I’m a little late on my Christmas planning this year- normally I get started in August! I’m feeling a little rushed, like I have to start moving ASAP to be ready in time. However, I also feel like it is late enough in the year that I can get started on Christmas preparation and planning without being that weirdo who is all Christmassy in August. This past weekend I spent hours pouring through recipes, DIYs, and party plans in order to put together my master plan for Christmas 2016. So, what does this plan entail?
1. Christmas Cards
For the past three years, I have found my Christmas cards at Michaels. Their 2 for $3 are a gold mine, and 12 cards for $3 is not a bad price! I purchased 24 cards, in five different designs, all elegant and subtle. I still have cards left from the last few years, so I should have more than enough for everyone I plan on writing a card for, and I have probably 12+ designs combined. I love Christmas cards, I think that they are a lovely way to send warm thoughts during the holidays. Canada Post’s prices on stamps are continually rising, so now I only mail those I really need to to cut down on costs. However, it gives me the chance to personally give it to the recipient and catch up with them at the perfect time of year! I will be using my normal tactic of starting to write the cards in October to avoid sore wrists and smeared ink from writing too quickly.
This year I will be making my shortbread, as I always do! It is a family recipe that has been passed down for generations- I love making it, and people love eating it. It is a particularly useful recipe at this time of year, as shortbread keeps very well as long as it is packaged properly. With the use of a Kitchenaid mixer, I can have 400+ cookies knocked out in an afternoon.
I also plan on making 3-4 other cookies/bars, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking for cookies that are easy to make, aren’t expensive, and are pretty for presentation! I think I will be making gingerbread cookies, to fully utilise my Ninja-bread Men Cookie Cutters- they are hilarious and everyone enjoys them! I don’t know that I will make a ton of gingerbread cookies, as they don’t keep for that long, but I will most likely be delivering a large grouping of presents in a weekspan- these would be perfect for that!
I also plan on making these Brown Sugar Cookies from Canadian Living, in some festive Christmas shapes! I’m thinking that I might try to make some coloured sugar glitter to decorate the tops, but if not, I will use the classic silver ball cookie decorations. I love sugar cookies, and I think that this will be a fantastic twist!
This chocolate Christmas bark looks like it will whip up pretty quickly, and I’m an old hand at melting chocolate now (although I would always recommend the stove over the microwave). It looks really pretty, and should also hold up for quite some time as long as I wrap and seal it quickly after making it. I will most likely avoid nuts in it, because there are so many people everywhere who have allergies; the pretzels and M&Ms are a definite though, and I might break up candy canes to add!
3. DIY Presents
This year, I want to spread the love around to more of my friends! I really enjoy crafting and DIY, so I plan on making a lot of them. I’ve been slowly making a master list of what I would like to give to whom, and I’ve been trying to really match gifts to people’s tastes and interests. I want to have everything made by November 15, preferably November 1. Last October was a ridiculously busy month for me, with 85th planning, so I will need projects to keep busy this year. I’m going to try this DIY Marble Dipped Mug project, this Salted Cream Body Scrub, water colour quote images (made by yours truly), and beeswax candles (also made by yours truly). Combined with a little baking, I think that this will be a perfect strategy to take care of all of my friends! My plan is to spend maximum $150 dollars on all of my crafts, for roughly 15 people. Fingers crossed I can stick within that budget.
My family hosts a holiday party every year that usually starts at 2 and ends around 10- I have missed the last few years because I’m always away visiting M. However, this year with how the calendar falls, I will be around for it! It’s going to be on a weekend sometime before Christmas, and I am really excited for it. We have a ton of food, and amazing company 🙂 It’s a good time to try out new recipes. I also received a Wii as a gift this summer, so I will pick up a few dance and sports games for everyone to play. While all of my friends will be invited to the big open house, I’m also considering doing a smaller party with just them earlier in December. One of my items on my 30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30 list is to host a dinner party for friends, and this would be the perfect opportunity! I’m thinking of a few Christmas games- nothing embarrassing, that just ruins it for everyone, and some homemade decor to go along with the food!
What are your Christmas plans for this year?