Welcome to the Rudolph Club: your once-a-month meeting to simplify your holidays and get organized for Christmas!
At Organized Christmas, we know that the holiday season can be fast and furious. Solution? Take a day once each month throughout the year to plan and prepare for a more-organized holiday season.
On the 25th of each month, we'll bring simple assignments and easy tips to try now for a simpler, more joyous season. Over the year, you'll tackle planning and preparations to make the season lighter, brighter and less stressful come December.
April Assignment: Plan Holiday Crafts!
Truth to tell, most of us don't really think about holiday crafts until way, way late in the game. Say, November? But when you think about it, late spring and early summer offer far more opportunities for crafting and needlework than the busy days of autumn. Long summer car trips. The sidelines at the Little League game. Summer vacation, with a lighter load of church and school activities.
It's time to organize and plan crafted gifts or decor projects. Here are a few places to start, plus some tips for happy holiday crafting:
Crafting Tip: Plan Your Projects!
Too often, that crafty glow gets in the way of our thinking cap. Common mistakes when planning crafts include overestimating time available (leaving the crafter with a huge crop of UFO's, or, Un-Finished Objects), selecting overly-complex projects that outstrip skill or available time, or attempting too many different crafts.
To match time and skill with crafts projects, get a plan. We've made it easy, with a free printable "gifts to make" planner form. Use our planner page, or make your own to get organized for happy holiday crafting.
Four Tips For Successful Holiday Crafting
As you plan crafts projects for the holidays, keep these four principles in mind:
First, mine your UFOs! Drag those Un-Finished Objects from beneath the bed and the back of the closet. They represent stored time and effort, and something about them appealed to you when you undertook them. If you can finish what you began (even many years ago!), you're ahead of the game. Work those UFOs into your crafting plan to cut clutter and save time.
Second, don't be afraid of making multiples of a single craft project for gift-giving. It's an efficient use of time--and by varying crafts from year to year, friends and family will anticipate each new treat. If you make melt-and-pour soap, craft multiple gifts in a single session. If it's cross-stitched bread cloths, vary designs slightly from gift to gift, but be sure everyone receives a bread cloth.
Third, keep the recipients in mind as you craft. Often, crafts projects become more than a simple gift; they acquire a level of personal investment that can turn tricky if the crafter senses the gift isn't fully appreciated.
For decor-conscious friends, try a consumable gift of candles, rather than a matted-and-framed traditional needlepoint piece that may never see the light of day in their ultra-modern, minimalist home. A trend-watching teen will appreciate a home-sewn nightgown, but might turn up a fashionista nose at a hand-crocheted granny-square skirt.
Finally, when crafting decor items, keep your holiday decor scheme in the front of your mind. However adorable the Elf door hanging appears in the crafts store, will it seem out-of-place with your gingerbread man theme? Stick to colors, themes and materials that harmonize with your existing decorations.
For more information on frugal decor and how to select a holiday decor scheme, see our article on Frugal Holiday Decorating Tips. It's a road map to selecting holiday decor with an eye to organization and money savings.
April Rudolph Club Reminders:
Reminder: Holiday Letter Entry
In February, those of us who write holiday letters began a Rudolph Day activity: noting the month's high points in a notebook or computer file.
If you're a letter-writer, take a few minutes today to add to your holiday letter file. What special moments, jokes or accomplishments have occurred during the last 30 days? Don't worry about style--just note any happy or interesting events to jog your memory come November, when you'll write your holiday letter
Keep Up With The Gift Closet
In January's meeting, we dedicated a "gift closet"--a closet shelf, deep drawer, or an under bed storage box designated to hold bought-ahead holiday gifts.
Time for a quick inventory check! Have you added gifts this month? Record them on the free printable Gift Closet Inventory Form. Your Gift Closet Inventory Form is a one-page reminder of what's tucked away for Christmas.
Frugal Finds for April: Easter Clearance
Easter's over? Look lively! Now's the time to scoop up stocking stuffers, cellophane, and gift basket filler at rock-bottom prices. Check the clearance aisle for baskets, too; many Easter baskets feature bright colors that work well for holiday gift baskets.