Lessons Learned 2019

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sweetpumkinpye

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I will remember this strategy for next year for sure!
I have made a note in my planner for CIJ to read back on this thread so I can remember the lessons learned in 2019 and put the strategies in place.
I get all caught up in Christmas prep and all of a sudden I am doing way more than what is needed so will need a gentle reminder.
 
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AuntJamelle

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Thought of two more lessons learned!

1) Do NOT skip buying the pre-assembled gingerbread house kit on Black Friday - which I did :oops:

DH didn't seem all that into decorating it last year so I skipped getting it - and of course he started asking about doing it - the kits were $15 and up the rest of the season and I wasn't paying that!

2) Do not lose track of what I have lined up for all 24 drawers of the Advent calendar. I ended up filling only half the drawers at first and then spending $30 at Target on the rest - OUCH Will be on the lookout for things and ideas all year long this time!
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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I got a wooden house shaped advent calendar a few years back. I found Christmas themed erasers at KMart that fitted perfectly into the windows.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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Adding another note for 2020.
It has taken me from Christmas to now 5th January to get the house back in order.
This is for a few reasons,
1) Procrastination, I knew I had plenty of time so did not rush
2) we got a lot of stuff and putting it away was overwhelming
3) I dumped stuff everywhere and it took me a while to organise it
4) there have been bush fires so my thoughts have been elsewhere.

For 2020,
1) get a move on early so that I can enjoy more of my holiday break
2) cut back (which is the plan) so that I have not got so much to pack away
3) organise things earlier so that I can put it away quicker
4) make sure the pantry and stockpile is emptier so I can pack away things

Once again I will re visit these notes periodically throughout the year so that I can keep on track.
 
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luludou

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Entertaining - we played lots of games this year, which was very nice! have to find new games for next year. didn't do the saranwrap ball but nephews requested it.
Still doing supper & evening buffet on NY's eve... would like to cut it down to just the evening buffet but can't do that while mil is still with us, it's her bday - she was 92 this year.. unless she ends up going to a residence but she doesn't want that.
We might need to change Christmas eve at my parent's... we'll see how the year progresses but mom is forgetting alot and is really disorganized.

Baking - just way too much, almost nothing got eaten.

Homeless bags - will try to do more bags next year

Health - no one was sick this year which was great.

Gifts - were ok. will need to write down suggestions during the year. I bought too much for me, I don't really need much.

Wrapping -still too much last minute but love the fabric bags I made. Need to wrap sstuffers earlier.

Advent calendar - do not need the Lindt one since I don't even open half of it. The zen one I made did not even open it. I could skip it all.
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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Advent calendar - do not need the Lindt one since I don't even open half of it. The zen one I made did not even open it. I could skip it all.
I bought one for me which was a waste as I did not open it. I am going to be frugal and store it in the freezer and give it to DS this year as he still enjoys them.
DH only ate a little of his so will not buy him one either.
Another reason why I want to look at this periodically through the year as I know come November/December I will be tempted to buy Advent calendars and this will remind me not to
 
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PamelaG

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I'm going to go with beauty Advent calendars for both Sophia and me next year. We don't need sweets and the candle calendar was a pain (wrecked my nails trying to get the votives and tea lights out of the molded plastic and I still have over half of them left from a year ago) and the Bonne Maman jams calendar was nice but again, we don't need the sweets. I like the idea of having 24 mini beauty products to try - The Body Shop had a nice one - need to start looking in late September as the good ones sell out quickly. I also saw some nice paper goods options - Paperchase and Kikki K were two.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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I'm going to go with beauty Advent calendars for both Sophia and me next year. We don't need sweets and the candle calendar was a pain (wrecked my nails trying to get the votives and tea lights out of the molded plastic and I still have over half of them left from a year ago) and the Bonne Maman jams calendar was nice but again, we don't need the sweets. I like the idea of having 24 mini beauty products to try - The Body Shop had a nice one - need to start looking in late September as the good ones sell out quickly. I also saw some nice paper goods options - Paperchase and Kikki K were two.
We have the Body shop here. Might look at their calendars
 
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FrostyShimmer

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So much valuable information reading through these.

For me I'd say next year I plan to do a lot more earlier so if the girls end up sick we get to enjoy our traditions.

Gifts: the girls got too many. I want to cut back next year. Maybe 30% as I don't want them to notice the big difference and think they weren't as good, but it felt like there were so many toys they weren't really appreciated. I hit some really amazing clearances and got lots of $100 toys for $15, but some of those toys have been mostly ignored so I would have been better off spending less and giving them less or donating some of those toys. Also, as they're getting older I need to wait to purchase big items as their lists changed and by then I'd already bought their original wants and ended up having to go over budget.

Cards: I need to take the picture in October next year. I had to order by mid-November to get my cards printed in time and the kids were sick from Halloween on, so I was never able to get a picture, and for the first year ever didn't order my cards.

Food: Gingerbread with lemon sauce was a huge success (even DH liked it and he's not a dessert person.) I will still do as much baking, but I'll give more away next year as we had more than we needed. Also switched to royal icing on my cookies instead of butter icing, and they kept better. I wrote a note on my cheesecake recipe to trust it is done when it's still wobbly as I overcook it every year.
 

AuntJamelle

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Also, as they're getting older I need to wait to purchase big items as their lists changed and by then I'd already bought their original wants and ended up having to go over budget.

PREACH IT, sister! This caught me out this year too! My solution was to "move" certain items to being gifts for his birthday and a few reserved for his Easter basket!
 
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Holiday_Mom

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Also, as they're getting older I need to wait to purchase big items as their lists changed and by then I'd already bought their original wants and ended up having to go over budget.
Yes, this was a hard adjustment for me. When the children were little, I could pick up the clothes and toys at post Christmas clearance. Then one year the items on my dd's list was nothing like I had picked up already. I started to ask for Santa's letters in mid November so I could plan any Black Friday shopping in hopes of being able to buy the wanted but expensive item on a decent sale.

It changed again when dd was a teen. Most of the items were clothes. Oh, and then the electronic items are so small but expensive it looks like nothing is under the tree compared to when they were young children. I like to wrap up those types of items in a big box with a big bow.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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It has been a while since any of us posted here but I am sorting through the gift closet today and wanted to look back on this thread from January.
What a year we have had since then. Reading back none of us had any idea of what the first 6 months of 2020 would have in store for us.
I am reminded by reading through this thread that I was yearning for a simpler Christmas for 2020 and I am still keen to have that as my goal.

Even though this Christmas will be much different from 2019 I am ready to start getting things in order over the next few months. I know that from now to the end of the year the time will go by very quickly and although my plans are to simplify I still want to be as organised as possible.
I would be interested to read about what plans you are all putting in place for 2020 and how things may be different for you all
 

Miss JoDee

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It has been a while since any of us posted here but I am sorting through the gift closet today and wanted to look back on this thread from January.
What a year we have had since then. Reading back none of us had any idea of what the first 6 months of 2020 would have in store for us.
I am reminded by reading through this thread that I was yearning for a simpler Christmas for 2020 and I am still keen to have that as my goal.

Even though this Christmas will be much different from 2019 I am ready to start getting things in order over the next few months. I know that from now to the end of the year the time will go by very quickly and although my plans are to simplify I still want to be as organised as possible.
I would be interested to read about what plans you are all putting in place for 2020 and how things may be different for you all
Katrina, this will be part of our Christmas in July discussion.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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Minta

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A Simpler and homebound Christmas. We are taking a year off from going to parades, NYC, and other outings we normally do for Christmas. We are planning on more family nights home with board games, Christmas cookie baking and plenty of Christmas movies.

Will wait until later in the year to see how we plan for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as we normally host those days.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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As part of my CIJ celebrations I have just revisited this thread. I thought long and hard after last Christmas about the changes that I need to make for Christmas 2020. Re reading this thread has reinforced those ideas. What I wrote in December 2019 still stands today and I just needed that reminder that we can have a lovely Christmas in a pared down more simple way.
With the events of 2020 so far I feel for me that it is important to reevaluate my plans and to "Cherish life's simple pleasures."
 

Holiday_Mom

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With the events of 2020 so far I feel for me that it is important to reevaluate my plans and to "Cherish life's simple pleasures."

Yes, I am doing that too. The question that I ask myself is "What really is essential?"
 

sweetpumkinpye

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The question that I ask myself is "What really is essential?"
Exactly. We can all go overboard trying to provide the perfect Christmas but is it really needed? I am not sure that my kids remember those Christmas days where I was up early to get the meals on, or stayed up late to wrap endless parcels.
I think this year and next year will really change and a part of me is looking forward to the change.
 

missjane

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I've heard several young moms say how much they have enjoyed the slower pace that Covid has brought. I think among the younger generations, being busy has become to be associated with success. The busier one is and the busier they keep their children, the more successful their family/children looks to others. It's like a status symbol.

I believe it's opened our eyes that some of the things we thought were so important really aren't. Just being around family is the real gift, and we've come to realize that now that it's been taken away by the virus.
 
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