Christmas Preparations

Happy Halloween! I can’t believe it’s the end of October already! Where has this year gone? We have had a lovely half term week but it’s gone waaaay too quickly. We had fun carving our pumpkins last night and I’m actually quite enjoying the snuggly evenings now that the clocks have gone back.

Tree

[image source]

As it’s November tomorrow, I thought it might be ok for me to mention Christmas?! It’s certainly on my mind now and although I ban Christmas music and films in our house until 1st December, I definitely need to be thinking about Christmas gift shopping and preparation. I love to embrace the festive season during December and I always feel that thinking about Christmas too early spoils the excitement of the build up.

I used to keep all Christmas activities on hold until 1st December but since becoming a Mum, I am acutely aware of the huge amount of preparation that is needed before the big day and every year I promise myself that next year, I will start planning earlier.

This time around, I would like to think that I could get most of my gift-buying done by the end of November so that we can relax a bit and just enjoy December. I created a template last year to help keep track of present buying and budget. Here is a FREE DOWNLOAD for you to help you do the same this year. (Click the link underneath the picture).

IMG_0426

Christmas Present List

This list really helped me last year. I started using it just for present ideas but when I actually started shopping, I was able to keep a track of what I had actually purchased as well as the amount of money I had spent on each person (something which I can easily lose track of!) In some cases, I bought more than one gift so I left the lines wide to enable me to record each one within the same area.

I am a very visual person and I find the action of writing things down helps me to remember them which is why I find this type of list so useful. However, I do understand that some of you will prefer to use technology to keep track of things so here are a few of my favourite FREE Christmas apps to help you stay organised over the festive period.

 

mzl.kqmcalndSanta’s Bag

This app allows you to make lists of your gift recipients and keep track of your spending as you buy presents for all of them. You can set an overall budget and it even enables you to change the status of each gift as you purchase and wrap them up as well as emailing lists of things you still need to buy. You  can even add a password to stop little noses from seeing all your secret gift ideas!

 

NoMoreSocksLogoNo More Socks

This app enables you to use it year-round to create and update lists of gift ideas for all your friends and family. You can create events, add people and presents as well as go online shopping to save links and photographs. The app also enables you to get gift inspiration from other users and share your gift ideas with the ‘No More Socks’ community.

 

imagesManage Christmas

Another similar app which allows you to budget, keep lists, track ideas and record purchases. There is also a Christmas gift ideas section to give you inspiration for those ‘difficult customers’ (We all have those, right?)

 

 

And once all the serious business has been taken care of, here are a few more fun ones to get you and your little ones into the festive spirit!

imagesNORAD tracks Santa

We have been following Santa on the NORAD website for a few years now and my kiddo’s always get SO excited to follow his journey around the world. Now you can follow using their app to track Santa’s progress on the NORAD radar! (Available from 1st December).

 

 

unnamedInstaCard

Use your instagram photos to create cards for your loved ones. Choose from over 60 card designs and 55 creative frames and add text in a variety of fonts and colours. There are also stickers to add a touch of fun and you can use your photos as backgrounds if you wish. This app can be used year-round.

 

 

imagesMartha Stewart Craft Studio

This app enables you to create and order cards to be delivered to your door featuring your own photographs and ‘virtual glitter.’ There are four free themes and more are available with an additional cost. You can also print at home or share via email, Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Hopefully, once you’ve downloaded the Christmas list and all these fantabulous apps, we’ll all be well on our way to being organised and ready to tackle our Christmas shopping! Is anyone else planning to get started with their Christmas prep? I would love to hear about it. Don’t forget, you can contact me by email (homeheartharmony@yahoo.com) or follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.