here. One is a little more detailed than the other, but each will help you organize your gift ideas, and you can keep track of what you purchased and how much it cost.†

A useful app, for those of you who prefer the digital organizational tools, is The Christmas List app. You can set a password so no one can sneak in and see what’s on your list!†

It also allows you to upload a photo of the family member or friend, and list ideas, prices, and when you do actually buy an item, you can record that too.†

I will use this app for recording what I actually buy, and refer to the paper lists for ideas beforehand.†

Although organizing your gift list will help you prepared for the holidays a bit, it’s still hard to come up with ideas!†

For the women in your life, search their Pinterest boards. If they aren’t on Pinterest, make them get on! Beyond that, think through their daily routine and see if anything comes to you. Are they a stay at home mom? A working professional? In college? In grad school? Try to think of things that you appreciated in those chapters of your lives, and see if a gift idea comes to you that way.†

For the men, think about the things they care about. Games and Movies? Tools? Gadgets? Then head to Best Buy, Home Depot, or Bridgestone.†

And when all else fails, and you can’t come up with a single idea, hair products are always a delight to receive.†

Would you like to win a $50.00 Starbucks gift card? To be entered for a chance to win, answer this question in the comments below:†How are you preparing for the holiday season?

Please leave your e-mail address written like this ” kate (at) gmail (dot) com” in your comment.


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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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  1. Shana says

    I’ve started decorating and I just made my big Christmas spreadsheet yesterday with different columns for budget, amount already spent, ideas, etc. It helps me stay on track!

    email adddress: slw2r (at) virginia (dot) edu

  2. says

    I’ve started buying gifts, listening to Christmas music, and putting up Christmas decorations 😉

    email address: staceymthomas86(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. says

    I am a planner and always am trying to think of what others want/need. So, I find that reading blogs (especially those that are connected to small businesses) allows my creativity to be sparked but also support a local business. I try to find gifts that mean something to both the receiver, the giver and the creator.

    emily (dot) baker927 (at) gmail (dot) com.

  4. Jaime Robins says

    I have also started Decorating my apartment, and will get my Xmas tree Saturday!! I have a list written down of all the people I need to buy gifts for and what I’m am getting them, and then it gets checked off if I got the item. I LOVE these free printable though much more organized! Jaimerobins(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. says

    I use spread sheets. Keep a tally as I go and how much I have left to spend. I’m going to check out the app. I like being able to have something with me when I shop.

  6. says

    Thanks for the idea for the Christmas List App! I’m from Canada so I can’t participate in the giveaway but I’m making the holidays less stressful this year by creating a slideshow DVD for my nieces instead of making a scrapbook for them (SO much work and I was always working on it right up until Christmas Eve). I also started my shopping earlier this year and am going to start my baking soon.

  7. says

    maralwallace (at) yahoo (dot) com

    I made a printable calendar for the month of December and a list of things I want to do, decorate the house, make cut out cookies, wrap gifts, etc and wrote an item on each day the calendar. It’s kinda a holiday bucket list that helps me keep sight of my goals, too! Thanks, Kate!

  8. Kris says

    I prepare by making lots of lists. List for gift shopping and menu planning. Right now I’m tackling the gift shopping. I like the apps idea, I’m more old fashioned pen and paper girl, but the app idea sounds great.

  9. Anonymous says

    I prepared by getting all of my shopping done early! Presents are done, meals for parties are planned, and I am not stresseda t all.

    ashleys217 (at) comcast (dot) net

  10. Sarah says

    I’ve been preparing for Christmas by being a good listener!
    I love to clue into items family/friends randomly talk about, jot them down and then surprise them with something they really want at christmas!

    somcauley (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. says

    Loving this blog! Thanks! xoxo

    My way of getting prepped this season is by first making a list by names:

    Joe Smith
    Jane Smith

    Then I group by personalities and interests!

    Joe Smith- cooking, health, running, likes ESPN

    Jane Smith- shopping, cooking, preppy style, J.Crew

    THEN I group with budget

    ($30) Joe Smith- cooking, health, running, likes ESPN

    ($40) Jane Smith- shopping, cooking, preppy style, J.Crew

    From there, I can either get general ideas, or list specifics items that I know the individuals want!

    Merry Christmas, bloggers!

    smmanley01 (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. Sarah says

    I am so happy to say that I only have 1 person left on my Christmas list! I have a few little things I need to get but I already know what they will be.


  13. says

    Fordhamheather (at) gmail (dot) com

    I prepare for Christmas by snuggling up with my iPad and some coffee and just think, write, research, and plan. I try to find a good deal whenever I can! I will definitely be trying this app!!

    LOVE your blog, Kate :) Oh, and btw, you were my favorite speaker at the Becoming Conference :)

  14. Jenn Fagan says

    I always prepare by keeping a list in my purse of who I need to purchase for and what I have gotten them – I start shopping in the beginning of the year so its never a huge rush around the holidays.

    jfagan (at) bism (dot)org

  15. Mary Babicki says

    I make lists for gift giving and christmas card sending. I bake a bunch of cookies and I sync my Christmas music on my iPod and listen to it nonstop. And then I pop Christmas Vacation in the DVR and I’m all set! 😉

    mbabicki1 (at) nc (dot) rr (dot) com

  16. says

    I am prepping for Christmas by decorating my house and by shopping for gifts for family and friends. I like your organizational ideas. I am still more low-tech, and I use a notebook to keep track of budgets, lists, gift ideas, and all of that. It really is helpful to have things recorded somewhere.

  17. says

    I also make a Calendar of everything I need to do for Christmas a long with the gifts for everyone on my list.

    Planning ahead really pays off. I’m already finished with my Christmas shopping except for stocking stuffers! I’m not a fan of crowded stores, so I did the majority of my shopping online and used sites like to help. I will actually get an additional $100 back from my purchases, on top of all of the great deals I found!


  18. says

    I usually have grand plans for making lists ahead of time, which like you, I am learning the value of and the need to follow through on. This year is the year; my lists are written and ready to go!


  19. Amanda says

    I have started my Christmas shopping a little earlier this year. I also keep a notebook with me and as I think of an idea for someone, I write it down. I think I will also use one of the free printables you suggested.


  20. says

    I’ve gotten all my shopping done so this weekend I plan on spending an entire day listening to Christmas music and wrapping, but enjoying a peppermint latte from Starbucks would be icing on the cake.

    nataliegiesen (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Meredith says

    making my list and checking it twice! going to an awesome local christmas show this weekend hoping to pick up some goodies for gifting! meredith(dot)helsel(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. says

    I’ve been preparing for Christmas by Black Friday Shopping!! And we are getting the house decorated, which is nice considering we moved into our house on 12/22 last year so we didn’t really get a chance to decorate.

    katefavreau (at) gmail (dot) com

  23. says

    usually I finish my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving – my self-imposed deadline and just enjoy the rest and picking up small stocking stuffers. This year I am WAY behind and would love a gift of coffee to fuel my shopping :) kendraburton(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  24. says

    The thing I’m doing to prepare is to stop and remember what Christmas is really about. It’s too easy to get caught up in everything to forget about the ultimate gift we were given. So cool! My husband and I are headed to a concert this weekend that tells the entire story of Jesus. From Abraham on. It’s so great! It helps me calm down and be thankful. (and as for gift buying? I’m done. I shop all year long!)

    jlburgart (at) yahoo (dot) com

  25. says

    I’ve got up all decorations, just missing the tree! We always get a real tree so it felt a little early this year to get it all up Thanksgiving weekend! Need to get on some shopping too- great lists you’ve linked us up to- thanks!
    hatchjl (at) gmail (dot) com

  26. says

    I am a stay at home mom who has to plan very well. I already have the list of presents I want to buy ( October) and the know the week I can buy everything. I check prices before that day to get the best deal. I make decorated sugar cookies for gifts and to sell and I learned the amazing trick of being able to freeze them. So, all decorated christmas cookies are ready. Would love a Starbucks card! Been looking to see if I could fit one of each special holiday drink into the budget : ).

    llswanner (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. says

    Christmas is going to be on a tight budget this year (I am a new college grad and starting my own business). I am pin-crazy on pinterest these days….so many great ideas for diy gifts that don’t necessarily look diy. I’ve also set an approximate budget for each person I’m buying for so I don’t go super overboard like I usually do (Christmas is my favorite so I tend to do that!)

  28. Courtney says

    I love using lists. For everything!! :) And also we have started the tradition with our kids that they get 3 gifts because Jesus got 3 gifts. This had made life much simpler and allows us to focus on the reason for the season instead of making sure each child has the same amount/value of presents. And Starbucks always helps with any shopping I do :)

  29. says

    I’ve already decorated the house and started buying presents. I keep a list so I can track what I have bought and who it is for. kristinthom (at) gmail (dot) com

  30. says

    I have a spreadsheet on my computer for the Christmas cards I send and receive since I send about 160 out, but other than that, no lists or apps. But I am done with all of my shopping!


  31. says

    i tend to prepare months in advance. if i know someone will like something for christmas and i see it on sale in September, ill go ahead and get it then. that way i dont have to get stuck in the christmas congestion at the malls.
    itoshii (dot)miko (at) gmail(dot) com

  32. says

    I love writing lists out so I have a list started but haven’t really purchased (or made) anything yet. I need to get started!
    cmeloni5 (at) gmail (dot) com

  33. says

    I’m preparing for the holiday season with LISTS. I’m such a list girl. I work full-time, and go to school with 20 credits BUT graduate with my bachelors degree in social work on December 8 (!!!!) so I wrote out my list of everyone I need to buy for, along with ideas, and a price limit for gifts for each person. The same day I graduate, I’m going out shopping to a huge outlet mall and hopefully knocking all my shopping out!

    carsenault527 (at) gmail (dot) com

  34. says

    So far, the only preparations i’ve made for Christmas is getting out my tree skirt that my Mom made for us! Still trying to brainstorm all of my gift ideas for everyone! I actually set aside time on my calendar to sit down with some coffee Saturday AM and make my shopping list!

    katemartau (at) gmail (dot) com

  35. Wendy says

    I am a huge list girl. I live my life with a list. I will make a list and mark it off as I go and of course get a gift or two for ME and a starbucks latte to make shopping that much better.


  36. says

    I am such a planner. I have lists, budgets, and ideas ready months in advance and try to start buying as soon as possible.


  37. Sara S. says

    I buy little things throughout the year so when Christmas comes I just have to buy a few bigger items that I can usually find on sale.


  38. says

    i start prepping for the season by making my list of who we buy presents for and then i determine our budget per person. i usually start in nov so i’m not completely stressed in dec and can enjoy the season. with the exception of 2 gifts, i’m finished with my shopping!

    amyalley (at) live (dot) com

  39. says

    I keep a small notebook in my purse and jot down ideas as I see them. Definitely ahead of the game so far and hoping to finish by the first week of December so that “stress” is over :)

  40. says

    I’ve been creating private Amazon wish lists to keep track of items for different friends and family members, so I’ve known for a few months what I’m planning to buy, but I’m intrigued by this app of yours!

    ashley (dot) gonyaw (at) gmail (dot) com

  41. says

    I’ve been listening to Christmas music like a fiend, created a shopping list for gifts, and I’ve been slowly-but-surely crafting and decorating.


  42. says

    I am a paper and pencil girl and I love to make lists! This year I am shooting for mostly homemade gifts, and so far I have finished a few but I still have a long way to go.


  43. says

    I have “The Christmas List” app on my phone and actually used it last Christmas. I love it. It helps me makes notes, see where I am at with purchases, add gift ideas. Just plain helps me stayed organized. I also have the “Errands” app, which helps me to stay on task each day.

  44. Heather dela Cruz says

    I’m all over the Christmas music, but the decorating and gift-buying are coming a little slower!

    hdelacruz15 (at) gmail (dot) com

  45. Anonymous says

    I started by creating an Excel page with everyone’s name and the allotted amount I will spend on them. Then, I come up with 2-3 ideas per person and start looking for bargains. My husband and I have made it a tradition to do most of the Christmas shopping on black Friday afternoon. There are plenty of discounts still but the crowds aren’t do crazy.


  46. Jenaeone says

    Throughout the year as I’m around all the different people I buy for.. whenever they say “Ohhh, this is nice!” when we’re out shopping, or if they are at home and make a comment about “I need to get xyz….” I’ll jot it down in a notepad app on my phone. If applicable I’ll snap a picture of it as well along with where to find it and the cost. If the above method fails me I can always rely on the note card; we exchange names in our family on an index card and on the back each person lists 4 or more items that we would like and a $100 limit. Just check it off as I go!


  47. says

    I have an excel spreadsheet with names, ideas, links to websites with the gift I’d like to get them and actual gift/money spent. I love these printables and apps though, might be simpler and more easily accessible! :)

  48. says

    I have an excel spreadsheet with names, ideas, links to websites with the gift I’d like to get them and actual gift/money spent. I love these printables and apps though, might be simpler and more easily accessible! :)

  49. says

    I’m not nearly this organized, but I do start shopping toward the end of the summer and try to have all of my shopping done by the end of November. Then, I spend a day listening to Christmas music, drinking cocoa, and wrapping gifts. All that said, it never fails that someone pops up that I forgot to get a gift for. UGH! I’m scaling down this year though, and always put a LOT of thought into gift giving. It doesn’t matter if it’s a five dollar gift or a fifty dollar gift.

  50. says

    I am prepping our advent calendars for the 1st of December. I can’t wait for my girls to open the pocket each day and enjoy the activity inside. That, and we are giving up a lot of the gift giving with extended family and friends to simplify the season.

  51. says

    We got all our gift buying out of the way nice and early (that’s a lie, I’ve still got one more person on my list). We have to leave all the wrapping until last minute though as we will be crossing into Canada with the gifts and the border officials will insist we unwrap everything… woh who.

    amanda (dot) shaw (dot) clark (at) gmail (dot) com

  52. Janelle says

    I’m preparing for the Holidays by studying hard in school and finishing up my finals, then I can concentrate 100% on gift giving!

  53. says

    My husband and I are attacking our list in two ways. First, I brainstorm ideas and pin them onto my secret Pinterest boards, and then, as we purchase, my husband is entering them into a spreadsheet to keep track of our spending.

    h.a.ferguson (at) gmail (dot) com

  54. says

    The latter 1/2 of this year has been rough for me so I’m keeping it simple this Christmas – only buying for a small handful (and I’m practically done with that!) And luckily my daughter will be in from college this weekend so she can help put up the tree & decorate my house! :)

  55. says

    I had my lists made out for Black Friday shopping and have actually tackled most of the family already! Knowing what everyone wants before Thanksgiving always helps me out!


  56. says

    I have decorated everything outside since last week when the weather was warm. I had my christmas tree up for two weeks and I have most of my gifts bought. I’m on the ball this year! :-)

  57. says

    I am sort of preparing by not preparing. I have convinced myself that though the big holiday is getting closer the longer I wait the more likely it is that everything can happen in one trip. I know, crazy. Brooke(at)p-r-petersen(dot)com

  58. says

    I started organizing gift wrapping and boxes so as I buy I can wrap it up, tag it and put it under our tree. Now I just have to get the tree up.

  59. says

    I started making a list of Christmas gift ideas a few months ago that way I’d at least have an idea by the time it got closer for me to start buying. I’ve gotten a few gifts done, still have a few more to go.


  60. says

    I mostly keep ideas just in my head, which is not helpful :-/ I actually did write out a list the other day…who knows if I’ll actually use it. I may have to check out that app!


  61. says

    I’m actually in complete Christmas denial. Which is exactly why I need this Starbucks card, haha! No, really. I plan on decorating the apartment this weekend. I’ve already started shopping (I do it all online), and I keep track of all of the holiday parties in my iPhone calendar.

  62. says

    We get into the holiday spirit by putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully my husband will work on outdoor Christmas lights soon…I hate to push him when he complains so much about it.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  63. Melissa Mirarchi says

    I am using the same app! The Christmas List App is helpful in keeping track of what need to get done and helps keep you on budget. My wrapping paper is stored in organizers from The Container Store so all I have to do is pull them out for the season.


  64. says

    We’re moving mid December, so a lot of our usual holiday preparations are behind schedule. But I have a list of people to get gifts for and have already ordered some things online and picked up stocking stuffers when we’ve been out and seen things on sale. I have them set aside to take to the new house so they won’t get lost in the move and am having my online shopping items shipped to my work. That way I will simply transport them home after we are moved!

  65. says

    I have tried to be more organized this year. ususally, I am like you are and just go for it and end up being disappointed with what I bought. This year I have tried to pay attention to what people need and I have kept a spreadsheet of what I have bought/spent so I dont go overboard! Starbucks is always a motivating item when it comes to preparing for the holidays!! (and a candle– Bath & Body Works has the best christmas candels!)


  66. Colleen Maguire says

    I have post it notes all over my office – not very organized! I love the Christmas List app, I may have to download that! maguire.colleen(at)gmail(dot)com

  67. Darcie says

    I have a paper list of everyone I need to buy for and ideas. As I buy them, I just cross them off. Pretty simple..I can’t find time to do anything more! :-)


  68. says

    I’ve got big plans for decorating this weekend. I also have started my gift list/buying, but I need to get on it!


  69. says

    The back of my calender has a “Notes” section and I as the year progresses I write ideas down as people mention them. That way, come Christmas I have almost a complete list of what to buy – with no thinking involved! I also use this same technique for birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc.

  70. says

    I am preparing by using an app as well…and it’s been a great way to stay organized! But most importantly, I’m praying that all my family and friends know the real reason for the season!


  71. says

    i havent done ANYTHING to prepare yet! this weekend, decor is coming out in full force! i usually dedicate a guest room and a big desk as my wrapping station, so i don’t have to worry about keeping it tidy the entire month!


  72. says

    I am a big list maker. I have a book that I keep track of all my Christmas purchases, cards sent, food prepared for parties, etc. it has been so helpful (and fun) to look back at past Christmases!

  73. says

    I have a spreadsheet with all the people that I want to gift. As I purchase the gift, I add the item and cost to the spreadsheet. I often email myself gift ideas and have a Word document for that.


  74. Anonymous says

    My first way to prepare is by teaching my kids about the birth of Jesus through the advent calendar and Jesse Tree book with ornaments that they will color (my kids are little). Decorating the house as a family (my husband works hard for me to be at home so we really have to plan this). The kids and I love to bake cookies and one evening we get the kiddos ready for bed then hop in the car with cookies & milk and Christmas music and tour our area looking at the Christmas lights. One evening I get a take for a “girls night out” with a bunch of high school friends, yes, we still keep in touch, we do a cookie exchange and bring an appetizer to share that night and gab all evening, giggling like teenagers. To prepare for the gift of giving I make a list in a note pad of the names/families we buy for and a list of ideas then hit the stores grateful to be able to give. I just love this time of year and I hope you are enjoying too. Sara Witmer: ed (dot) witmer at comcast (dot) net

  75. Newton says

    I was sick yesterday, and boy did I get a lot of online shopping done! I also decorated my tree. :)


  76. says

    Listening to Christmas music and enjoying everyone’s kindness (why can’t people be like this year-round?)!

    jasmin(dot)s(dot)darling(at)gmail(dot)com from

  77. says

    Unfortunately my holiday season for the past three years has kicked off studying non-stop for law school finals…but I put up my Christmas tree as a reminder of the joy of the season once I get through the next two weeks! lauren (dot) luhrs (at) gmail (dot) com

  78. Katie D says

    I’m shopping online for gifts that I know will work – one less trip to the store!
    derouchey (dot) katie (at) gmail (dot) com

  79. says

    I have started decorating. Zac the Elf on a Shelf showed up last night so I guess Christmas season is in full gear and I need to get on board. How is it almost December already?!?!


  80. says

    I am preparing gift ideas like you! I have a list of everyone I need to buy for and I use it to keep track of what I’ve bought and how much it cost. I’m also scouring discount sites and sales for gift ideas!
    lfeierbach (at) yahoo (dot) com

  81. says

    I’m preparing for the holiday season by making lists! Christmas gift to buy list; Christmas gifts I’d like list; Christmas cookies to bake list; and so on! Also I put up our “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” last night – it’s too cute! sara (dot) cirba (at) gmail (dot) com

  82. says

    I started jotting down gift ideas about two months ago. Now that it’s shopping time, I have a “hidden” spot in my planner where I have the ideas officially jotted down along with a check mark next to any items that I have already purchased! It’s definitely been a great way for me to keep track of what I have and have not purchased!


  83. says

    I am trying to get as much shopping done as early as possible and shop smart. I have 10 people to buy for, I’m almost done and with black friday and online sales I’ve spent only $185 and I only have two more people to buy for. A few of my gifts have been DIY projects to help ease my budget.

    Happy Holidays!


  84. says

    This year, because I have 8 month old twins, the vast majority of my Christmas shopping is being done online. Not as fun as hitting the stores but necessary this year.


  85. Karen says

    We decided to simplyify and draw names…but I still need ideas as I drew the hardest person to buy gifts for. Would love some Starbucks to put me in the Christmas mood aka Caramel Apple Spice!

  86. says

    I’m preparing for the holidays by packing up my house and moving! AHHHHH! The craziest time of year is being made even crazier with a move from Texas to Utah to Canada! So, I think I’ll need to download that Christmas app so I can keep things straight!!


  87. Anonymous says

    WEll, where do I begin :0) My son who is 13 wants everything from the moon & back.LOL I am like hello you are not the only one in the FAm.. My daughter who is 17 would like everything that seems like over a 100. bucks or more. lol But, I try to let them no how grateful we are to even to be getting christmas gifts. They are really great kids and make good grades. I just want them to appreciate what they have. So, as always, they make me a list and it seems they kept adding each day. Haha. But, I chose 3 or 4 things from that list. I usually do the Black Friday thing but this year I wasnt in the mood to deal with crowds. So I will have to fight the crowds until Christmas. So really I should of shop the Black Friday sales. Oh man, didn’t realize that until i just typed this. Ha. I am not much of planner but thats ok it all seems to work out. :) jennifer(dot)wagner2(at)yahoo(dot)com

  88. says

    My husband is currently deployed (and will be home in a few weeks, eek!), so I haven’t started with the decorations, but we decided to do things a little bit differently this year. During the summer I bought a million 7×10 canvases at the euro store, and let my daughter paint “originals” with acrylic paint. We did them gradually, so that they would all be completed well before the deadline to mail gifts. Everyone gets the same gift, but each one is unique. I also went to the Swarovski Crystal Factory in Austria so each family gets an ornament (the discounted ones from last year, but we stayed within budget!), too. I just went to the post office today to mail out the packages (and grouped them according to who would be celebrating together), so although we won’t be doing Christmas cards, at least we got the gift-giving completely taken care of!
    I’m already brainstorming kid projects for next year’s Christmas presents! So exciting to create unique presents.


  89. says

    This is the first year I feel ready! I have most of my gifts bought. I started writing down ideas months ago. I hate when Christmas approaches and I seem to forget all the great ideas I had! So this time I started writing ideas down when they came to me! Which means now we can decorate and just enjoy the ultimate gift!

  90. Jessie says

    I’m making sure to buy presents early, and we’re getting our tree and decorating this weekend. Even though I loooove Christmas, this is really early for me this year.


  91. says

    I am pretty much done shopping- just stocking stuffers left. We put up all the Christmas decorations including the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and now we are just enjoying them.

  92. Shawnessy says

    I’m preparing for Christmas this year, not with gift lists, but with a calendar I printed last night of the month of December. I’ve written down all of the Christmas concerts/events that I don’t want to forget about – every year I want to get into the Christmas spirit and I forget about this concert, that boat parade, this community event… so this year, I’m prepared and know when/where all the events I’m interested in take place. Can’t wait! Thanks!

  93. says

    I’m planning on a homemade Christmas! I have started gathering all the materials I need. And I can’t wait to start on all my projects.


  94. says

    I usually just make “cute” lists in Publisher. I’ve been busy making tags/lists/and calendars for our advent activities and a list of things to do with our Elf on the Shelf so I’m not scrambling at night! What font did you use for the “Christmas List App” in the photo? It looks like maybe one of the Pea…??? Love it!


  95. says

    I keep my shopping list organized by using an Excel spreadsheet. I can record my gifts budget and the amounts I actually spend, which helps me keep track financially.


  96. Anonymous says

    I am taking it easy this year. Usually I go crazy at the beginning of the season only to burnout as it gets close to Christmas. whitney105(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

  97. says

    First of all I love your blog and I read it everyday in my google reader – so I rarely comment but I do love it!

    To get ready for the holidays I’m actually using the same exact printable organizers that you have pictured! I’m an organization freak and a budget freak so I’m using them to keep my shopping under control. I’m also making some homemade gifts and some new decorations!


  98. says

    Well, I decorated the house early, so that was one less stressful thing to worry about. And I have a running list of gifts for everybody, but sadly, it gets lost a lot and I have to redo it. I think I have 5 different lists laying around this place!

    blondiestarr (at) hotmail (dot) com

  99. says

    Who wouldn’t want a Starbucks gift card?!?!?

    Planning out my December helps me prepare. All the events can get overwhelming so if I put it all down in my calendar, I enjoy each day much more.

    AND… I’ve started Christmas cards. :-)

    carolinagirl1993 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  100. Stacey says

    I am using Excel to keep track of my gift ideas and actual purchases, to help keep track of my budget too!

    henning.stacey (at) gmail (dot) com

  101. Angela says

    Good old fashioned pen and paper! I love writing lists and being able to cross items off!

    holdingthestars (at) hotmail (dot) com

  102. Beth says

    planning the big things early-decorating, menu planning, etc… i tend to shop for gifts like you-if needs to speak to me! :-)enjoying the fun of the season!


  103. Anonymous says

    Well this weekend I’m getting ready for The North Mississippi Christmas Festival. With dress rehersal tonight and shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday who wouldn’t want a Starbucks gift card?


  104. says

    Starbucks is my favorite. I am preparing for the holidays by keeping track of gift ideas and purchases on the notes app on my iphone. The app you mentioned sounds cool, but I think I may be too far into it to redo it all. I’m halfway finished shopping already!!

    sarah.oehmler (at) hotmail (dot) com


    sarah (dot) oehmler (at) hotmail (dot) com

  105. says

    I’m about halfway through shopping for Christmas gifts. Some of the remaining gifts are (hopefully) going to be homemade, so I still have to shop for and then make them. Still haven’t done decorations, but have listened to some Christmas music. :) I’m not on a 24/7 holiday music streak yet. I’d feel too pressured to get going on everything. :)

  106. Hayley A says

    I use excel to track my gift ideas, prices and discounts from different online sites.


  107. Kristin says

    I have not even started shopping yet! I keep a list in my phone though all year to try to think of ideas as they come. That way I have all year to come up with gift ideas. Kmbwx7(at)yahoo(dot)com

  108. says

    I am preparing for the holidays by creating notes on my Ipad about gift ideas, gathering the activities I want to do with the kids and our Activites Advent calendar, and clearing out good used toys and clothes for donation. My email address is akhyatt(at)gmail(dot)com.


  109. Anonymous says

    I make a table in Word with everyone’s name I need to buy for, then I print it out and write in ideas in one column, and the actual gift I end up buying in the last column. It’s worked for the past few years!

  110. says

    I’ve already got our few decorations up. I need to work on finding gifts and making Christmas cards. Most importantly, I need to prepare my heart for the true meaning of the season.

  111. Anonymous says

    In years past, I keep a spreadsheet for gifts — I do a column of the names of people I plan to buy a gift for, a column for ideas (which I update throughout the year when I think of things, or hear them talk about things, etc.), a column for gifts bought, and a column for how much I spent (plus the value). This makes it easier to see who quickly who I still need to buy for. I include the price + the value, because I like to look back on spreadsheets of years past to see what kinds of items I wind up finding the best deals on (love getting people more valuable items for the money I’ve budgeted to spend!!). That helps shape my “ideas” going forward!

    I also keep a separate spreadsheet for Christmas cards I send out. Names, addresses, and a quick description of the card and/or gift I send/give. Each year, I create new spreadsheets for the year to work from, and just update the addresses by double checking them against my address book before addressing envelopes. That way I can keep my card writing supplies in a quick and handy place (in a bag, on a tray, in a basket, etc.), and mark who’s been done and sent, and that means I can work on them as time allows and not keep wasting time going through a stack to see who I’ve missed or something.

    It might sound time consuming, but maybe only the first time — once it’s all set up, it’s a breeze to keep updated, and saves me time (and money! no more buying twice as many holiday stamps as I thought I’d need!).

    Love the holidays!

    Jennifer McCluskey

  112. says

    I always have the kids write their letters to Santa right after Thanksgiving, so that I have plenty of time to find the requested item. Amazon wish lists is something used by most of my family, so it makes it super simple. For those folks I struggle with, I always end up making a donation in their name to a cause they care about.

    I don’t over think it and NEVER go to the mall in December. It’s helped my sanity and my checkbook :-)

  113. says

    I have two small kids so they were so happy to start decorating but other then that I haven’t gotten around to doing much else.

  114. says

    I prepared by getting a lot done before the back friday madness!!! all my presents are bought (aside from my FIL. Now I can relax and enjoy the month! michellecarter1015 (at) gmail (dot) com

  115. says

    I’m trying to get my shopping done early (as in before the 23rd of December, the first of many celebrations). I’m also trying to clear out as much of my daughter’s old, unused toys as possible! lauran.frank(at)gmail(dot)com.

  116. says

    Taking deep breaths and going one day at a time! Pinterest is also helping me with inspiration. And of course lists, lots of lists…

  117. Anonymous says

    Although this time of year is hectic and the gap between Thanksgiving and Xmas flies by, I am doing xmas shopping early (I’m am over 75% done) and prioritizing what I really want to do this year–e.g. xmas cards, decorating the house and tree, getting xmas pictures taken of my daughter, compiling the recipes of the xmas cookies I want to bake. Then I do what’s most important to me first. If I run out of time, at least I have the most important tasks complete.
    Happy Holidays!

  118. says

    I have decorated and planned out a cleaning strategy – as Christmas is at our house this year with the fam. Making a list of needed purchases for food and presents. Checking it twice! :)


  119. Rachel Salinas says

    I have a Christmas Presents app, as well as a list of presents for my family in my Notes app. I use my calendar app to keep on top of scheduled parties, and I feel pretty well organized so far! Almost have all of the presents picked out! But it’s not even December yet… ahhh!!


  120. says

    As a college student, I’ve found it’s difficult to prepare for the holiday season while at school. Right now what I’m doing is searching for inexpensive but thoughtful Christmas gifts for my close friends and family, and noting all of the food and drink recipes I want to try when I get home! {16 days and counting!}

  121. Anonymous says

    I HATE the stress of Christmas. I hate crowds and wasting time finding parking and finding the gifts I want and need. I LOVE online shopping- and I also love starting early. This helps me stay organized and stress free.
    sitesx6 (at) aol (dot) come

  122. says

    Honestly, I NEVER prepare. Sadly, I’m one of the clueless who always thinks I have more time. I really have to get a grip. Maybe this list will help hopefully, I don’t lose it along the way.

  123. says

    I started shopping early with the goal of being done by December 1. I’m happy to report I actually did it this time! I love buying gifts and it warms my heart to do so. Now, I get to focus on spending time with family and drinking lots of eggnog.

  124. says

    I’ve never done much in the way of organizing or list-making for my Christmas gifts. Any gifts I accumulate through the year are in a pile in my basement! Either of those methods sound like a huge improvement!


  125. says

    My sisters and I want to redo our old bedroom in my parents house into a guest bedroom. I made a secret Pinterest board, shared it with them and now we’re pinning ideas to it!

    eickne (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  126. Lauralee Lasater says

    I have budgeted out my entire month (down to the precise amount of gasoline needed!), so to leave more funds for gifts! Giving is way more fun than getting, so I like to get as much out of it as I can!


  127. says

    I started my shopping early, and I wrapped each present as I bought it so I didn’t have a huge pile to wrap the night before Christmas. I’m almost done shopping, as a matter of fact. Oh, and hair products are always on my own list!!

  128. says

    i am always buying things here and there when i found them they stock them up in a big bin so no one will see. pull them out last night for gift wrapping and i am half way done already!

  129. says

    I do the majority of my shopping online, and keep an excel sheet of my budget and money spent along with what presents I bought for different people. I also like Amazon’s gift idea list that I update throughout the year when someone gives me a gift idea, and then revisit at Christmastime. That app looks handy!

  130. Lindsey W. says

    Shopping ahead and making sure my daughter and I pick one thing to “give back”. Last year, her and I started giving to St. Jude and this year we chose Operation Christmas Child. It’s more about giving. walker (dot) sahm (at) hotmail (dot) com

  131. Anonymous says

    Started shopping last month! I also got the same gift for people but with slight differences for each personality, very easy to do!

  132. says

    I’m almost done already! Did a lot of shopping during the post Thanksgiving sales. Now I’m just enjoying decorating and cookie making! Yum!

  133. says

    Honestly, I tend to make a list of people I need to buy for and what I think they might want; but I usually leave it at home and forget what I wrote down. I am downloading the Christmas List app right now, to help with that consistent mistake! Thanks Kate!
    Email: lorenkoehler (at) yahoo (dot) com

  134. Marcela Jackson says

    First, I am downloading the Christmas list app that you shared (thanks!). Next I am gathering any and all coupons I find, and third, I am biting the bullet and going shopping.

    marcesaid (at) gmail (dot) com

  135. says

    I am a self employed photographer and mom of three small children. I made a tough (but great) decision this year to not accept any photography work in December. I have had a few years of stress and strain over work instead of family. This year with a decreased stress level, I am going to say yes to baking cookies and watching Elf on repeat instead of worrying about other people’s chirstmas cards etc. I honestly feel better already going into Dec! emilytroutmanphoto(at) gmail (dot) com

  136. Monique S says

    I have been preparing since summer hitting up any good toy deals for my kids and even picked up a couple groupons for my fiance. It has made things so much easier since I am 30 weeks pregnant and don’t feel like fighting the malls. Plus my kids b-day’s are right after Christmas as well. With the exception of a close friend I am almost completely down with my shopping now I just need to wrap everything.

    ms_eeyore6380 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  137. says

    I am a self employed photographer and mom of three small children. I made a tough (but great) decision this year to not accept any photography work in December. I have had a few years of stress and strain over work instead of family. This year with a decreased stress level, I am going to say yes to baking cookies and watching Elf on repeat instead of worrying about other people’s chirstmas cards etc. I honestly feel better already going into Dec! emilytroutmanphoto(at) gmail (dot) com

  138. Anonymous says

    I am almost finished shopping thanks to Black Friday! It’s awesome. I need to plan my recipes now! :)


  139. says

    I am preparing by shopping, keeping good notes (in excel – but love these ideas), and planning menus. The food part is tricky because we aren’t ever at our own house – we do holidays “on the road!” Starbucks makes everything better! :)
    katiecable (at) yahoo (dot) com

  140. says

    I put in the notes section of my iphone each person’s wish list and their running total so I stay on top and perhaps even ahead of the game.


  141. says

    We always make a gifting list with a total budget, and then fill in with each individual person for ideas, max amount to spend, and then when they are done and how much was actually spent. We have a little man that will be two on Christmas Day, so birthday and Christmas all at once??? We have to stay organized! My husband and I both come from large families so this is the only way we can keep track and avoid breaking the bank!

    bvorbeck (at) senture (dot) com

  142. Anonymous says

    I did almost all of my shopping early and had any gifts that needed to be mailed in the mail by November 15! It is a huge relief!!

  143. Anonymous says

    Oops forgot my email…this is the comment I published – I did almost all of my shopping early and had any gifts that needed to be mailed in the mail by November 15! It is a huge relief!!

  144. says

    I did almost all of our shopping online before December and it helps that we limit it to 3 gifts per kid. (They still get one from each other and grandparents too).

  145. Lindsey says

    early shopping and wrapping after the kiddos go to bed… i’m already done! oh, and i just have to remember to breathe when i get stressed, too. :)

    lindseyebuchanan (at) gmail (dot) com

  146. says

    I am subtly talking about things i like with the people i want to gift to. this usually prompts them to respong with things they like and want to have for themselves. if it makes sense for their lifestyle and fits in their budget, i start planning for ways to make it happen. however, im also all about practical.


  147. Alexis says

    I am preparing for the holidays by making several little visits to TJMaxx…I have made some great finds!

    Also, for those with kids, I heard the other day that a friend tells theire children they may only ask for 3 things from them for Christmas. Since Baby Jesus only got three, why should they get more? I thought this was a pretty neat way of helping kids not want (and expect) everything under the sun! :)

    alexismcconihay (at) gmail (dot) com

  148. says

    This is so ironic…I just downloaded an app for my holiday budget this afternoon! And then I started reading your blog…funny! Great advice!

    sharacampbell (at) gmail (dot) com

  149. says

    I’ve already got half of my Christmas shopping done and we are buying our tree this weekend! Fiance won’t get into the Christmas spirit until it is officially December. :)

  150. says

    I am really not prepared AT ALL, but I just read where another commenter said she is making a Christmas spreadsheet, and I am TOTALLY going to do that, because I am a sucker for a good spreadsheet!

  151. says

    By using evernote… I can file gift ideas, links to websites, and even pictures of things I want to purchase for my friends and family.
    allison.j.young (at) gmail (dot) com

  152. says

    Well, I’ll be using the wonderful lists you provided of course! :-) I’ve been putting this information in a notebook, so this will be very helpful.

    jjlance04 (at) aol (dot) com

  153. Anonymous says

    One day at a time, and I’m hosting a mini party, which always cheers me up & gets my Christmas spirit going :-) Kathy J.

  154. says

    Although I consider myself pretty organized, I’ve been pretty reactive instead of proactive about Christmas. This year, that will change. I’m excited about the Christmas list app and printables! Thanks for sharing!!
    lidiatrufin (at) marykay (dot) com

  155. says

    – made our christmas gift tags…. 12 different ones in the set to match our Christmas decor (I’m a designer so I get a bit carried away!)
    – made glistening ornaments for the tree this year already
    – making ornaments as “drink tokens” for our wedding in a few weeks, that we will use on our tree for years to come
    – and I *may* have made a christmas list board on Pinterest hehe

    melissa (dot) pattee (at) gmail (dot) com

  156. says

    Well first, I obviously caffeinate… :) I’ve been using google docs this year to keep track of who’s getting what, where I found particular items, a master shopping list (since I often make gifts and, thus, need to keep a list of supplies). I’ve even already bought my first gift!

    manthony524 (at) gmail (dot) com

  157. says

    I keep an ongoing note in my iphone throughout the year with gift ideas for people when I hear them mention something they want or need, regardless of the time of year. Then as holidays approach I refer to that, and any gift request lists they’ve made, to make a hand written list to go shopping with. I love my smartphone, but there’s just something about a hand written list when it comes down to it :)

    hesler.kimberly (at) gmail (dot) com

  158. says

    I tend to wait until Dec. 1st to decorate. I find that I need a little extra time to really get into the Christmas spirit :) This year I am trying to do all my shopping online, my most preferred shopping method. With two little ones in tow, hitting the stores just isn’t that fun.

    melissachehade (at) gmail (dot) com

  159. Melissa says

    I just started making my list this week of people I have to buy for gift ideas using a notetaking app on my phone. MissMel218 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  160. says

    I actually created a Christmas planner for myself this year. It holds all of my coupons, receipts, gift lits and menu plans all in one place. I’m finally organized!

  161. says

    Christmas music is my first task getting in the holiday spirit. Sufjan Stevens and She & Him’s Christmas albums have been on repeat :) Also can’t forget about the holiday drinks at Starbucks to bring a little joy to my life!

    jessicaboyd2010 (at) gmail (dot) com

  162. says

    My little family of three all have birthday during the first two weeks of December, so preparation is the key for me! I get as much done as I canb between Thanksgiving and 12/2 (the first birthday) so that we can sit back and enjoy. But it’s a challenge, for sure!

    sally (dot) lustig (at) yahoo (dot) com

  163. says

    I am working on saving money by doing a cash-only budget so I will have more money to spend on Christmas presents. Poor college student here! :)


  164. Shasta says

    So far, I’ve rearranged the living room and I did a complete top to bottom house clean, which I like to do before and after Christmas decorations. s (dot) jaehnig (at) frontier (dot) com

  165. says

    I took advantage of some Black Friday Sales! Also, I keep a list of all the gifts in an Excel spreadsheet each year so I can reference prior year and make certain I got different things in the current year!

  166. Nikki Howser says

    I have a list in my head! Making some things, getting lots of ideas for advent and treats via pinterest and staying up late!

  167. says

    I’m preparing by putting together my Christmas Day Brunch menu! I don’t have lots of gifts to buy and I’m pretty thankful for that! This year I’m only decorating my family room so there won’t be tons of stuff to put up after Christmas has passed!

    tammypowell09 (at) gmail (dot) com

  168. says

    I already finished shopping and this week decorating and wrapping gifts. I’m ahead this year because we are celebrating with the fam early since we won’t be able to see them on Xmas bc my husband is having surgery. Happy holidays!

    JeanneVanderveen8 (at) gmail (dot) com

  169. says

    I started with the most important thing first ~ the decorations! (Ha!) Early in December, I will plan a menu and put as much food as possible prepared and in the freezer. Entertaining is so much more fun when I don’t have to spend the whole time cooking! harbourbreeze(at)hotmail(dot)com

  170. says

    Hey, so I found your blog on Pinterest last year and have been following every since. One day I was looking at your blog and my husband saw and was like hey I know her! His name is Andy Endrody. Small World! Merry Christmas

    leah.endrody (at) gmail (dot) com

  171. says

    I look for gifts all year long that I know family and friend will love and I buy early. I am usually done with my shopping no later than Thanksgiving but usually earlier than that.

    slpleslieanne (at) yahoo (dot) com

  172. says

    I do all of my shopping during the summer, so mine is all complete, however I wish I would have known about this app!! I’m sure it would help me stay organized!

  173. says

    i found some printable lists via pinterest, which i have been hoarding in my purse for the last couple of months. Each time I’ve been out with family I have made notes on my list of the items they love… now all i have to do is hit the stores, and i’m done!

  174. Anonymous says

    Not stressing out about the little details, getting my shopping done early, and focusing on the important part of the Christmas season, spending time with my family and friends.


  175. Elise says

    I keep a running list of gift ideas all year long (I add to it when I see or think of something someone might like) so I’m not scrambling for ideas in December. I also use excel spreadsheets to plan my annual Holiday party.


  176. says

    I use the flyladydotnet organizer, the Holiday Control Journal. It helps me keep it all together in one place. Maybe I will try the app you suggested next year.

  177. says

    We are starting a “random acts of kindness” advent with our kids to help them think of others each day instead of their Christmas list! duricks (at) mchsi (dot) com

  178. nikki says

    using an app on my phone had been very helpful this year! Dont have to worry about losing that piece ofpaper i used to use! nmckeown (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  179. says

    I start buying my girls gifts 2 months in advance. When you buy one per week, it is not that big of a deal financially.


  180. says

    Tree is trimmed last weekend, now the kids are busy making their ornaments they make each to hang on tree. Unpacking the Holiday dishes and candles for the table setting for the family to arrive for dinner.
    karenmed409 at comcast dot net

  181. says

    I keep a yearly Christmas notebook and shop early and some online. Also keeping myself cheerful by enjoying my Starbucks Christmas Blend K-cups! 😉
    In case you are reading this post, I would love to know where you got the cutie snowman candle. My mom would love it! Also loving your Starbucks mug but I would definately need something larger than a Tall! Ha! Happy Holidays!

  182. says

    My husband and I are expecting a baby boy on 12/12/12 so we’ve been busy little elves trying to prepare for the holidays before he arrives {wrapping up the shopping to-do’s, decorating the house for the family set to visit, etc.”. We both work full time and are both grad students so could use a little java lift to help us power through the last few weeks before our lives change forever for the better : )
    dhworker (at) gmail (dot) com

  183. says

    I have started the season by reconnecting with some old friends that I have lost touch with over the years . Actually met at Starbucks yesterday! The budget is tight this year….so I am trying to be crafty with my decor and focus on the true meaning of the season .


  184. says

    I feel completely lost this Christmas season. I’m living with my in-laws and all my Christmas decorations are in boxes in the garage… buried. We’re trying to make a budget, but I still have no idea what I actually want to get my husband. Would be great to get a bit more organized!


  185. says

    I stay organized (or try!) by making lists…gift lists, shopping lists, food lists, cleaning lists…lots of lists. If I don’t write it down there’s a good chance it won’t get done!

  186. says

    I’m preparing for the holiday season by getting my shopping done early – finding great deals online! I’m almost all done and it’s not even December. I use a spreadsheet, keeping track of each person, their gifts, the prices, etc… It helps me a lot! I’ll start wrapping a couple of gifts a day – it’ll make the jobs fun and less time consuming.. And it’ll save my back :)
    peteandjenapp (at) gmail (dot) com

  187. says

    I’ve been really disorganized this year. I’m just grabbing things here and there and planning on making a few things from Pinterest inspired crafts and giving those as gifts this year.

  188. says

    How am I preparing for the holiday season? Well, i’m drinking lots of Hot Chocolate even though it’s still about 70 degrees outside here in Texas most of the time. I just put up my Christmas tree and lights, and I’ve gotten some Christmas shopping done . . . Some as in I have a total of one gift purchased. Better get the rest soon!

    • says

      Well, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who forgot my email address…hope this doesn’t count as a duplicate comment!
      esther.j.mcclure (at) gmail (dot) com

  189. Katherine says

    Setting up the tree, starting to think of gifts, and sipping wonderful glasses of eggnog with a touch of rum. Delicious!

    katherine (at) teamtraction (dot) com

  190. says

    Right now we’re doing everything we can to surprise our Mama with a new bathroom. So we are working through the ropes to come up with a weekend to get her away and have it all done by the time she comes back! Otherwise I’m just working on all the things that put me in such a wonderful holiday spirit…decorations, and of course a Christmas playlist to be played all the time from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas day!


  191. says

    I’m actually preparing my husband by gently encouraging him to get down the Christmas boxes and start decorating. …it’s not working.

    emilyebrill (at) gmail (dot) com

  192. says

    NOT stressing! This is the first year I’m not working and a bunch of friends and I are getting together for a “Pinterest Party” to make a bunch of homemade gifts!


  193. says

    I start planning and purchasing/saving in August so it’s not a crazy preparation time in December. I much prefer to enjoy the month by relaxing, spending time with my family and friends, and especially recognizing why we even get to celebrate CHRISTmas :)

    stephanie (dot) shumate (at) gmail (dot) com

  194. says

    I am preparing by watching the sales at stores and online. Finished and wrapped for a couple people on the list. Also, preparing a budget! I don’t want to be broke come January!


  195. Anonymous says

    I love Christmas. The music, giving gifts, great food, spending time with family, the cooler weather…everything! I try and stay as stress free as possible, it makes the holiday that much sweeter :)

    clarsen (at) sckans (dot) edu

  196. Krista J. says

    My family may be weird, but we all make xmas lists of what we want, then the list gets passed around the family. That way nobody gets anything they don’t want!

  197. says

    We started decorating the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and haven’t stopped shopping since. I love the holiday season, so cozy!

  198. says

    I prepared by shopping early (though I’m still not done!), we put the tree up the day after christmas as well. I love using my phone to keep me organized! jcnoorda (at) yahoo (dot) com

  199. says

    While I love Black Friday shopping, an emergency surgery on Wednesday before Thanksgiving really put a damper on things. So, this year I have been doing most of my shopping via amazon. I have a prime account that lets me get free two-day shipping on a lot of purchases so I can order my gifts and two days later they arrive on my doorstep. MUCH less stressful than fighting the crowds and long lines.


  200. Stephanie says

    I have been browsing Pinterest all year for ideas and inspiration for cute homemade gifts! College students learn how to be super thrifty :)

    cancgls1 (at) tcnj (dot) edu

  201. says

    What do we do? For us, it’s the little things, we decorate the house, we pause and are thankful, we bake, we eat, and most importantly we all fly to Dallas, TX to be with my parents for Christmas! Would never be the same without my entire family present!

  202. says

    I am watching the sales online and doing a little at a time. I’m not very organized at all!

    On another note…I love your wallpaper on your phone? Is that standard on the new iphone or did you get it somewhere???

  203. says

    I plan for Christmas by keeping an excel spreadsheet of what is on everyone’s wish list or ideas for them. It is divided by each person so that helps. My husband is wonderful and also helps me with the shopping and ideas!

    jonellawoods (at) gmail (dot) com

  204. Anonymous says

    I’m trying to finish up my shopping this next week so there’s not the mad dash with all the other last minute shoppers amypauli (at) hotmail (dot) com

  205. says

    My sisters and I wrote out our entire December/Christmas calendar last night! We have so many things we want to do (Pageants, cookies, looking at lights…) that we have to make sure we schedule them before things get crazy!

    katherineacannon (at) gmail (dot) com

  206. says

    I’m preparing early by shopping early and trying to do a little at a time to not feel overwhelmed so that my family can enjoy every day of the Christmas season!


  207. says

    I prepare for the season by decorating the Christmas tree with the kids, planning for the holidays feast and baking with my kids.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  208. jalinda says


    I have decorated the house for Christmas for the first time ever! And I will be making lists on my phone for what we need for Christmas dinner groceries, gifts, plans, and anything else we may need way ahead of time so that we aren’t freaking out last minute. And all the while the hubby and I will be fitting in Starbucks dates (we love their holiday drinks/snacks!)

  209. says

    We’re also starting “Something to wear, something to read, Something you want, something you need” method of gift giving for the immediate family :)

  210. says

    I started my Christmas shopping early and I’m almost done! I made some lists of what I thought people would like and that helped a lot. Now I just have to find some things for my husband!

    lisalivingwell (at) gmail (dot) com

  211. says

    I am preparing for holiday season by creating a gifts lists, I’ll go to shop toys and candy for children but for adults family and friends I have a good idea to give Starbucks gift cards, it saves me time to shop around and everybody would like to receive them.


  212. says

    I’m trying to do two things. First, stick with the gift list that I’ve already made. Second, say “no” to too many extra activities! Carving out much needed down time!

    embabcock (at) gmail (dot) com

  213. says

    I keep my Christmas list on my windows phone in a One Note doc, but an app that helped organize would be great! I also try to shop throughout the year so I have a bag of potential gifts that I just have to divvy up between people

    meghann.claire (at) gmail (dot) com

  214. says

    Got started earlier than usual this year on my decorating to get me in the spirit early. And perusing Pinterest for great DIY gift ideas.

  215. says

    Taking notes on my Ipad about gift ideas and getting rid of old toys and clothes And donating them. My email address is lyablunosky(at)frontierl(dot)com.

  216. says

    Taking notes on my Ipad about gift ideas and getting rid of old toys and clothes And donating them. My email address is lyablunosky(at)frontierl(dot)com.

  217. says

    I’ve been preparing for the holidays by getting my Christmas shopping spreadsheet ready to go, decorating for Christmas and buying new holiday candles:)

  218. twinmom says

    shop, shop, shop, lists, lists, lists and set a deadline for mailing my gufts!

  219. Anonymous says

    I have been holiday shopping for months and now just need to make lists of final preparations!

  220. says

    I am woefully behind in my Christmas preparations this year. I just can’t seem to get into the shopping “zone”…this is the year I vow to begin planning for next year’s Christmas right away in January.


  221. says

    I love diy-ing gift wrap and tags and making the outside of the present look as good as the inside. I also think I finished up my shopping in October. Seriously, I’m such a dork.

    Roman.c.moss (at) gmail (dot) com

  222. says

    Well this year has been hard!! Normally I would be decorating and shopping but this year we are building a house, so instead of decorating I’ve been enjoying a Christmasy (if thats a word) candle while I pack!


  223. says

    I’m trying really hard to be on the ball this year, but of course there are always a couple of people that are going to be hard! I do a lot of online shopping, so making a plan to just sit down and do a lot of button pushing on the computer with a cup of coffee is my plan!

  224. says

    We’re traveling a lot this holiday to visit family, I’m spending a lot of time to think of gifts and hand make some. I’m using google calendar and drive to keep track of our schedule and tasks. I should get a phone app too. Thanks for the giveaway.
    songyeuyu at gmail

  225. says

    Preparing for the holidays for me is all about making gifts. I love crafting the perfect gift for all of my friends! That’s why I love your blog–lots of great ideas! :) melpauls (at) gmail (dot) com

  226. says

    I have my tree and decorations up already and I’m planning on wrapping at least one gift a day so I don’t get overwhelmed

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

  227. says

    I started shopping early too! Thinking about each person and things that they’ve mentioned or that I know they would enjoy, so that the gifts are personal. :) Spending lots of quality time with family/friends. And spending time with the Lord, remembering the reason for celebrating and all there is to be thankful for!

  228. says

    I’m shopping early, wrapping presents early and baking cookies to put in the freezer, also early. I want to ENJOY this Christmas season, instead of being so stressed out. :)

    julietulla (at) gmail (dot) com

  229. says

    I probed my family for ideas at Thanksgiving using hinting questions that will start to give me ideas of things they’re wanting and then the past 2 weeks, I have been searching online for good deals — I always shop online to save me the hassle of the stores!

    klmcdan (at) gmail (dot) com

  230. Heather says

    No one knows what they want so I can’t shop early! Although I still love shopping for them!
    hfn1121 (at) aol (dot) com

  231. says

    I am prepping by trying to get all of my shopping done by early December so I can enjoy my family. I have most of my purchased gifts wrapped and under the tree. I didn’t want any last minute panic trips to the store or frantic wrapping. I want to enjoy my husband, son, and all of our family and friends. lgoaks (at) yahoo (dot) com

  232. says

    I have a spreadsheet for keeping track of who we are buying for and any ideas that we may have. It also has a space for how much it is. We usually end up picking up something randomly at the store. I wish everyone had an Amazon wishlist for their kids. It would make life a lot easier around this time of year.

  233. says

    We just put up the christmas tree and we went through ornament and gave away ones that didn’t mean anything to us…we kept the sentimental ones only…now when I look at the tree, I cry almost every time. My daughter also helped put the christmas cards on the door so we can see our friend’s faces as we walk out the door.
    cgies25 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  234. says

    We aren’t hosting anything this year, but we’re still putting up some decorations to get in the spirit :) Made a shopping list (must get on that!) and will later start baking!

  235. says



  236. says

    I’m already done! Wahoo! I did it by making lists of ideas starting early November and keeping an eye out for good deals. I made a spreadsheet of the things I was interested in, noting the price and store when I came across decent deals. It helped immensely.

  237. Anonymous says

    I like planning to get one item each paycheck throughout the year
    for those on my list…
    and it’s a treat to get a coffee while out on the outing!

  238. Lindsey B. says

    LOVE these ideas! I’ll be using those printables for certain to get prepared. I’m trying to stay organized and prepared by spreading out the shopping over a couple of weeks, focusing on one person at a time. :-)

  239. says

    Years ago I made up an Excel spreadsheet that I use for tracking gift ideas and presents bought. I love it because each year I just copy/add a new tab. All the ideas are copied right over. I can always flip to the tabs of the other years to check to see what I bought each person in year’s past as well.
    A Starbucks gift card would be the perfect thing to win for my hubby! It is just what I need for a final stocking stuffer!

  240. says

    We have put up a christmas tree, decorated the living room and put up a wreath and are about to build a gingerbread house

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  241. says

    Decorating with the toddler. Our Christmas will be held over because of a deployment. We’re just doing our best to stay cheerful and help the time pass quickly!


  242. Anonymous says

    What a wonderful giveaway!

    I’ve started making my list of gifts. Since most of the gifts are home made, I’ve started testing the recipes and such.


  243. says

    My husband and I just cut-our-own Christmas tree over the weekend and we’re decorating this week! I love the decorations and greenery.

    Meganace (at) gmail (dot) com

  244. Anonymous says

    I try to shop early and only buy what I need. Try to resist the impulse shopping:)


  245. says

    It’s a little late in the game now, but I spent almost the entire month of October scouring the web for ideas for handmade gifts in order to keep my budget in check this year. I also have been collecting the “ingredients” for said handmade gifts.

    trixiejo302 (at) gmail (dot) com

  246. says

    I try to do as much online as possible and during nap times. I hate to pay for shipping, so I always search for free shipping codes too!

  247. says

    I still have yet to come up with a succesful strategy for christmas shopping!! I may have to download that app and see if it helps! For now I just try to get my shopping done early :)

  248. says

    I have already completed my holiday shopping (planned ahead and beat the rush) and am currently preparing the house by doing some DIY projects to decorate. I also am working to prepare the menu for Christmas Eve dinner so that we can make sure nothing is left off.

    lauren (dot) j (dot) huyck (at) Gmail (dot) com

  249. says

    Right now, I am done with my holiday shopping with the exception of my step-dad. I am partially decorated inside but still have some to do inside and all outside still left to do. I don’t bake or host a party or anything, but my family will come after the new year for a belated celebration and gift exchange.
    14earth at gmail dot com

  250. says

    I love your blog, I can’t remember how I found it but have been reading for some time and simply adore all your tutorials! Thank you! I also love these printable, I am a list maker and love all things paper too :-) I am preparing less this year than in the past years. This is our first year with a baby, she is seven months old but we are just trying to take it easy and soak in Christmas with our little girl :-) I would say I’m practicing eating…haha!

  251. says

    Oh my gosh, these tips and resources were exactly what I needed for this season. I am always so overwhelmed when it comes to giving gifts. I have ideas but never really organize them and in the end Christmas is chaos! Hopefully with the help of these I can actually make it a more smoother Christmas.
    Lori from

  252. says

    I’ve got two young sons, so they make sure the holiday vibe is felt very strongly! We do a lot with our schools and the scouts to spread cheer throughout the season.

  253. says

    I am preparing by eliminating several things I normally do and making lists, gift lists, to-do lists, shopping lists, lists lists lists…they are my saving grace!

    pcutshaw (at) gmail (dot) com

  254. says

    The thing we do most of, I think, is holiday baking. We bake too many cookies to count. And right now, we’re in the middle of swapping and giving them away. Love this part of the season!
    justine dot h dot levine (at) gmail (dot) com

  255. says

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    online florist

  256. says

    I love Christmas shopping and these are some great tips. I like going shopping in the city or at malls. However, some of their deals are expensive and you may be able to find the same products for cheaper online. The holidays can be rough for some people because of financial situations. People may need money quickly for many of reasons and a good option may be to sell my annuity payment. This could help you get money quickly and use it for gifts during the holiday season or other bills.