Christmas Countdown Day 15: Gifts and Giving Week!

Christmas gifts

For many families, gift-giving is among the most stressful aspects of preparing for the holiday season. Wonderful as the tradition can be, it has another side: where the rubber of our budget meets the road of our expectations.

Anxieties abound! Will our gifts be enough? Will we send the right message? Can we afford them? Will we find the year's hot toy ... or should we even try to look for it?

There's another, brighter side to gift-giving. Reading assignments this week will help us draw closer to the true meaning of the holiday season. Today's essay, In Praise of Simple Gifts, is intended to get us off to a good start, reminding us that holiday gifts and holiday giving are only pale reflections of the true gift of the season.

Ready? It's time to take on the gift list and get ready for Christmas with Gifts and Giving Week!

To Do This Week

Gifts and Giving Week Assignments

To Do Today

Check home preparedness on Time Change Sunday

The end of Daylight Saving Time brings a welcome extra hour to our day; will you use it to assess home preparedness as we move into winter? As you set back the clocks, check smoke detectors, change lightbulbs, review readiness for cold and flu season and assess your household's emergency plan.

Get going on gift lists

During Get Organized week, we made a start with a Master Gift List; now it's time to flesh it out with more specialized lists to organize gift shopping.

Get those printers humming! During Gifts and Giving week, we'll spin off other lists:

A Gifts to Make list will keep us on track handmade holiday gifts. No more late-night sewing sessions on Christmas Eve!

Fill holiday stockings with items from the Stocking Stuffers list. A get-organized tip: store stocking stuffers in department store shopping bags (with handles) hung from clothes hangers. Write the recipient's name on the front, and hang the bags deep in the clothes closet.

A Gift Ideas Planner comes to the rescue when Grandma asks for ideas for the children.

Begin Christmas gift shopping

Divide the Master Gift List into five sections. Purchase gifts for one-fifth of the list entries this week. Wrap gifts as they are purchased. Keep a running total of gift expenditures.

To Read Today

Time Change Sunday is a great time for a home safety and preparedness check. Use the extra hour to see the household into winter from a prepared and organized home:

Fall Back: Home Preparedness Checklist for Time Change Sunday

Holiday gifts don't have to break the bank! Get armed against Christmas Excess:

In Praise of Simple Gifts

Today's Recipe

turkey poop recipeIt's funny gag gift for your favorite pilgrim: Turkey Poop!

Easy to make from chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate candies or seasonal jelly beans, our Turkey Poop recipe includes free printable gift tags.

It's a great gift for workplace surprises or Thanksgiving table favors.

Turkey Poop Gag Gift

To Print Today

Gifts and Giving Week Checklist

Gifts to Make Planner

Stocking Stuffer Inventory

Gift Ideas Planner

Week 3 Checklist
Gifts to Make Planner
Stocking Stuffers
Gift Ideas Planner

Holiday Plans: