Christmas 2016 Planning

When the last trick or treater goes to sleep, that's when my Christmas season starts. I'm one of those people. Yes, I love Thanksgiving but I keep that confined to my dining room, kitchen, and nook. Those stay decorated for Thanksgiving until Thanksgiving night and then they are overhauled in tinsel, sprigs, and bells. But I have several things already planned out for this holiday season.

From Flylady to The Container Store, to Etsy, to YouTube, and to Pinterest,this is how I have prepared for the holiday season, including Thanksgiving! How in the world have all of these companies helped me prep for the holidays? I'm breaking it down one by one!

FlyLady - So starting off with what really helps me get motivated is something that I swore off on a daily basis. I am not a FlyLady follower, but her Holiday Missions cannot be beat.  This is more than just budgets, grocery lists and gift lists. It has reminders to clean your house and to not to be overly consumed with the hustle and bustle. I have found it so easy to write down specific things to do on certain days. I don't always do what she said on given days, because on Mondays the last thing I want to do when I get home is clean and fling. So I do what I can on the day that works for me.

The Container Store - It's that time of year for me! Thanks to Pretty Neat Living, a few years ago I discovered the secret to all things wrapping and gifting! Gift Wrap Wonderland from the Container Store! Gift Wrap Wonderland is essentially all the little things with wrapping and gifts that you could possibly need. Even in store they have hacks on how to wrap presents the best! Plus there are even storage strictly for gift wrapping needs which makes my mission of bringing my wrapping station out a breeze. There are two things I want to discuss about The Container Store's Gift Wrap Wonderland.

First, the wrapping paper quality cannot be beat! I swear to you, promise on everything, you will NEVER find better quality wrapping paper. I paid $16 for a roll of wrapping paper last year from Hallmark and it didn't come close to The Container Store quality. It's very thick paper, even the foil gift wrap is, but it is still very easy to wrap with when you need something wrapped. They have several textures that you can get from normal, glossy, foil, faux suede, and craft paper. Plus all of the paper has the ghost lines on the back for a perfect straight line cut. Yes, I am very precise when it comes to wrapping presents.

Second, I have a wrapping station thanks to them. I have several rolls that I keep on my wall hanging wear I always have paper for birthdays or holiday presents. But Christmas is when those rolls are changed out with paper for gifts that are for mass gifting. I do wrap children's gifts in different paper, because I just find it essentially better for me to hand out presents then. Yes I get very technical about wrapping presents. I have scissors specifically for wrapping presents. My station has loads of satin gift wrap tape, the kind on the spool or the kind in the pop up wrist tape dispenser. I also have washi tape for the kid's presents.  I have duct tape for those presents that I want it to take a while for people to open. Then I have an adhesive runner for present I want to have a seamless close on the paper. Also using an adhesive runner is great for ribbon as well! I have a plethora of gift wrap tags, ribbons, sprigs, cellophane bags, gift bag, tissue paper, tins, tubs, boxes, stickers, cards, gift sacks (very large gift bags for odd shaped things), gift cards for money or gift cards, and different colored Sharpies and chalk markers (for chalk gift tags).

Etsy - While The Container Store was really about starting out generally getting ready for the holiday season, Etsy is different, because I have just searched for things that I know I will need and went ahead and bought. I bought the sticker kits for my planner for December. I also bought some mini Christmas cards to put in my purse for tiny gifts that I can give out on a whim. I have some general presents always in my purse at Christmas just in case I need a gift a moment's notice or if I just feel like doing a random act of kindness. I usually have some kind of candy with a bow on it for those purposes.

I love shopping on Etsy because it helps with small business. I am a huge believer in shopping for small businesses. I have a small business myself, but mine is not one you can Black Friday shop. I have a wedding boutique and event planning business in one. However, my fiance has a woodworking shop and sells to boutiques across the southeast. And there are many small businesses in Tuscaloosa that I support strongly. The main one that comes to mind is Rhubarb's Real Living. They have such an unique style to them and it's easy to just get swept up in their stuff. And I'm prepared for Small Business Saturday (right after Black Friday, but before Cyber Monday.) Fundera is helping small businesses all the time, and they (and myself) are supporting small business on Saturday, November 26. For more information on how they work, click here!"

YouTube - Ah my love for YouTube binge watching is not a secret, but how has it helped me with my holiday prep? There are a number of recipes, DIYs, and home tours for the holidays that I have saved. I like to recreate things my own way. So this is not that big of a deal.

Pinterest - "All through the year we waited..." I pin stuff for the holidays all year round. How people literally have 300 or even 2000 something amaze me. I am sitting over here with 20.6 thousand pins. Yeah, use Pinterest like crazy for hacks, decor, recipes, card ideas, gift ideas, etc. My boards that I use for Thanksgiving is Blessings and Thanks and my Christmas board is Christmas in Dixie. These are boards that I really use for inspiration.

How are you preparing for the holidays? What are your resources?

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