I know, we barely had Back To School, so who is really ready to start thinking about the upcoming holidays? And to be honest, I am usually a last-minute sort of person. Which every year I vow to change the next year, so that I am not struggling to get things done in time, or to find the money for gifts and entertaining in my budget, but which I rarely seem to be able to do.
And I do love the time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and then Valentines Day. It seems like a time of year where you want to spend more time and energy on family and friends. You want to be thankful and appreciative towards those you love. For a lot of us, that means hand-made gifts and cards and decorations. Which take extra time and thought to create, which is also why they are special.
However, since I am such a procrastinator (which is a whole other blog post), I end up with only a few hand-made cards so I have to buy cards; I end up running out of time to create beautiful hand-made gifts, so I buy gifts, or rush the making of my gifts so they are not quite as special as I would like them to be.
To be honest, people who do a lot of personal hand-made gifts probably work on them all year-long! Wow, what a concept! How organized of them! This blog post is probably not for you, because you are already done with your holiday gifts! Ha Ha
This post is for the rest of us. I am here to tell you that it isn’t too late to get those personal gifts and cards completed. You have 3 months to finish them. You can do it! I believe that it is possible! Who is with me on this?
This week’s challenge is to plan what you want to do and get started working on it. Break it all done into smaller pieces and put it in your calendar. Get it organized and scheduled and you will be ready to go.
So, if you have 30 cards you want to hand-make, that is only 10 per month between now and Christmas. That doesn’t sound so hard. Get your holiday stamps and markers and cardstock all together and set up a space to do them. Make 10 in Sept, 10 in Oct, 10 in Nov, and mail them all out in December. Fabulous!
How many gifts do you need to make? I really don’t have very many people who I exchange gifts with so I have a small list. And some of them may not be appreciative of a hand-made gift, so I can plan to buy them something. In my experience it is best to give hand-made gifts only to those people who truly understand and appreciate the amount of work and creativity that goes into them. So maybe you only need a few hand-made gifts. If you need 5 gifts, then figure out how much time you truly need to complete each gift. Obviously this depends on what you are creating. Do you need 2 hrs or 15 hrs per gift? Some projects are more time-consuming than others. So look at what you can realistically complete. Do you have some projects that are partially finished (OK, I know you do!) that you could complete for someone on your list? That would eliminate some of the time needed to complete. Ideally, you have all of your gifts finished before December gets here, so you are not stressing about getting something done when you are busy with other aspects of the holidays. So plan on 10 weeks to get everything finished. For those 5 gifts you have to do, you will have 2 weeks to spend on each one. Figure out if you have the extra time to schedule in to finish them, and block out some time on your calendar to get them done.
Oh, but what about those extra little gifts you need? You know, the office gift exchange? Or your neighbors? Or something for your child’s school teacher? There are always those last-minute small gifts that you forget about. Do you need to make those gifts too? If you do, then you better schedule some time for them as well. These are most likely small items, only requiring a small pocket of time to complete, but you still need to schedule it, so block out some time to make a few small items to have on hand as well.
Now you have everything on your calendar, you have plans for who is getting a hand-made gift and card, and now you need to be sure you have all your supplies on hand and ready to go. You can easily get side-tracked and off-schedule if you don’t have everything you need at hand. A last-minute shopping trip (whether in person or on-line) can derail your entire schedule.
So take today to plan your gifts and cards, schedule your time in your calendar (and stick to it), and organize all your supplies you need and put them in one place, ready to go when your scheduled time is here. Do you have items you need to order? Get them ordered now! Do you need patterns? Or sizes verified? Or colors decided? Do it all now, before you start on the making part of it all!
When Christmas (or any other special event) gets here you will be ready with all your fabulous hand-made creations! I’m going to go work on my schedule right now! How about you?