September Rudolph Club Meeting

Rudolph Club

Prepare for Holiday Gifts and Giving!

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.

September brings shorter days, cool nights and the coming of Autumn. Time to get serious about holiday gifts!

September Assignment: Get Giving!

Time to think holiday giving ... in September. Why so early? Two words: time and money.

Finances first. For many of us, holiday gifts are a major source of Christmas stress. Our hearts are bigger than our pocketbooks, and we're apt to fall prey to the "easy credit" trap come November. By planning early and shopping ahead, we spread the financial burden of gift-giving over several weeks.

We also free ourselves from the temptation to just say "Charge it!" Think of early gift-buying as a front-line of financial protection. When you know that 80% of your gift list already sits happily in the gift closet, you're less likely to blow the budget come December--and you'll spare yourself the January blitz of credit-card statements.

Second rationale for early gift-shopping: time! By starting now, we shop at leisure, whether it be by catalog, Internet, or in the bricks-and-mortars stores in our community. No rushed and harried December shopping trips!

Ready? This Rudolph Day, print a Master Gift List, check the gift closet, and get organized for holiday giving.

You may want to add an Internet / Catalog Order Tracker to your Christmas notebook to track online and catalog purchases.

However you you choose to get there, it's time to get ready for holiday gift-giving ... for an organized and stress free holiday season.

September Rudolph Club Reminders:

Craft check! Making hand-crafted gift or decor items this year? Don't let dust settle on your efforts. Try to work on crafted items each day. There's less time than you think to complete holiday crafts projects.

Use a printable Gifts-To-Make Planner Form to organize handmade gifts.

Keep adding to your Holiday Letter. As outlined in the February Rudolph Club assignment, open a computer word processing file labeled "Holiday Letter". Once a month, add a quick summary of the latest month's events, memories and achievements.

When November rolls around, you'll have a complete and contemporary record of the year's high points to include with your holiday cards. Set aside any photos that you may wish to include with your cards or letters.

Keep up with the Christmas Club Savings Plan. Check with your local bank; many financial institutions offer "Christmas Club" accounts that make saving easier. If not, begin your own Christmas Club by writing a check, however small, to yourself on the 25th of each month.

Deducted from the running balance in your checking account, but not cashed, this practice can help create a welcome cushion for holiday expenses.

Monitor the progress of the Gift Closet. Have you added gifts this month? Record them on the free printable Gift Closet Inventory in your Household Notebook or Christmas notebook. It's a one-page reminder of what's tucked away for Christmas.

Frugal Finds for September

Back-to-school items and summer toys have hit the clearance shelves. Stock up now on stocking stuffers at bargain prices. Don't miss back-to-school sales on zipper food storage bags; you'll need them for holiday treats and Secret Santa gifts, so stock up while they're on sale.

Giving Halloween treats to co-workers or classmates, or trying a Halloween BOO? Check out these frugal, free printable Halloween gifts to make: