I know; you're thinking, C'mon, Family Grok, it's not even the end of August. Well, in the 4.5 years since I've become a parent, I've found that planning ahead for Christmas is critical if I'm to make it through the holiday season with my sanity (mostly) intact.
Also, even though my extended family isn't primal, I still enjoy creating nourishing treats for them - or giving them gifts oriented toward an active naturally-grounded lifestyle. The paleo-leaning gifts that I'd usually like to give often require either a significant chunk of time to create, or a significant amount of money to buy a quality product - so planning ahead is even more crucial.
Here's why I start the Christmas ideas so early on my mental back burner:
- I can brainstorm - collect a whole host of different projects and products on my growing Pinterest board, and from there I can figure out which ones work for any particular recipient in terms of their preferences, my budget, and my available time.
- I can map out my resources time-wise. One project this year that will be part of my Christmas gifts - see AndreAnna's homemade vanilla tutorial on the board - may take up to 8 weeks to steep - 8 weeks before Christmas is October 30 - so I basically have a couple of months now to track down all of my supplies.
- I can map out resources money-wise. If I have some ideas about what I'd like to get or create for folks, then I can be on the lookout over the next few months in terms of savings. One example is for barefoot shoes - they are normally very pricey at retail, but odds are good that if I keep an eye out I could manage to snag a discount of 20% or more off of barefoot shoes before Christmas is here.
Or say that I'd like to make a homemade plyo box for boxjumps; I could be on the lookout for some free or deeply discounted materials for that box on Craigslist, or I could find a home improvement store coupon in the interrim.
Additionally, keeping my Pinterest gift idea board populated with a wide range of gifts that have varying costs (down to pennies for, say, some homemade fruit leather) means that I have the flexibility to scale gifts according to budget and what I've managed to save coupon-wise or freebie-wise, as well.
- I can get most of my gifts finished and wrapped before December is here, leaving time for other important things. Taking the long road to Christmas gift prep now means that I have more time in December to focus on other things: spending time with my family and friends, trying some new special occasion recipes for holiday gatherings, and focusing on why we as a family celebrate the birth of Christ.
Have you started to percolate some Christmas 2011 gift ideas? What possibilities are you dreaming up? Have you started a Pinterest board or other resource to keep track of them? Link up your ideas!