Why I Prepare for Christmas Way Too Early than Most People
For children, Christmas is a time of joy, a time of celebration and a time for receiving gifts. But for most of us adults, it can be a season full of madness, stress, anxiety and lots of things to do. This is the reason why I prepare for this season months before it happens. Yes, I make preparations for Chrismas, way too early. As early as the month of August kicks in, my Christmas preparations begin.
Why I do It and Why You Should Too?
I want to enjoy Christmas more. I find in the past, before I did this, that Christmas becomes less enjoyable as it becomes highly stressful and puts me in a frantic pace. Instead of enjoying the moment with family and friends, I become absorb in all the gift preparations, the planning, the buying of presents, decorating and all other errands just to make myself and my family feel the real essence of Christmas. It became really difficult for me to a point that I never wanted to celebrate Christmas anymore.
But as a mom, this is just not an option. I want my kids to experience Christmas and feel the sense of peace and joy and love that comes with it. But at the same time, I wanted to be a role model for them. I wanted them to focus on what truly matters – love and remembering the birth of Christ who died for our sins.
My brilliant husband gave me an idea into this and suggested I make preparations before December. That was when the idea hit me. I don’t need to make all the preparations by December, I can actually do it way advanced before this month.
What was the result and how do I do it?
The result astonished and amazed me up until this day. I start preparing by August by listing all the names of people that I want to give gifts to. I then list things I want to give them. If I can’t come up with anything, i have all the time in the world to find out what the person wants. I have a huge network of friends, families and acquaintance that my list reaches around 100 people, more or less. I even give to coworkers, and that of my husband’s too. That’s the reason why my list is quite long. That is also a huge reason why I needed to prepare for this event, really early!
I buy the gifts and wrappers or make them if I wanted the gift to be a personalized one, I buy christmas cards in advance and write in them in advance, I collect and buy things I would need for the season such as decors, gift wrappers and the like. I use coupons to save on items and rush in to the mall whenever they are on sale. I then put the items in stock in our house and wrap them one by one whenever I have the extra time to do so. I keep all the gifts in a cabinet which is clean and safe so that they are not damaged when December comes and they look like they were just wrapped at that time. I do not put names on the gifts yet before December. Instead, I place a reminder of what’s inside it. This way, I am able to make a switch as to whom I would give them if I feel the need to do so.
I also plan the christmas meals in advance. I read articles online, watch cooking shows and write meal plans so I do not have to worry what to prepare anymore.
As for the decorations, we set them up as early as October. We don’t do them all at once so that we don’t need to put in a huge portion of time into it. We set them every weekend and add something to what’s already set during that time. This becomes a great bonding activity for my family and the good thing is that we get to do it not only once. We get to do it until the end of December and by December, we are all amazed at what we have come up with.
We hold a party at our home every Christmas, and this used to be a huge source of stress for me. But today, not anymore! I prepare all the details of the programs, the foods and the parts of the event as well as all the things needed, way before December. Planning begins in September.
I can say that this strategy really helped me. Planning for Christmas in advance can really help a person. If it helped me a lot, I am pretty sure, it could help you too. The result is amazing! I no longer had that feeling of being overwhelmed. I can feel relaxed and at peace knowing that everything is already prepared. I have more joy and contentment and I can enjoy the season more and become more loving and giving to my loved ones. More importantly, I can be a great role model for my kids so they will be able to see what truly matters in celebrating this season. In addition, I get to save tons of cash because I have plenty of time to plan, buy with discounts, and decide.

Christmas Shopping Reminder on a Wall Calendar

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Kid’s Birthday Parties Doesn’t Have to Burn a Hole on your Pocket
If you’re like most moms, you spend months planning your kid’s birthday parties, spend all your energy preparing for them and last but not the least, spend tons of money for that one day event. More often than you realized, you are spending way a bit more than necessary. If you’re an all or nothing type of person, you probably would just think it’s better to just let it all go and just not hold the party anymore.
You actually can have a birthday party for your kids without burning a hole in your pocket. It’s simple and it’s all a matter of finding out what works and what doesn’t. It involves a lot of planning, but the extra savings it would give you would definitely be worth the hassle.
Based on my own experience through trial and error, these are the things I’ve considered has worked best for me and probably for you too.
1. Save up for that event – Instead of taking a huge portion of your budget and money for that party, why don’t you save up for it 12 months ahead so that you won’t find yourself, having to use all of that $200-$300 from your income? If you save $20 a month for example, you would already have $240 by the end of your 12th month and you can use this money to fund your party. Then, you can just add a little to it if you want. But if won’t feel like your spending too much because you already had the money for it. Sounds like a great idea right?
2. Budget – One of the trick which doesn’t go missing on any money saving article is budgeting. Whether it be for monthly expenses, parties, events and trips, budgeting does work. The key is to decide on a budget and stick to it. Before you start saving up for your event, you have to decide how much you need. You’ll have to decide on a particular budget. A budget will help you stay on track and make sure you do not overspend.
3. Spend less on Decoations – Most moms spend tons of money to make the decorations look elegant and perfect. But you can actually do them yourself. A DIY decoration not only is less expensive but it has some personal touch on it. Making decorations can even be an inexpensive and enjoyable bonding activity for you and your kids.
4. Buy from Thrift Stores – Instead of buying your needed supplies in an expensive party shop, head on to a thrif store first. Chances are, you can find lots of items there that are half less expensive as those you can buy from the shop.
5. Use what you already have – Before buying items, check your supplies and inventories for things you might already have. Chances are, there are items from your previous parties and events that you can still utilize instead of buying new ones. Make sure you know you have them before you head on to shop.
6. Ask friends and relatives to be the clown, party entertainers, etc. instead of hiring professional ones – If you are hosting an informal neighborhood party, you don’t need to impress too hard by hiring professionals. Let go of the need for perfection and the need to impress and you’ll find that there is plenty of room for you to save tons of cash. Ask friends, relatives and neighbors to be the emcee or program facilitators, dancers, clowns or performer during the program. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find people to cooperate so you can make the best party for your kid a reality, without you burning a hole in yourhappy little girl with birthday cakepocket.

happy little girl with birthday cake

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Mother’s Day Thoughts

miriam Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
There’s a viral video going around in social media today about an interview for a job and not just any kind of job. It’s a job that involves almost all day of sitting and going around, no days off 24/7 and 365 days per year and no salary but its a very fulfilling job and you get to be the director of operations. All of the people interviewed said that there is no reason why they would take this kind of job and that someone who would take it is crazy enough. They were in for a great surprise in the interview experiment when they learned that some people are actually in this kind of job – MOMS. A few of them shed tears as they remember their own moms and realize all of the sacrifices made to raise them.
Moms are great. The word great is an underestimation of just how cool and awesome they really are in each of our lives. Our mom’s are there for us to cook our delicious foods, to take care of us when we are sick, to be a shoulder to cry on in times of sorrow and disappointment, to be a friend we can talk to anytime we want, to buy our favorite toys and dresses, to guide us and make sure that we excel in school and to still worry about us and our kids when we finally have our own families.
Now that I am a mom myself, I really appreciate motherhood more, and I appreciate my mom even more. I plan to make this coming Mother’s Day a special one for her, even in my own simple ways. I do not plan to give something expensive. Instead, I plan to give something that would be more special and meaningful to her. I don’t believe that gifts had to be expensive. I would probably pick some flowers in the garden for her and bake a nice cake with a nice message for her. I’m sure my mom will be happy.
How, about you? What are your plans for Mother’s Day?

young boy celebrating mothers day

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5 Things You Can Do to Save this Easter

Irish Thursday, March 27th, 2014
5 Tips On How To Save This Easter
The Easter break is finally here and the children have just taken a break from school. For most moms, it will be the time to take a breather from all the school related expenses, but for some it is also the time to shell out money for activities the children might want to participate in while they have enough free time in their hands. Music or swimming lessons, as well as other interesting activities, may be a little bit expensive, but here are a few things you might want to bear in mind so you can scrimp this Easter break:
Bring Your Children to the local Library
If you raised your children to be book lovers, nothing will thrill them most than the sight of many books and there is no perfect place to experience exactly that than in the library. Encourage them to get their own library card so they can go on and borrow as many books as they can manage to read over the spring break. Borrow storybooks and activity books which you can all read at home. This will spell endless hours of fun and entertainment for you and the kiddos and you do not even have to break the bank! For bigger children, you can even encourage them to make a very informal book report of the books they have finished reading. That way, you are not only nurturing their love for reading but also their love for writing and learning, too!
Go to the Park
The nice weather is also the perfect opportunity to spend some time and explore outdoors. Bring the children to the park, pack a couple of toys they can play outside, like balls, bubbles and kites. Allow them to be curious and let them take photos of stuff they see around, like the clouds, the trees, or the insects. While you are at it, do not forget to bring some sandwiches and juices the children can snack on when they get tired of too much playing – an impromptu picnic! What could be better than that?
Encourage the children to help with the chores
Another thing to do this Easter break to make sure the children will be as productive and spend their time wisely instead of sitting in front of the television for hours on end, is to help in the household chores. Give them something easy enough for their little hands to do, like sorting the laundry and folding clean clothes, perhaps. Teach them to make the bed after getting up each morning or wash the dishes, the non breakable ones, when they are done eating. You can also ask them to help prepare snacks and simple dishes in the kitchen, too.
Play Board Games
Scrimp on electricity and batteries by unplugging your television and turning off those gadgets and game console and inspiring children to play board games. Whether they choose to play chess, scrabble, monopoly or any other board game they fancy, it will be one enjoyable and worthwhile way to spend their afternoons. Not only will they be enjoying the game, but they will also develop and enhance their critical thinking and vocabulary, depending on which board game they choose to play. Foster good and clean competition by giving a nice reward or gift for the winner of each board game.
Plan a Fun Easter Together
Allow the children to lend a hand in your Easter preparation. Let them help in preparing breakfast on Easter morning by fixing sandwiches and making juices or cutting simple fruits and vegetables to add to your breakfast feast. And since there will be more hands to do the work, you can probably skip buying ready-made Easter eggs and make those colorful eggs at home and color them with the kids. You can simply get several dozens of eggs and a handful of food coloring from the supermarket for your very own do-it-yourself egg coloring activities. To score additional savings, you can also buy candies and sweets in bulk and a couple of colorful paper bags. Ask the children to help you sort out the treats and prepare them in the bags, I am sure the little ones will really be delighted to be of help.

banknotyThe Easter break is finally here and the children have just taken a break from school. For most moms, it will be the time to take a breather from all the school related expenses, but for some it is also the time to shell out money for activities the children might want to participate in while they have enough free time in their hands. Music or swimming lessons, as well as other interesting activities, may be a little bit expensive, but here are a few things you might want to bear in mind so you can scrimp this Easter break:

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Graduation Day is an important milestone in anyone’s life. It is not only putting an end to students’ sleepless nights of preparing and reviewing for exams or stressful days of doing projects and researches. It is a rite of passage that signifies the beginning of one’s new chapter to tread on, new journey to embark. It is an accomplishment not only for the graduates themselves but also for their parents who gave their efforts, time and support to their children to make this day possible. No wonder this is one of the most celebrated events in one’s life.

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Smiling woman with red heart

February is fast approaching and we all know what this month is all about. It is that time of the year when people bring out their creative sides to express how they feel to the people they love. It is that time of the year when people indulge their romantic self and do things in the name of love. Here are some ideas you might want to consider to make this year’s Heart’s Day a memorable one.

A Trip for Two

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Gifts Not to Give This Christmas

sarah Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

happy boy in front of christmas tree

Christmas is that time when everyone is simply being kinder than usual doling out holiday greetings to random strangers in the streets. It can be a tad tiring for some, what with all the long lines, the traffic jams and chaos everywhere, but, although it is also deem the busiest time of the year, especially for shopping malls when a seemingly endless number of people flock for their last minute Christmas shopping, it is also that time of year when majority of the people are in their most generous and are careful to only wrap the most special gifts for their office mates, colleagues, friends and loved ones.

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Black Friday Frenzy

brooke Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Black friday sales

Of all black Fridays, this particular Black Friday is the most highly anticipated. Celebrated the day after Thanksgiving, which occurs every fourth or last Thursday of the month of November, Black Friday traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas season for shoppers.  It was originally coined to describe the traffic situation in Philadelphia the day following Thanksgiving. Nowadays, Black Friday is all about shopping. It is the busiest day for shoppers and is said to be the day most retailers record their highest profit of the year. The name was used in relation to accounting where the losses were recorded in red while the gains are in black.

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little girl

Christmas time is just around the corner and most of us are already wracking our nerves thinking of the best gift ideas for our loved ones. You don’t have to go to malls and physically tire yourself with long lines and slow services to look for the gifts you have to buy. You can always try on-line shopping and if you know where to go, you just might find everything you need in a single site.

Knowing what to buy and knowing where to find them are two different things. Here are some suggestions you might find useful in search of the perfect gift for your family.

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Salvadanaio natalizio

Christmas time is approaching quickly. Most of you must be wondering how to make your holidays memorable without spending too much of your hard earned money. Here are some of the things that might help you celebrate this special occasion without taking an impossibly large proportion from your budget.

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  1. Be early. You can start buying gifts as early as possible taking advantage of those seasonal saving schemes. This way you can get the gifts with less expense than they worth and avoid cramming at the same time. Shopping at the last minute usually causes buying impulsively and irrationally.
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