Christmas: What About Next Year?

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So, it’s all boxed up, right? Ready to be stored away until next year. The red boxes on the right gave way this year to the six red boxes on the left. Each kid has his own box, labeled with his name. This should make decorating SOOOOOOO much easier next year. I can’t take credit for this; it’s all FishPapa. He insisted on new boxes once he experienced first hand the craziness of figuring out whose ornaments was whose, because, you know, you have to hang your own ornaments! Problem solved thanks to dear old dad.

Two weeks ago we were bustling about trying to get ready for The Day. And now that the craziness is over, it’s tempting not to think of it again. But, before you pack your thoughts away in the garage or attic along with the decorations, here are just a few things to consider:

What post-Christmas/pre-Christmas planning do you do?

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  1. Yep. We did the conversion to individual boxes for each child a few years ago when I couldn't keep track anymore. This year our 2 kiddos had their own tiny Christmas trees in their own rooms!

  2. Our ornaments are marked in an inconspicuous spot with initial and year that the girls received them (sharpie markers; gotta love 'em).

    As for next year…one of my goals this year is to purchase gift items throughout the year rather than waiting til the week of a birthday or Christmas. I've already started a list of things to look for as I'm out and about. And I've got a place already organized to stash the goods.

  3. Thanks for the links, FishMama. I just finished packing up all the decorations and stuffing them into our crawl space. I try hard to stuff toward the back those boxes I don't care as much about, and put toward the front some festive holiday plates and other items I know I'll want toward the beginning of the season. I also learned from hard experience to NOT store away the extra Christmas cards or the Advent candle as I'll want to get my hands on those EARLY. Off to check out your links now 🙂

  4. I read your site all of the time, but this is my first time commenting. I get so many good ideas here!

    This was our first Christmas with all 3 kids being more involved (they are 6, 2 and 1) and aware of what was going on. There were some things that we did that worked (like 3 gifts per child) and some that did not (opening all of the grandparent gifts at once…chaos!). I am writing up notes about what I would like to do the same next year and what I would like to do differently, and I am going to put them in my recipe binder so that I will see them next year. I am hoping that this will help me keep things simple and calmer next December.

  5. More great tips! I personally LOVE the idea of an "idea file". I have one and it helps the planning process:-)

  6. I weeded out many old decorations I did not want which made organizing a lot simpler. Might be trying the 3 gifts per person next year.

  7. We’ve had to rethink our gift-opening/spending time with grandparents strategy since we moved back to So Cal, my stepfather passed away (so my mom is flying solo) and then my mom moved back here too. We have my MIL an hour away and my mom 15 minutes away so they’re both going to be permanent fixtures for Christmas (along with our siblings). We learned last year that we CANNOT have everyone show up at once and try to open everyone’s gifts at the same time. My family’s old tradition is to open each gift one at a time so everyone gets to see what everyone else gets. My husband’s family puts their gifts in a pile and tears into them all at once (more or less). These strategies do NOT mix! So this year we had Christmas Eve at my mom’s house, did our family’s gifts then, then had my MIL and BIL show up in the morning before the rest, did their gifts, and then everyone was there for most of the day and we did dinner. Much better and everyone was happier. We are starting the new (for my family) tradition of just the kids and parents being here for Santa gifts in the morning. My mom and sister don’t like that much, but it’s the most fair all around. I’m curious if other people have relatives who complain when you don’t do Christmas the way they think it should be done?

    1. I am very much a person to hang on to traditions. Also, as an only child, I’ve always been reluctant to let go of traditions that involve my aunt and her three kids and their families. That said, a few years ago, we finally moved our gift exchange with them from Christmas night (which included supper) to the Sunday before Christmas with a lots of finger foods. We kept Christmas supper and, though still chaotic, it was so much better on everyone including tired kids.

      This year, because of health issues with my mom, we kept the Sunday prior and cancelled the Christmas supper, to be revisited next year. My husband has advocated for this for years and I have to say that I enjoyed having a very laid back Christmas day, with no deadline for finishing opening gifts in order to finish cooking supper and get straightened up for company. We opened our gifts at a leisurely pace (which drove my mom crazy) and the kids got to play with each toy a little before moving on to the next present.

      It’s hard to let go of tradition, but as I keep telling myself, we are creating new traditions and others have to learn to deal with it. Do what’s best for you and your family!

      1. It’s so true. We have to let go of some good things to embrace other good things.