Wednesday Wellness: Planning Ahead for the Holidays and Gift-Giving

Happy Wednesday Wellness, Friends! I started writing about wellness as I noted that so many of my friends and creatives struggle with balance, as do I.  Join me on my wellness journey!

I haven’t always liked to plan. I’d been spontaneous all my life, until becoming a mom.  Then I started seeing the value of planning, researching and mapping out. I discovered the crafty stickering planning community. I still love the shiny sparkles of whatever whims, though, and the stickers really help!  (Read more about my planning here.) Yes, organized chaos is a too a thing.

I just dusted off my 12 year historical gift giving spreadsheet, as I do every September.  I review the prior year for completeness, copy and paste a new year, and clear the contents.  I also add any new recipients, and sadly, hide anyone necessary. I don’t actually delete anyone, I just hide the row.  I may need to check what I got beloved Aunt Barbara before she passed away, as it may be a good idea for somebody else in the future. I also study last years budget vs. spend.  If I spent less for somebody, maybe that’s my new budget.  If I spent more on somebody, maybe that’s my new budget!  My niece became a teen this year, so her new budget is now the same as her older brother.  See?

This is a gift-giving list, reference, and budget, all in one. My own family has a ton of birthdays September through January, so I track those here, too. Many times as my own children approached certain ages, I’d scroll back and look at what I got my godson when he turned 12, for instance. Or, where did I get that musical teapot that all two year old girls seem to love?  Scroll back- and I see the store and the price.  Have I already given so-and-so my favorite book?  Scroll back to that year I gave most everybody the same book… oh look, so-and-so wasn’t on my list yet at that time.   See what I mean? Super helpful.

Here is a snapshot of a clean year.  I started on Excel, but I moved it to Google Sheets last year.  (I blacked out my budget so that my dear family members won’t see what I’ve budgeted for them.) But you can see from this template what I’m doing.  Many of my family members have two entries for their two occasions.  So I start shopping in September, and spread my shopping budget over ten paychecks (through January).

Pro-Tip: Enter your spouse and children’s gifts in white font, so they won’t see it on the printout.

list

Nota Bene: Creative Gifts. Two years ago I made necklaces for my best friends and sweet cousins. So last year I made a different kind of necklace for them.  Earlier this year, my daughter and I made her a memory quilt using her favorite t shirts that she had outgrown.

quilt

We made this Memory Quilt together!

As my godson approaches college age, its something I’d consider doing for him.  But I may outsource such a big project.  This may change my budget.  Or, I may bookmark that for his Graduation. I’m learning how to knit, maybe I will knit scarves and give some out as gifts!  Oh hey, I WROTE A BOOK THIS YEAR! maybe I can give somebody on my list a copy of my book.   (Maybe I can afford to outsource that quilt after all.)

I hope you enjoyed learning about my planning tool.  Let me know if you try it this gift-giving season!

How do YOU organize your shopping?

 

 

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Wednesday Wellness: Happy New Year!

My friends, Happy New Year!   Have you survived the Darkness of Winter and are you rejoicing in the return of the Light?

Something about the turn of the calendar and I am inclined to reflect.  Does this happen to you?

This year I am beginning with my Shining Year planner by Leonie Dawson.  I happened  to discover it last year after I had already purchased a planner. But I finally bought one mid-year, as her followers were just so enthusiastic about how the workbooks helped them lead happier lives, reaching their goals. Even now, I wonder if I should have purchased one of the bigger planners, as the workbook enthusiasts are posting their success stories and swear by the planners.

My kids are still on Winter Break, so we have been able to enjoy doing things together just a bit longer, it seems.  Although it is the same number of days off as they usually get, somehow returning on the 9th of January just seems more relaxing, doesn’t it?  We are enjoying watching movies and going to bookstores and redeeming our giftcards and reading and playing music. My crafty daughter and I are starting a keepsake quilt made from her favorite tee shirts.  Hmm maybe we will make a video  tutorial!

It’s been a year since my Manifesting Money post, and I’m happy to report that even after all those DVDs I traded in for cash last year, I STILL HAVE MORE.  And the stack I kept in case the kids wanted to watch them sometime, well seeing as they haven’t in A YEAR, I’m trading them in! CD’s, too, as I kept a ton just in case, but my new car doesn’t even have a cd player in it, so. Bye, Bye, Bye, BYE BYE!

The best thing I did for myself last year was find like-minded friends in groups.  Two of my online friends have started groups this week, and that made me think maybe I could do the same.  Stay tuned.

After the shocking deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, I decided to schedule a routine physical with my doctor.  My heart and blood pressure are fine. My new doctor gave me some reading on relaxation techniques.  And I found that the maker of one of my favorite supplements also makes a blended product containing something new I wanted to try.  #PracticingHealth

And the most exciting news: I finished writing my book!  I am so excited to share it with the world! We have finished editing, and it is now with the formatter.  I would expect to launch in about two weeks.

Dee’s Dishes is a collection of stories, reflections, and recipes.  Have you ever had Pepsi thrown on you?  For me, more than once.  Wouldn’t you like to find out more about that?  And then there’s my recipe for Pepsi Brownies.  Sounds good, right?

Stay tuned, my friends!

What are you doing in this New Year?