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Join me as I fulfill my New Year's Resolution to prepare for Christmas 2009 "all through the year!"

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January 13th, 2010

Posted 01-13-2010 at 08:57 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

Today hasn't been a Christmas planning or prep day (not every day will be, thankfully), but I do tend to have stretches of time with the baby on my hands and nothing to do but think so some ideas percolated through.

Without a doubt, food and scent are huge parts of Christmas for me. This is why I'm most looking forward to the cookie baking spree, mulled wine, eggnog, and the grand dinner we're hosting. What occurred to me is that cooking 24/7 "from 6th to 6th" wouldn't make for the best Christmas, but I can nevertheless keep the aromas going with some balsam incense and a few sugar cookie scented candles by the oven. Took me long enough to conside this obvious solution, didn't it?

Now, we eat pretty humbly throughout the year. A lot of our food is free thanks to gardening or other hobbies, and relatives that hunt or farm, and the "cuisine" on our table is simple. Consequently, we don't need to budget and bargain hunt for groceries during...
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January Monthly Magic Plan

Posted 01-12-2010 at 04:08 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

Here's my to-do list for my January prep day, I was wondering if anyone could give me feedback:

1. Buy and download "Groundhog Day" for Groundhog Day/Candlemas.
2. Get new printer cartridge and print Valentine's Day cards.
3. Pre-order a dozen heart shaped whoopie pies from bakery for Valentine's Day.
4. Buy February birthdays' birthday gifts and at least one of their Christmas gifts per.
5. Clean out Christmas chest. [Just did that ahead of schedule.]
6. Set up Christmas chest in the closet.
7. Wrap and discretely label all gifts that have arrived.
8. Affix all Christmas card envelopes with return mailing addresses.
9. Address and fill out at least ten Christmas cards.
10. Finish first draft of Christmas short story (which will eventually, along with photos, go in the cards).
11. Buy gift wrap on clearance. [Half has been ordered, half has been delegated.]
12. Buy a round of stocking...
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January 12th, 2010

Posted 01-12-2010 at 04:00 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

Oops, I'm already missing a few days here and there. Good thing my resolution wasn't that I'd blog everyday! Maybe next year?

Anyway, I haven't been idle. I set myself the goal of picking up gift wrap supplies on clearance, and yesterday I stumbled on a bunch of gorgeous fabric tote bags from Barnes & Noble for $2.50. These were Christmas themed and very decorative, so I snapped up a bunch, plus a few $1.75 globe printed ones. I'm the world's worst gift wrapper, I always resort to gift bags when I'm able, so why not invest in quality ones that can be used all year? Since the amount I'd have to pay for shipping these was the difference between what I was buying and the threshold to get free shipping, I decided to spend that on a few Christmas items rather than pay for shipping. One of those items was Dover's thrift classics edition of Christmas carols, already cheap and also on sale.

I've decided that, since I'm setting aside time every month to prepare...
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My Childhood Christmas

Posted 01-09-2010 at 07:09 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

[I]I know that I'm posting a lot, and now that I know that means I'm automatically reposted on the Blogs board, I feel a bit self-conscious, but this is the Christmas of all Christmases to me and the pattern I'm working towards in my planning. That, after all, is the whole point of this blog, so I'd like it upfront and center to light my way!

[/I]While I don't remember what year it was, one Christmas we all went North to spend Christmas in my grandparents' big Victorian in a little village. It was a classic little village with a town green across the street from their house, a quaint main street and a fancy old restaurant (with a ghost of a lady who firmly believed in temperance) a few buildings down. There was deep snow on the ground and you could walk across the brook in the green (though not by the bridge where there was a waterfall, and consequently thin ice). When we walked in the front door, actually I was carried since we arrived in the evening, the house smelled...
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Monthly Shopping List (Rough Draft)

Posted 01-09-2010 at 12:10 PM by Sapsorrow (Maman Noel)

[I]January[/I] - Christmas, New Year's and winter items (hats, gloves, coats, scarves, sleds, snow toys, etc.)
[I]February[/I] - Buy red items on sale after Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year: red ornaments, gifts, jewelry, clothes, crepe paper streamers, etc. Also doilies, Victorian style Valentines, heart shaped cookie cutters, etc.
[I]March[/I] - Buy green items on sale after St. Patty's Day.
[I]April[/I] - Buy white items after Easter.
May
[I]June[/I] - Buy and repurpose discounted wedding items.
[I]July[/I] - Take advantage of Christmas in July sales. Pick up red and white items after 4th of July.
[I]August[/I]
[I]September[/I] - Buy extra school supplies to reserve for Christmas at the back to school sales. Buy wine at grape harvest sales.
[I]October[/I] - Buy suitable Halloween items to repurpose, like the mini playdough trick or treat tubs. Order prints for cards.
[I]November[/I] - Buy Black Friday items. Buy postage,...
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