Here's an idea: Take a few hours one day very soon to sit down with a tall glass of lemonade or ice tea and make a written plan for the upcoming holidays. Map out the season. Spend time assessing past holidays. Analysis is a great way to make sure I don't repeat past mistakes.
My mom used to shop all year round and when I was young (a long time ago) and I used to laugh at her. Now, I find myself doing the same thing. I'm always on the lookout for things that I think would make a good Christmas or Birthday present. I put a "sticky" or other identifying mark on each gift and then in early November I sort everything out and wrap or bag the gifts. Then I seriously shop for the people left on my list. One thing I do that really helps me is that I make a list at the beginning of the year of the people that I need to get gifts for and as I get it I write down what I have bought next to their name and then mark them off the list. It also helps if you have a specific closet to put everything in. Otherwise, if you don't and you don't mark them off the list you may forget what you've bought and buy something else. Or, you may forget where you've put things and don't find them until after the occassion. LOL!
It's not too early to start thinking of Christmas.
I am trying something new this year. Last year, I made a list of all the people I needed to buy for including people like preschool teachers or work secret buddy (people I usually forget til the last minute) then after christmas I stapled the list to the new calendar page for October. So this year when October comes there's my list and hopefully I will get going on shopping. My problem is I buy things and then can't find them or forget when the time comes.
TC in Mo
I keep a spreadsheet that I update throughout the year. It contains people's names and gift ideas or what I have already bought them.
I also have a box in which I keep all the things I've bought throughout the year to use as Christmas gifts. I get a lot of it at after Christmas sales, but also pick things up here and there at book sales, garage sales/flea markets, and other clearance sales (check Target end caps, especially in the toy section if you're shopping for children).
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