Christmas by the Month - January!

jamie_mtJanuary 3, 2005

Here we are again - another year of preparation begins. :-) What will you do to get ready for Christmas 2005 this month?

I will:

- Finish the gift for my friend in Washington and send it off *eyeroll* The scarf is almost finished, just needs fringe, and a pair of gloves will take me two evenings.

- Take out my planner, and of the gifts that I already have planned (afghan for my dad, vest for mom - the yarn is already bought), schedule them out over the next year.

- Start making a list of gift ideas for everyone else (several ideas for each person so I can narrow it down as the year goes on)

- Mark deadlines in my planner for the next year...ie, gift buying deadlines, gift making deadlines, wrapping deadlines, baking deadlines, etc.

Using my planner is one of my resolutions for next year...so this will be a very good area to apply that in. :-)

Who's next? :-)

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Wendy_the_Pooh

Jamie - is the pig afghan all done?
I am still finishing the only Christmas 2004 present not yet done, a wavy stripe afghan for my brother.

My current status for Christmas 2005:
- I have all the yarn I need for my mother's vest. She liked the matching hat that I gave her. The vest will either be done for her birthday or for Christmas.
- I need to start thinking of gift ideas, too. I made a lot of hats this past year. I think I will go for small things for next Christmas, for the most part, like mittens, coffee cozies, maybe fun scarves (that aren't boring to make), felted soaps, scrubbies, cell phone holders, stuff like that.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 12:53PM
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talley_sue_nyc

pack away the Christmas decorations well, which means:

- pack them so they don't get broken
- take a hard look at the ones that didn't come out of the box this year--can I toss them?
- label the new set of lights (I write the number of lights right on the plug itself--then it can't come off and get lost)
-make Christmas stockings for NEXT year. Goodness knows what happened to ours, but I'd like ones that are similar

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 2:33PM
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runninginplace

"Finish the gift for my friend in Washington and send it off *eyeroll*"

This the holiday-by-the-month police. Warning: you may not include gifts you didn't get done for '04 in '05 planning :).

I really can't claim any advance planning either though, using that scale. Well, other than resolving down to my very toes that I WILL NOT buy cards, gift tags, boxes, or probably wrapping paper for the next holiday season because of all my frantic post-holiday clearance grabbing I just finished!

Actually, it did occur to me that a fishing set I got my son last year that he never opened, might be a nice gift for NEXT year for my nephew who lives on a lake. So, I'll say I selected my first gift for Christmas 05.

Ann

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 2:43PM
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yellowhair

I'm thinking about opening a new bank account for Christmas 2005. When I asked our bank lady about a Christmas Club account, she said they don't have those anymore, just open a new account.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 3:27PM
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jamie_mt

LOL Ann...alrighty then, dually noted and striken from my list. ;-)

Good job finding a possible "regift" - that's decluttering *and* planning all at the same time, much like Tally Sue is doing!

I did forget to add a note about my christmas cards though - this month I need to update my card list for next year based on the cards I got this year (anyone I got a card from this year will get one next year).

Wendy, I finished the pig afghan on Christmas Eve morning...whew!! I was in such a rush I didn't get a picture of it, but my MIL *adores* it, and I will have her take a pic for me one of these days so I can post it for anyone interested. :-)

The lovely thing about *not* getting certain things done this year is that like you, I have all the yarn I need for quite a few of *next year's* gifts...so it will be easy to start on the '05 projects as soon as I have the time. :-)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 3:31PM
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Sylvia

Yay! Love this thread, it helped me SOOOO much last year!

So this year this month:
This afternoon when I pay the bills I am also sending in a yarn mail order with lots of patterns for next year's gifts. Already have yarn for them so that is ready. Smallish things like cowls and gloves and hats.

Also I am going to keep a chenille faceloth on the needles at all times and keep it in the car to be knit on during waiting for dd times. We'll see how many I get done that way. They are soft and pretty and with a nice bar of soap make nice one size fits all gifts.

The address book was updated from cards already and the ornaments have been culled and put away.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 4:02PM
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anrsaz

I bought on sale ALL my Christmas cards for our business and for our personal friends.

I also bought my new daytimer calendar and added all the necessities AND added a reminder to do the Christmas Cards early.

I also will mark in a Christmas section of my daytimer what things I need for next year...or mainly don't need so I don't get all excited and buy stuff I don't need decoration wise.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 10:01PM
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jamie_mt

Update - yesterday I made a list of possible gifts for everyone on my list...and decided on what gifts to crochet for gifts. Now I just have to get them scheduled out in my planner.

I've also updated my christmas card list for next year. :-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 10:58AM
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Wendy_the_Pooh

This is my problem with making some of the Christmas gifts I've picked out to make this year (so far): I am too tempted to keep them for myself! I found lovely patterns for hats and gloves with Viking decorations. Very pretty.

Tell me not to be greedy, please. Or maybe I have to make duplicates of everything. I was decidedly ungreedy last year.

The afghan for my brother is much closer to being done now.
I haven't yet started the vest for my mother. I will do that when the afghan gets done.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 11:24AM
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jamie_mt

LOL Wendy - I've already decided to make myself a couple of the vests I'm going to make for my mom next year. Really, we hardly ever make anything for *ourselves* - be greedy, and either make duplicates, or find them something quicker to make so you'll have time to finish it all! ;-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 3:23PM
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artmom

Since this year was so hectic, we didn't get to enjoy some of our family traditions so next year I decided to trade decorating the house (except for the tree and outdoor wreath) for baking cookies with DD.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 6:19PM
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jamie_mt

Does it have to be a trade-off, Betsy? Can you just organize things better so you have time to do both?

Not saying it's bad to trade-off...I just think that if you *like* decorating the house *and* baking cookies, you could schedule things *now* so it would be doable then. :-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 6:42PM
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artmom

I was working 40 hours a week, still cleaning houses and taking care of my family plus nursing sore muscles and extremely tired. No, I don't think so unless I start way before Thanksgiving. Then I couldn't wait for it all to come down, everything was so dusty and I just wanted my house back.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 6:51AM
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jamie_mt

Bummer, Betsy - so I gather you clean houses evenings and weekends then, along with your 40 hour job? That's pretty rough...I can understand why it would have to be one or the other!!

What about doing the *baking* with DD earlier (ie, Oct/Nov)...then saving the decorating for Dec.? I don't know if your kids help you decorate, but I picked up my love of decorating from my mom, so it might be fun to have one "decorating day" with your daughter in Dec. too (ie, you can decorate as much as possible in just that one day - the tree, various other things, hot cider & christmas music to set the scene, and then when that particular Saturday is over, so is the decorating).

Just a thought... :-)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 10:35AM
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cupofkindness

Okay:

This month, on January 13th, I just tossed the 2004 Christmas tree out with the lights still on. The tree was so dry that the lights were a tangled mess and I didn't want to spend an hour or two unwinding the lights on this nearly nine-foot tree. The green extention cord was removed and stored. My husband will be upset when he finds out. But I'm not going to tell him, I'll let him notice. As I was dragging the tree out the front door scummy tree-stand water spilled all over the foyer and on the tree itself, so now we can't use those old lights anyway. I'm tired of putting Christmas decorations myself and I will treat myself to new lights next year. The hours I would have spent taking down the lights will instead be spent carefully packing our delicate ornaments. And scrubbing out the tree stand. Although I feel a tinge of guilt about the lights (the tree will wind up at the dump, not in a chipper when picked up at the end of the month by Dallas sanitation), I am pleased that I am asserting myself and managing my time more efficiently. So that's what I'm doing in January! It's back to the tree!

~Cindy

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 11:32AM
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cupofkindness

I should add that I'm really looking forward to next Christmas!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 11:37AM
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runninginplace

Cupofkindness, I hereby give you permission not to feel bad about throwing out your lights :). It may be too late this year but for next year...the after Xmas sales are a great way to pick up lights super cheap. I think this is YA product now being made offshore so that the initial price is low, quantities are enormous, and then you can get them at 50% or 75% off in places like Target and KMart once the holiday is over.

My son and I happened on a huge stock of lights at Target 2 or 3 years ago. They were 75% off and I think I paid something like .25/box. My husband used to spend hours fiddling around with light strings because of course some always burn out if you try to save them, some burn out as you unpack them :) and so on. If I can get strings off easily, I"ll save them. But when I unpack, if anything isn't working I just toss em then.

Betsy, my holiday wish for your next Christmas is that you have some time to do the things you wish to do. As most of us know, sometimes it isn't a question of organizing, it's a fact that our lives are just too darn busy!

I'm trying to start working on gift lists. In addition to Christmas shopping, almost all of my very large family has birthdays in the fall! I mean, I"ve got close to 20 birthdays between September and December. So I am trying to figure out if I can shop wisely starting now, and that will help me not be so overwhelmed at Xmas.

Ann

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 8:10AM
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cupofkindness

Well, I did tell my husband that the lights went out with the tree and added that my time is worth more than the lights. Especially after spending about 45 minutes cleaning the scummy tree stand. My house smelled like bleach for hours.

I put an approximately five foot square sheet of vinyl under the stand (on top of the carpet) to keep "tree- stand" water off the new carpet. In order to fold it neatly, I threw it in the dryer to soften it so it would fold smoothly yesterday. Well, I forgot about it and practically melted it. I took a large wad of plastic out of my dryer. After school, I stopped by JoAnn's and purchased a new square of vinyl. So I guess that's for Christmas 2005! Today I put away the ornaments, then I'm done.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 8:58AM
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jamie_mt

Good job, cupofkindness - saved yourself a lot of time and hassle by tossing those lights out. :-)

Ann, the birthdays I have to plan for are stretched out for most of the year, except I have 4 in November to plan for. So I'm adding that shopping/gift making to my lists as well, in hopes that I can organize that right along with my christmas gift stuff. Darn birthdays always get in the way... LOL

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 10:40AM
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Wendy_the_Pooh

I got the afghan for my brother all done and washed - I am rather proud of it - it's a "manly" afghan - with nice colors - greens, dark red and dark teal.

For my mother, I double-checked the sizing for the vest for her, so I can start on that.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:30AM
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jamie_mt

Well done, Wendy!! You're off to a good start! For anyone interested, I finally posted a picture of the pig afghan in the craft gallery...

The gift for my friend became a moot point, so no longer an issue. I still haven't gotten the planning things down, but I will *make* time this coming weekend to get it done, no matter what. ;-)

And I've decided to write a christmas letter to go with next year's christmas cards, but I want to make it a humorous, dramatic-type letter, rather than a "here's what we've been up to" type thing. So every month, I'm going to write down the main events of the month, and then pick one (even if it's just "got a new fish" or "lost my keys"), and embellish it into some sort of ultra-dramatic comedic little quip (short but funny). At the end of the year, I should have 12 of them, and I'll figure out a funny way to put them all together (maybe tips for "what not to do" or something).

Anyways, I'm adding that to my January list, and need to get that done this weekend as well. :-)

Less than a week left of January - wow!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pig Afghan Picture

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 4:09PM
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Sylvia

Jamie, what a clever idea that quip of the month is, I think I shall promptly STEAL IT! We got a family newsletter this year that was funny, it had headlines over each section: New House. New Job. Same Kids. Same Dogs. We laughed at it.

*Most* but not all of my pattern order arrived the other day. Haven't cast on anything yet but will do it this weekend; the first will be the "smoke ring" that is a little lacy neckwarmer. Been keeping the facecloth in the car and it's slow going, I "wait" less than I thought. A row or two a day is all. So at that rate it won't be enough. Thinking on how to work on it more. Maybe a "required" amount of knitting per day or something before I get my "dessert" knitting.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:40PM
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Wendy_the_Pooh

Jamie, I really enjoyed seeing the afghan. A pig with sunglasses! Cute. I will post a link to mine when I upload the picture to Photobucket. Sylvia, your "smoke ring" neckwarmer sounds intriguing. "Dessert knitting", lol!
I still plan on making a list in the next few days of some gift possibilities for everyone that I will be making things for this year.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 8:37AM
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jamie_mt

LOL No need to steal the quip idea, Sylvia - I'll gladly share it with you (and anyone else who'd like it). And I know what you mean by not "waiting" enough...I tried carrying projects around with me, and never had enough time to work on them. I like the idea of "required" and "dessert" project work though - I'll have to try that! :-)

Wendy, I'll look forward to seeing that afghan - it sounds wonderful!

Yesterday, I "stole" some time, and firmed up my gift list (the "to make") list, and then I went through my planner month-by-month and planned out all my projects. The fun part is, if I stick to the schedule, I'll have all the gifts that I'm *making* done by September...and that includes birthday gifts for the year, so I won't really have hardly anything that I'll have to *buy*. And it will use up a good chunk of my yarn stash too, which is very cool - money already spent (I will have to buy some more too, of course...because it's fun LOL). ;-)

Now I just need to get my "quip" for the month done, and finish up the crochet project I have started for *me* this week so I can be ready to follow the plan starting in Feb.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 10:37AM
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Sylvia

I hope you will share the quip with us, Jamie, I'm so curious what you will say.

Wendy, if you follow this link and scroll down, on the right you will see a photo of the flared lace smoke ring pattern. I think it's so pretty, and it looks fairly do-able.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flared Lace Smoke Ring

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 10:35PM
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Wendy_the_Pooh

Thanks, Sylvia. I bookmarked the site - it looks very pretty.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 9:21AM
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Wendy_the_Pooh

Here is the afghan I made for my brother. The darkest stripes are actually a dark green, hard to see in the picture.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 11:54PM
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artmom

Ooooh that's pretty! Looks warm! Very nice job and beautiful colors. Did it take long?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 6:26AM
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jamie_mt

Wonderful job, Wendy!! I bet your brother loves it...it's beautiful (I love the colors too...the pattern looks like sound waves). :-)

Sylvia, that smoke ring is beautiful...good luck with it!

I think this is the quip I'll use this month, Sylvia...a little bit of irony to start the year with. ;-)

January 2005: My dog and I lead surprisingly similar lives. He stays home all day napping on the couch, and I go to work and try not to nap at my desk. Then I come home, we eat and run around like hooligans for a good half hour. Then we spend the rest of the evening lying around the living room with the rest of our "pack". So why is it that my dog lost ten pounds this year, and I gained twenty?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 3:49PM
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Wendy_the_Pooh

LOL, Jamie!
Thanks, Betsy and Jamie. It took about four months, because it took back seat to all the other projects I had going for Christmas. I hardly bought anything but patterns, yarn, and needles! I promised myself I would start earlier than October this year, and this thread sure is helping me.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 11:25AM
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cupofkindness

These old "by the month" threads are so inspiring! Just had to move it up again!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:06PM
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