I did most of my grocery shopping in October. I bought anything in cans, jars, or packaged such as pickles, olives, summer sausage, and crackers, or that can be frozen such as vegetables, cream cheese, cool whip, and cheese. I will buy perishables the week before. I made two banana breads in October for the freezer and plan to do a lot of baking this month. I have a cookie recipe that I like to make up several batches of and freeze in rolls to bake later. I’m going to start making appetizers and cheese balls to freeze this week.
I set up a wrapping center several years ago in my basement and so it is ready to go and I don’t need to buy anything new this year but I do need to get some stamps for cards. I made plenty of gift tags 2 years ago so I am good there.
I need to look threw and see if I need to add anything to my Christmas Notebook or my Winter Notebook that I set up several years ago. My notebook comes in handy since I can follow the routine that I have set up and have the recipes I make ready to go. I bought gifts for 3 people on my list but I only have 7 people to buy for this year. We started gifting to only those in our home and drawing names for our family Christmas party at Thanksgiving. I have plenty of supplies to package up my token gifts such as candies and cookie plates that I like to pass out to family and friends. I like to restock at the after Christmas Sales each year for things like wrapping supplies, and treat packaging which helps me to be organized and to keep the costs down.
It helps that I have a system that I follow every year and prep ahead of time. I don't go crazy with doing the holidays I try to keep it simple but organized so I don't have as much stress. I make sure to put everything away properly at the end of the season and declutter. I also challenge myself to use what I already own and doing things myself instead of spending too much money.
My husband and I decide to cut some of our volunteer activities that we have done for several years, although we have enjoy them they are a lot of work and have taken over our holidays. Volunteering is good but 7 day of working at least 6 hour each day that includes a full weekend between Thanksgiving and New Years is just too much. Our kids 24DD, 22DD, 21DS, and 17DS are old enough that they can participate if they want without us. We are replacing them with less time consuming activities and making room for others to enjoy the gift of service during the holiday season.