HOME: Christmas in September? You betcha!

I love Christmas. It is absolutely my favorite time of year. And I keep it that way by preplanning and starting early. I start holiday baking in September. I also do my to-do lists and holiday card list in September. And I start my shopping in September. Now-I don't get it all done before December-because some of the fun of the season (especially with living in such a bustling city) is shopping during the holidays. But I keep who I have left to buy for in December to a minimum so I am not as stressed out. I keep a small list of gift ideas and recipients in my purse or wallet, with any size or age notes next to it. I also keep a "miscellaneous" list I may need, such as bows, cards, cookie tins, etc. This way, from September to December, I am buying things as they go on sale or as I am inspired. The great thing about doing Christmas planning and purchasing this way is the spend. You can spend a little bit of cash a week if you plan right. That way, you are not having a big money burden in December or the heart attack credit card bill in January. The one thing you will need thought out if you plan on pre-shopping is storage. I am fortunate I have a usable third floor attic that I hide bags in. So if you are going to try and pre-shop, have an idea of where to store everything. Husbands get less cranky that way and children are less curious. Merry September Christmas!

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