Barefoot by the Sea: It's coming....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's coming....

The Holiday Gift Guide!
Barefoot by the Sea
Every year, I feature Barefoot by Sea's Holiday Gift Guide which showcases our very favorite shops, items and companies.  The places that I'll be calling to help me get my Christmas shopping done.  I'm so excited to be featuring so many small businesses and introducing you to the amazing people who run them.  These people put their heart and soul into their high quality products.  I'll be featuring gourmet foods, beauty products and of course, what gift guide would be complete without a few toys?  So, please stay tuned and join me in learning about some new fabulous companies that I think you'll love!  Oh and did I mention, there are also some great products for you to win?  You know how I love giveaways!

Along those same lines, I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming holiday season.  I love this time of year and look forward to making family memories throughout the weeks ahead.  Year after year I anticipate being ready for it and avoiding the mad rush but unfortunately still find myself running out at the last minute for one thing or another or committing to things that I might not really be able to do.  I decided to set some goals for myself but then thought the idea of actually setting goals for the holidays seemed so ridgid and "un-holiday" that I would create a few guidelines to keep myself in check.  

1.  Gift thoughtfully.  This is a biggie! I really need to think of who I'm buying for and what they would love to receive.  A gift is something that should delight the recipient not just fulfill an obligation.  I don't want to just buy a sweater for someone who has the same one in every color just because it's a good deal.  I also want to try hard to buy or make things for people that they may not necessarily buy themselves.  A little luxury never hurt anyone, right?
2.  Establish your budget and stick to it!  Being a stay at home Mom means we don't have tons of extra money floating around.  It's so important to set budgets based on individuals and stick to them.  List all your recipients and track what you buy/make as you shop.  Also try to set a budget for extras like holiday parties, extra baking, charity, etc.  Those little things can add up quickly.  Oh and try to set a food budget - it's a big one.  Check out Simple Mom's great Christmas Budget Printable here.
3.  Lists! A great way to avoid grabbing everything I think I may need or my gift recipients might want.  Go to a store with your ideas in mind and stick with the budget we talked about above. 
4.  Start Early.  If you are a black Friday shopper, more power to you!  Then again, some deals are out earlier.  So, it helps to start when you are ready and it also eases the financial burden even more if you can shop sales, coupons, etc.  Check coupon sites like this one for great codes that can save you on shipping or more. 
5.  Focus.  I think it's really easy to loose my focus around this time of year.  Particularly when it comes to gift making.  If I go to the craft store with a particular project in mind, it is very likely that I will find other things that I want to make and overspend.  Then, I loose the time and never make the things I intended.  This year, I'm going to try to focus on one project or gift at a time.  
6.  A few words about Coupons.  Along the same lines as above regarding budget and thoughtfulness.  Remember, just because it's a "deal" or you have a great coupon doesn't mean it's something you need.  I have wound up spending more in the past just because of a great deal.
7. Time Commitments.  It's ok to say no.  Everyone wants to be social this time of year but it's also understandable if you have other commitments or if you are making special time for your immediate family or yourself.  Look ahead now to map out the weekends you plan on committing yourself and the weekends you need for your family or just you.  Treat those as a commitments as well.  If you need to take a Saturday to do your baking, treat that like any other appointment.  You will be happy and less stressed. 
8. Health.  Take the time to exercise and not fall behind on healthy eating.  We all tend to indulge this time of year and that's fine but squeezing in a walk or a quick run around the block might help you feel better and take the stress away - or some of it. 

This, of course is a working list.  I'm sure I'll be adding to it as the days roll on by.  Do you have anything you plan on doing this year to make your holiday time even brighter?  I'd love to hear any suggestions of what works for you! 

4 comments:

  1. #5 is so me. I can make a list but once I step into a craft store I lose all control.

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    1. It's awful and talk about overspending and then I have tons of supplies - and I still have to run out for the gifts! Hopefully this will help!

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  2. Can't wait to see the guide! I could use all the help I can get with gifts. Great advice, too. I am big on lists!

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    1. There are some great, solid small businesses on there - like Lucy's Granola out of Blue Hill, Maine. The stuff is seriously addictive!! I think her little sampler pack would make THE PERFECT stocking stuffer! Check her out here my friend! http://www.lucysgranola.com/ Hope you are having a great day!!!

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