Ahhh, the holiday is over, the living room is littered with the detritus of present carnage. . .No matter how many times I clean up, it seems like the kiddos open another box that has little plastic bags inside which they must rip apart and toss on the floor, along with multitudes of bag ties and hard plastic bits . . .
Most of the “treat” food has been eaten (you can see it on our waistlines), but there is still a stack of unwritten Christmas cards staring accusingly at me from my in box.
Yes-Christmas is over for the year.
That’s not to say we won’t stretch it out just a little bit more. We are hosting our motorcycle club Christmas Party on Jan 17th (Dec itself is just too full for everyone to fit it in) so the tree and the decorations will stay up and be enjoyed through then. I can put off, just a bit longer, that “bare” feeling the house gets when they are taken down and packed up for yet another year.
It was a good day. The kiddos were happy with their gifts, even if neither one of them got the #1 thing on their list–after all, where DO you find a little thing you put in your ear that lets you hear fairies and understand guinea pig language? Lucky for Santa the second choice was a guitar which was happily supplied. . .
Now all of our thoughts start turning to the new year, and new beginnings.
But wait-don’t finish with Christmas just yet. Here are a few things you may want to do before you consider the holiday completely over.
Take a few minutes and do an “After Action Review“-look at what your plans for the holidays were, and then at what actually happened. Make some notes and reminders for yourself for the coming year, so you can improve.
What does that look like at the Frugal Upstate household? Well this year a few boxes never made it up-including my holiday dishes. Next year I need to make sure I get those up right after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy using them for several weeks. Also, I need to make sure I update my Christmas Card List from the return addresses on cards that we received. And finally, I did a good job with my “Don’t Panic” philosophy-even though right up to Christmas Eve I worried about their being enough gifts, on Christmas morning what we had already purchased proved plenty.
Check the stores for after Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and card sales. Remember my article on Christmas decorations, where #3 was “Wait”. Well, your waiting is now over. If you noticed decorating items that you wanted to add to your collection NOW is the time to buy them, when they are marked down 50-70%!
I am heading out to do this myself today! We had several strands of Christmas lights that bit the dust this year and need to be replaced at bargain basement prices. I also am hoping some of those new solar powered ones will be marked down on sale (I saw those at Target-we don’t do lights on the front of our house because there is no outlet at all).
While you are at the store, stock up your gift box. Lots of times “gift sets” will be marked down drastically. Try not to go crazy here-but buying a few things at a pittance now that can be used for miscellaneous birthday parties or hostess gifts throughout the year could save you a bundle. Also take a minute to think about upcoming family birthdays-are there toys or clothes marked down that would make good gifts for those? This is the time to pick those up if you can.
What other final tasks or ideas can you think of that need to be done before you can consider Christmas truly over? Tomorrow we’ll start looking ahead at the New Year!
Jenn- the solar lights were gone at my target store yet they had a multitude of other lights , huge display decorations, tons of other things. I was good and got two ornament sets I wanted and had waited for to go on clearance after the holiday, I thought carefully what I could use next year and walked out of Target only spending $34.00 and I have about everything I need for next year, plus pantyhose and leggings for my daughter.
It’s good when you do buy extra cards, wraps, etc. for next year, to go ahead and write the purchase date on the label, just in case it gets shoved to the back of the closet, during the year(s).
We once found some cards of my mom’s that were so old…they were coming apart at the side seams. They were fine for recycling…just not for mailing to anyone.
This taught me a lesson!
I always write a “letter” to myself about what worked, what didn’t, how I decorated the mantle (pictures included) ideas and recipes that I tried or wanted to try… secret santa gifts that I sent and Christmas cards that I received that I forgot to send to, etc. I print out all this stuff and pack it up with my Halloween stuff. Next October I will have a good blueprint of what I want to accomplish for the coming holiday. This has worked for me for years.
Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says
Amyrlin-Wow, great self control! As for the lights, I think I’ll probably wind up buying them full price next year. . . I don’t think they will wind up going on sale much.
FoamFan-good idea about writing the date!
Anon-Fantastic idea about putting your Christmas info in with the Halloween decorations. I never would have thought of that,but will be implementing it!!!
l bought the solar lights at Target and l am hugely disappointed in them. So glad l saved the receipt, they’re going back. They worked for a couple of days (nights) and then died. The light they give off is rather dim, too, despite copious sunlight charging. l’m going to wait for an improved version.
Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says
Victoria-I hope the technology improves over time! As I said, I have not electrical outlets in the front of the house, so solar really would be an excellent choice.