Monday, January 17, 2011

I've got a plan...

....well, actually Kristyn has a plan and I'm latching onto hers.  If you followed Kristyn at all last year, you probably saw her ADVENTure posts.  Throughout the year she would update us on her preparations for Christmas.  She was purposeful in thinking through what she wanted to create, gift and enjoy throughout the year so that when December came she wasn't harried, frazzled and cranky.  I watched and cheered her on...but I didn't join in due to a road block in my mind. 
You see, I had this notion that Christmas inspiration wasn't really Christmas inspiration unless it struck me from October on.  I felt like I had to wait closer to the day for the real inspiration to hit me.  What if I made a gift in February and then in November - THE PERFECT GIFT IDEA came along?  What would I do then? 
 So, I've been thinking through my ideas and what I think really makes up the perfect gift and I've come to realize a couple of things:
1. the thought that goes into the gift is more valuable than when that thought occurs (it doesn't matter if I think it through in February or November)
2. I will enjoy gifting much more if I don't have deadline pressures on myself (anyone ever finishing a project in the wee hours of the morning know what I'm talking about?)
3.  I can wait for inspiration on those gifts that need inspiration, but for those that I can, I'm going to knock them out ahead of time and leave myself some room for when the inspiration happens (I can make my teacher gifts in the summer and my book club gifts don't have to wait until November)
4. If I keep doing what I've always done, I'll keep getting the results I've always gotten (I'm always wanting more creative time and more time to relax closer to the holidays - perhaps with some pre-planning I can achieve that this year)
I may be a bit slow to catch on, but once I'm on fire watch out!  I went through and made a recipient list and jotted down any gift ideas that I already had.  I'm keeping this list where I can update it and add to it when I get a gift idea. (and yes, I'm giving my mom something in addition to the gift tags that I listed by her name, but she liked mine so much this year, I thought I'd give her a set early in December that she can use on her gifts)

Then I went through and put a stickie note on each page in my calendar.  On these stickies I wrote some projects that I want to work on for gifts (and for myself) this year.  I have three people who I want to give dishcloths to, so I wrote dishcloth on the stickie for three different months.  I left myself plenty of room for last minute inspiration and personal crafting. 
There are plenty of weeks for me to enjoy the seasonal ideas that come along and plenty of time for me to stockpile some of the gifts that I really do want to give at Christmas (or for any holiday/special occasion).   I've already got some tags ready for giving next year...check, check...smile, smile! 
So, that's my plan...I'm stockpiling blessings for next Christmas....how fun!  If you want to join, jump over to Kristyn's and check out her post, it's full of great inspiration and it'll get you started on your own ADVENTure! 

20 comments:

Sally said...

What a great idea! I really like that you put down, on your calendar, things to work on! I have made those people-lists, but never act on them, then end up cramming loads of crafting and shopping (which I wouldn't normally have done) at the very end! gak!
I love your blog, by the way, and thank you for sharing a piece of your life with all of us!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Great idea! I look forward to see what you create this year.

Gigi said...

What you said about waiting for that seasonal inspiration is so me! But, I'm with you & K for the ADVENTure this year. Having 8 grandchildren I want to knit gifts for means I need to start right away, I think ;).
G

Gloria said...

Great idea!!! I have SO been there when it comes to making gifts in the wee hours of the morning!

I finish my handmade gifts for birthdays, and other gifts throughout the year. But when it comes to Christmas I have difficulty getting those gifts finished! I need think about that every month, instead of the month before Christmas! Thank you to you and Kristyn for your inspiration!!

I love your gift tags!!

XOXO Gloria

christinelaennec said...

Because I have to get the US presents sent off by the middle of October, I start thinking about Christmas in the summer. And I really like that because as you say, it extends the possibility of thinking about those we love in a much less stressed way. I don't know if you're familiar with the writer and broadcaster Joyce Grenfell, but she always began making her Christmas presents in the summer. She made all her Christmas cards by hand, even though she became a hugely popular and busy celebrity.

Plain and Joyful Living said...

I have had much of the same thoughts and am using the same journal as last year to begin now - thank you for sharing.
Warm wishes,
Tonya

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I just came over from Kristyn's site....You two have great minds! And so organized. I'm really kind of envious. I'm onboard this year. Happy creating!!!

From All Stitched Up said...

You really help make flush out Kristyn's concept of the ADVENTure. I think it's fun to have a group doing it -it adds support and camraderie to the whole process.

Emily said...

Great ideas and ways to organize. I find myself crafting in the fall with the item in mind but not the person (making soap, dipping candles). I often end up stock piling some gifts for "to be determined" recipients. But planning ahead for big project gifts seems to be a great idea too!

Denise said...

I've already started my gift knitting for Christmas too and I've got a list going :) Love this post, it helps motivate me even more. I'll check out Kristen's post too.

Karen said...

what a great idea! love your blog:)

Designs on 47th Street said...

Have I said before that I wish we were neighbors?? Truly, you are always so inspiring.

I LOVE your thought number four....SO VERY TRUE!

Donna

Larissa said...

Lisa, i'm totally on board! i also have another issue - i will finish a gift and then wait til the last minute to wrap/mail it and so i'm wrapping and addressing cards into the night. Love the sticky note idea! i'm off to place two in my calendar right now - one for gifts to make and another for things that need to get done around the house each month.

Florrie said...

Just been browsing through your lovely blog, I have already started gift knitting for 2011, a pair of warm woolly socks.........fantastic idea to use a planner and enter ideas in your calendar.

florrie x

Kristyn Knits said...

LOVE that you'll be joining me this year! I can't wait to see all that you create. Your new thought process is a helpful reminder to all of us to try thinking in a new way. Your gift tags are wonderful!! I so missed our paper crafting session this year. Thank You cards and gift tags this week for me. xoxo

Tracy said...

WOW! I bow to yours and Kristyn's BRILLIANT ideas! This is just what I needed to help me think differently about how I go about getting ready for the holidays & gift giving. This past Christmas there was definitely fewer handmade gifts from me as I fizzled out on energy and time to "do it all". I did do a "gift basket" thing last year for birthday--working making gifts ready for birthday coming up through the year, items made and kept in a basket ready to give/send--and that really worked. I will try to translate that and your ideas. Usually I'm a very organized person, but Christmas always seems to trip be up...LOL! Thank you, Lisa. I look forward to seeing all your makings as the months go. :o) ((HUGS))

Angela said...

This indeed is brilliant. I did much more handmade gifting this year than in the past thanks to Ms. T over at Plain and Joyful Living! I have/had the same mental block you had about only starting in October, except for me it was November. Thanks for the inspiration!
xo, Angela

The WoodLand School said...

I admire your organization, Lisa! And thanks for the inspiration! I look forward to seeing your creations :-)

Heather said...

I love this idea. I heard a knitter tell me once that she began her Christmas knitting on January 1st every year. That really struck me as the way to do it. To get the bigger projects that can cause stress out of the way, and then to enjoy the smaller fun projects with our families through the holidays. Thank you to you and Kristyn for the inspiration.

Ruth said...

This is a great idea. I need to start a list like that and get busy.

Ruth