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Crazy for Christmas Challenge: February

Christmas, Crazy for ChristmasAmy WileyComment
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It’s here! The 25th of the month! This is the day we do just a little prep work for Christmas… so that when December rolls around we are ready, rested, and stress-free. I’ll be on Facebook Live this morning talking you through February’s challenge. See the January tasks here. Today we are going to…

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Set Aside Cash Gifts

Our family has a few people we gift with a cash bonus at Christmas, like our cleaning ladies and our milk man. Today I want you to think about anyone you tip at Christmas and go ahead and set that money aside. You can either hit the ATM today, or work it into next month’s budget. Either way, get it going so that your bank account won’t have to take such a big hit in December. You can even grab some cute envelopes for gifting cash like these:

Once you grab the cash, it’s important to keep it in a safe place. Last month we set up our gift storage area. If you feel that’s a good place to keep it, put it there. If you need somewhere a little more secure, put it away… then write down where it is and stick that note in your Christmas Planner notebook. You could also keep the money right inside your notebook.

Make Your Gift List

Sit down and write down all the people you give to at Christmastime. Include them all… family, friends, teachers, and loved ones. Make a rough budget of how much you will spend on each person. Subscribe to our Crazy for Christmas Challenge email list for a handy Gift List Printable for your binder.

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Break Down Your Gift Buying

Now that you know how many gifts you plan to buy, divide them up between March and November. You can do this by number of gifts or by dollar amount... spread out over those nine months. So, if you have 18 gifts to buy, you’ll need to buy two per month starting next month. Or, if you plan to spend $500 on all your gifts, you’ll want to buy around $55 worth of gifts each month. It’s up to you how you want to divide up your list, but the key is that you’ll have them all purchased by November! Next month we will actually start buying gifts, but for now you just need a plan. This will help you plan out your monthly budgets as well.

Happy planning, friends! You can find the Crazy for Christmas Challenge Facebook Group here for more inspiration and to share your progress.

The Crazy for Christmas Challenge Starts Today!

Christmas, Crazy for ChristmasAmy WileyComment

Hi friends! I am thrilled to kick off my Crazy for Christmas Challenge today, January 25th! The idea is that we can get just a little done each month. This will set us up for a relaxed, organized, and peaceful Christmas season. Think more time enjoying your family, doing advent devotionals, and simply gazing at your beautiful Christmas tree! Isn’t that what we all want?

Each month, on the 25th, I’ll give you a handful of manageable tasks. You’ll slowly check items off your list and head into December more prepared than ever. I’ll also send out a free printable each month to go in your Christmas planner. More on that in a moment. Join the Crazy for Christmas email list to get yours:

So, let’s get started!  Here is what you can do TODAY to get a jump on next Christmas:

January Tasks

  1. Go Through Your Calendar and Mark the 25th of Each Month from now Through November.

    Go ahead and make a note to yourself that you’ll be doing a few Christmas tasks on these days.  I love a paper planner, and I note my Christmas planning with stickers.  I love these little strings of lights.  Find similar ones here.  If you use the calendar on your computer or phone, go through and add a Santa or Christmas tree emoji.

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2. Start your Christmas Planner Notebook

You’ll need a place to keep all your lists and other papers organized, so buy a 1-inch binder (I suggest red) and add the custom cover you’ll get when you sign up for the Crazy for Christmas Challenge emails. I suggest printing the cover as an 8x10 photo, at somewhere like Walgreen’s or Costco. Having a place for everything makes a huge difference. You’ll receive a new, helpful printable each month to add to your binder.

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3. Designate a Spot to Store Gifts

Once you start buying gifts, you need a place to put them where they will be out of sight. You also want to remember where they are! (Anyone else ever stashed things away and forgotten about them?) Whether it’s a spare closet, under your bed or a shelf in your garage, today I want to you to pick out that spot and get it ready. For me it’s a basement linen closet. I had my husband change out the doorknob to one that locks with a key. Today I’ll make sure it’s cleaned out and ready. I’ll also add some shoebox-sized bins for storing stocking stuffers. Even if you don’t have a special closet, taking the time to vacuum under the bed or clear off a shelf will have you ready for all those gifts.

4. Update Your Address List

I absolutely love sending and receiving Christmas cards. I always end up with a few “return to sender” from friends who have moved and a few cards from friends that note a new address. While it’s still fresh on your mind, go through and update that Christmas card list. Track down new addresses when needed. You might also edit your list to remove old contacts or add new friends. I keep track of all of mine with an Excel spreadsheet.

That’s it! Start NOW and get that satisfied feeling that you are ahead of the game!