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Thinking About Christmas

I've been doing a little holiday planning/shopping the last few weeks and wanted to share a few of the things I've found and ordered for the kids this year.


I started a Pinterest board where I'm adding things I'm thinking about (or just dreaming of) for the kids. I love that I can have that all in one place. You'll see a few things I mentioned above pinned there already.

For some of the adults I've been hecking out Amazon's 100 Best Books of 2011 list.

Are you working on this kind of stuff too?

I don't usually pull my Christmas stuff out until after Thanksgiving but I'm thinking about getting it out and going through some of it in advance. I always think at the end of the season I'll be really good about putting away only the stuff we really want but I often find myself just wanting the job to be done. Wanting the job to just be done results in extra stuff getting stored (or lights that don't work) that we might have been able to let go of last year.

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79 thoughts

  1. dawn says…
    11/09/2011

    I love your ideas so far for the kids. My grandma use to give us personalized pencils every Christmas growing up, miss those times.

    I might get my stuff out early this year just because I can't remember all the new things I got at the end of the year. Want to play with my decorations more this year and put out new stuff.

    The kids have written up their wish list and I'm going shopping this week to get a head start. This is pretty early for me. Usually we don't think about xmas till well after Thanksgiving.

    Thanks for sharing with us and I will keep checking your pinetrest for more ideas.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Stephanie says…
    11/09/2011

    OMG I remember personalized pencils!! They were my favorite!! And I love what's on your Pinterst board. Our daughters are only a month apart and we are thinking of getting her the little school and dollhouse too!!

    And my husband refuses to see a Christmas decoration before December....sigh. If it were up to me I'd keep them up all year long!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Ellie A. says…
    11/09/2011

    It does seems to me as Christmas is just around the corner faster then expected. Working on my December Daily made me start actually thinking wow it wouldn't be too long before I will be using this. I actually started a list and already started telling the kids that they should start thinking about what their letters to Santa will be but also want to do something new w/them this year which is via JC Penny where we could be an angel for a child in need and that is one thing I want them to experience & not think Christmas is only about gifts so this weekend we will sign up and get our Angel.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. amy says…
    11/09/2011

    we collect a new book for the holiday each year--favorites include anything by Jan Brett -- 2 new favorites are "the Christmas Mystery"about a magical advent calendar and "Letters from Father Christmas" by JRR Tolkein--we have a "Demdaco" polar bear that appears in different places in our home throughout the holiday-- causing mischief (as in the Tolkein story!) love this time of year!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      11/09/2011

      Letters From Father Christmas is so great!

  5. Maria says…
    11/09/2011

    I never gave the pencils much thought but that's at great idea! We do books every year starting from Halloween to Christmas. I love getting new books in general so every year we get a new one (or two) to read. I think the Kindle is an awesome thing but when it comes to my kids there is nothing like a real book!

    BTW - I just got your SC kit for the 25 days album and OMGosh!!!!! It is SO awesome! I love it and I cannot wait to do this with you! It's just such a cool idea and I can't thank you enough for sharing it with us :)

    I only have a few more items and then I'm done shopping. I try to get this done before Thanksgiving. It's less stressful that way. We decorate the evening or day after Thanksgiving too. It's a tradition that my grandmother started.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Tina says…
    11/09/2011

    Just ordered the book! Thanks

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Lisa W. says…
    11/09/2011

    Love the book idea...my daughter is a avid reader so every Christmas I buy her a new book or two:) UGH Christmas decorations...I am not feeling it Ali. Once I get going I will be ok...I thing its really because I have SO much I don't care to use anymore, but your still going through that "stuff" to get the stuff you do want to use. I feel SO guilty to just throw away. BUT why not if I don't use right?? Thanks so much for ALL your ideas and inspiration.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      11/09/2011

      I say if you're not using it, let it go. Bag it up and take it to Goodwill or another service agency.

  8. Nicky from Canada says…
    11/09/2011

    Those books are amazing. Yes, pulled out the Christmas list this week (while I am on holidays) - now know exactly what I have left to make (lots of quilting, sewing and crocheting still left to do), my December Daily is ready to roll and excited to decorate a new home for Christmas!!
    I love Christmas so much!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Chris-Ellyn says…
    11/09/2011

    Love the book! My daughter has an uncommon name, so I'm always on the look out for things that can be personalized. The pencils are great too. My mother was a second grade teacher and used to give out personalized pencils to her class every year, so I would always get a set too. Great memory. :-)
    I have been thinking about Christmas tons lately. Besides working on December Daily, I have also started my Christmas Card letter, worked on photo books and calendars to give as gifts and put the address labels and stamps on my Christmas card envelopes.
    I can't believe I just admitted that.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Linda says…
    11/09/2011

    Wow--you are way ahead of me! I am still struggling with my DD. I have done it for a number of years and this year it doesn't seem to want to go together. I think the paper I picked might be a little busy--and that might be the problem--somehow I will make it work and then I can get to the shopping. Love Christmas books--my kids are in there 20's and they still read the old Christmas books every year when they visit.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Susie Leggett says…
    11/09/2011

    These are great ideas. I've been browsing online, and picking up a few things along the way. Tractor stamps from etsy, this book Otis and the Tornado - things for my little tractor boy. My Christmas project for this year is to make a set of advent envelopes and tags, five of them, that we'll use to celebrate this season. My plan is to hang them side by side. Each week we're going to read the verse inside and do some service oriented project - our thanks for his gift. Things like volunteering for a mobile pack event with Feed my Starving Children, taking can goods to the local food bank. I'm looking forward to doing these things as a family, most with our four year old, and helping to teach the gift of time and putting our hands to work for God. Each week we'll flip one advent tag over to reveal J E S U S. On Christmas we're going to bundle the envelopes with twine and put them under the tree. So happy to being starting this new family tradition.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. J Allen says…
    11/09/2011

    Love the book, just completed my order!
    I've ordered Cricket magazine for my 9 year old little girl & Cricket's Babybug magazine for the 18 month old little boy. My Mom & Dad gave me Cricket magazine for Christmas when I was 9.......I still have them!
    Can't wait for Christmas.......love the season & all that is Merry & Bright!!!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. J Allen says…
      11/09/2011

      That's not old fashioned it's vintage!!!! :) Think of the bits you could pull for a DD album or other small album!!!!!

    2. Raylene says…
      11/09/2011

      I love magazines! My kids got Highlights and Chickadee (Canadian) and loved them! I still have boxes of them! As the kids are in their 30's, what will I do with them? Things get "old fashioned" so quickly! Might bring back memories though!

  13. Karen says…
    11/09/2011

    Hi Ali, great idea! I started jotting down some of the things my kids have been eyeing for a while....they both want an ipod touch!! I know simon likes StarWars Legos and so does my son he might like this year's Star Wars Lego advent calendar. Last year my kids had the Knights one and they couldn't wait 'til the end of the day to find out what was behind each little door.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Sherry G says…
    11/09/2011

    Found a coupon code online for free shipping for the Christmsa book happyholiday

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Dawaila says…
    11/09/2011

    I am so excited for the Holidays, I have already gotten out decorations! When I was a kid I loved anything with my name on it. Since my name is unusual personalized items were very special. Happy Holidays!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. slmnontec says…
    11/09/2011

    Check out the children's book, The Night Tree by Eve Bunting. It's about sharing with animals on Christmas. This was a favorite of our family for years--we planned Christmas Eve activities around getting popcorn strung and pinecones slathered with peanut butter. So fun to do in our backyard!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Sue TR (Your Story 2011) says…
    11/09/2011

    I think you're on to something Ali...myself and alot of my friends are starting early this year (even 'tho it is almost 70 here in New England today and I'm going to do the last of the outside painting). Have already asked girls for their xmas lists and told them Santa needs his letter early this year...would be nice to be done before the real craziness sets in!

    Am definitely going through the decorations this year...moving has me in a big organizational mode!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      11/09/2011

      I bet Sue - hope all has been well with the move :).

  18. Nicole says…
    11/09/2011

    Definitely already in the Christmas spirit here. It seems to happen earlier and earlier every year. And now having two small kids, I had gift ideas on the brain since Labor Day and felt the need to buy them ASAP so the popular ones don't sell out. Thanks for the children's book suggestions! I need to refresh our book advent 'calendar' this year.

    My parents, sister, brother-in-law, husband and I have been doing a Secret Santa exchange for the last 3 years (saving the major gift giving for all the kids) and we are picking names in a couple weeks. I need to get working on my own wish list. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Nancy says…
    11/09/2011

    Hi Ali,

    if you are looking for more book ideas (adult) check out the list of books my book club has read. The books are listed based on how we rated the book (1-5).

    http://goshery.typepad.com/goshery/book-list.html

    I usually wait until early December to decorate but I'm hearing about lots of people decorating already!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. rhonda says…
    11/09/2011

    My daughter, husband and I are avid readers so books are a big part of our Christmas. Now that my daughter is older we still buy her the books from her wishlist but we started a new tradition last year of buying her some antique books at Christmas and she was so thrilled with them, while on vacation we hit up the antique store for some books for this year and I love this new tradition!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      11/09/2011

      I adore that idea Rhonda :).

  21. Latrice says…
    11/09/2011

    Thanks for pinning those. Great gift ideas sweets.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Marsaille says…
    11/09/2011

    Advent ordered. Christmas cards bought. Mother in Law bought me the Hallmark countdown ornament already :) Already have a few Christmas presents purchased thanks to the new half-priced bookstore here. Even had a Groupon for it! And my DD is just a few pages shy of being done. I am normally no where NEAR this stage. Even donated a bunch of kids clothes to my Mom's free clothes closet, so I have my "need for charity" release done too.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Bec says…
    11/09/2011

    I am thinking that I might need to get that Richard Scarry book for me. It reminds me of when my adult sons were little. Feeling sentimental.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Christine says…
    11/09/2011

    This is the time of year when I look forward to checking out new Christmas CDs. I have been building a nice collection. Its probably not a bad idea to go through my decorations at this point. I have some light sets that really need to be recycled.
    BTW I downloaded Flowers in the Attic on my kindle. I loved that book the first time around as a much younger person. I'm curious as what my take will be on the book now that I'm a few decades older :).

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Kimmie says…
    11/09/2011

    I've been trying to prepare for Christmas as well. I've been shopping for about a month now. I have several gifts for my kiddos and recently ordered the Lego Castle Advent calendar for my boy. I've also been buying some new Christmas decorations as I come across things that I love.

    Right now I am in the middle of packing preparing to move in 3 weeks. Moving at Christmas time is so stressful (we've done this once before), but I'm so happy that we're moving that I don't care! LOL

    Reply 0 Replies

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