Uhm, I have a confession to make. It's not terribly earth shattering, but ... well, here it is: my Christmas shopping is done ... finished ... complete.
Now before you get annoyed with me, allow me give you two things I do which help me stay on top of things:
1. Every year my best friend and I plan an all day Christmas shopping trip, usually during the early part of December. This year, because Thanksgiving was so early, we did it the end of November. Sometimes we go to Atlanta or Columbia, and sometimes (like this year) we stay in town. And when I say all day, I mean all day. As soon as the kids leave for school, off we go. The key to our trips is organization: we have lists, coupons, and we map out our day (which, by the way, always includes a lovely lunch). Not only am I able to finish the bulk of my shopping in one fell swoop, but it is so much fun.
And then there's this:
2. Our family has simplified the gift giving. For example, on my side of the family we draw names, with a drawing for the adults and and one for the kids. This way, everyone gets one gift. After several years of complete bedlam, you can't imagine how nice it has been doing it this way; not only does it keep the excess at bay, but it makes shopping for gifts that much easier.
That's it. An all day shopping trip and fewer gifts ... two things that have worked for me to ensure that Christmas doesn't get so crazy.
And as long as I'm confessing, I might a well tell you that everying is already wrapped and hidden away, which means I can now take the time to watch The Polar Express, sit by the fire and write Christmas cards, bake, pull out my guitar and play Christmas carols, go for nighttime car rides to look at Christmas lights, and read Christmas stories out loud.
In other words, I can now enjoy the season instead of running around trying to get ready for it.