“I spent a lot of time thinking about you, what you love, and what I love about you. I hope this gift expresses how much you mean to me.” ~~ Me
The decorations have been packed away, the house has been cleaned, and you are finally out of holiday-hectic mode. Why in the name of tinsel would I dare write about Christmas now, particularly a Christmas task? And why would you want to read it? Before you cross me off of your invitation list for next December’s party, remember we are cultivating that Christmas heart all year in 2015. That means doing the “work” of Christmas a little each month and gaining a more peaceful, more silent, more holy night (hopefully, several nights!) in December. Go ahead and read it again if you need a little motivation; I know I needed it!
So with that goal in mind, I’m already working on a tentative Christmas gift list. I know that Christmas is not all about gifts, nor do I want it to be. So why is my first task of the year a gift list? You and I both know that, regardless of how much we spend or don’t spend, how many or how few gifts we give, the whole present thing can be time consuming. And not just the shopping; it can be a totally homemade Christmas (some of the best!), but it all takes thought and time. That is why I want to start planning now, and listening intentionally all year long for gift ideas that would mean the most to my loved ones. I don’t want to just buy some cool expensive gift; I want to give a gift that is unique to my special someone, uniquely from me. One that says, “I spent a lot of time thinking about you, what you love, and what I love about you. I hope this gift expresses how much you mean to me.”
A gift like that takes planning. This planning increases the surprise factor — which is one of the best parts! — but more importantly, decreases the crazy last minute running around and frantic spending to find “that perfect gift.” So this week, “Why Not?” start making that Christmas list, and commit to really listen to your loved ones, paying attention to the things that interest them and make them happy. Don’t forget to share your great ideas here — we can all use inspiration!
You will need a way to organize all of these plans you are making, so make sure you figure out how to do that from the start. The last thing you want is all of your neatly ordered lists and ideas scattered to the wind!
There are many options if you prefer paperless organization. I am currently learning to use Evernote and have found it very useful for just this type of planning. The Evernote app is free and works on your computer and mobile devices. A simple Word document for each task, saved in a “Christmas 2015” folder, is equally sufficient, and with current updates on all of your devices, file sharing such as iCloud or DropBox, you can work on your lists at your desk or on the run.
If you prefer hands-on organization, a simple three ring binder works great. You can create your own forms or lists, or feel free to download and print the PDF I’ve included here.
My mother always wrote her Christmas list in shorthand because neither my brother nor I could read it. Not that we were prone to snoop for presents or anything…. 😉 In the event you have curious little (or big!) eyes in your home, make sure you put a password on your electronic files and hide your binder!