Alica’s OCD tips for Holiday Happiness (pat. pending)


By now most of you have gotten all of the holiday decorations put away, new gifts have found homes, and at least one credit card statement has shown up in the mail; you may or may not have been brave enough to open it yet.

One thing I feel safe betting on is most of you have vowed to do things differently next year. But how are you going to do that? What can you change to make the next holiday season better and do you really need to think about it now?

I have become one of those people who shops for gifts year round, mostly because I am addicted to they have one-of-a-kind tee shirts. A new one each day and only for the day. So if I see something that is perfect for my sister I have to buy it right then, or it’ll be gone.

Tee shirts might not be your thing, but there are simple things you can do now that will make next year’s credit card bills less painful.
If you are crafty, start now. I’ll be picking a new pattern for knitted gifts and start working on them now so I have plenty for next holiday season and I’m not up at 3am knitting as fast as I can while watching a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress.

If you have storage space start buying things as you see them. Would your cousin love that book? Your son that dinosaur? Your husband that new bedroom toy? Go ahead and get it now. I have a storage box I tuck gifts into as I get them. And if dinos have been replaced by robots by next year, give it to another child on your list or donate it to one of the many toy drives.

“But I don’t have storage space,” you wail. Fear not I have a plan for that too. Gift cards. No, you don’t have to give them gift cards as gifts, but buy gifts cards to the stores you shop at most for the holiday and spend them instead of using your credit card. This is great for those of us who don’t save well. Tuck them in a safe place that you’ll remember. Every time you go to one of the big chain stores pick up a gift card to the place where you shopped the most this year. Me, I’ll be colleting Amazon gift cards. If you’re worried about your money tied up in gift cards you can’t use, buy Visa gift cards.

I know thinking about the holidays now doesn’t feel right or takes the fun out of the season, but wouldn’t it be great to have the stress of gift shopping done by Dec 1st so you could actually enjoy all the parties?

For those of you who have vowed to “do things different” I encourage you to try some of my tips, a little bit of time and money now could mean a huge difference next holiday season.

While searching for a song I found that the 2012 Eurovison song contest has started!!!! I’m so excited, so I’ll post favorites, and weird songs, and whatever catches my fancy. Here is Switzerland’s entry this year. What do you think?

22 responses »

  1. Every year, I swear that I am going to cross-stitch a Christmas stocking for my husband, and then I remember around November — much too late to make it happen! This is a great idea. I need to think ahead and get crackin’ early. Thanks, Alica!

  2. I love your idea of starting now and buying along the way during the months to come. It would ultimately save me from having to put out a huge chunk of money come December.
    And I like the video. The guy’s voice is a mixture of Bono and someone else.
    I’ve never even heard of this contest.

    • I found about this contest years ago when on online friend was complaining that her daughter took over the TV to watch it- I found Apocalyptica the next day! The years I have followed this advice I’ve had the best holidays’
      Thanks Patti!

  3. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I have Christian friends and family members who do. I keep an eye out all year long for gifts, and I stash them in the front closet along with the wrapping paper, gift bags, and bows. I love being Jewish – all we have to do at that time of the year is eat chocolate shaped like gold coins, eat jelly donuts, eat potato pancakes and light candles. I can do this!

    • The holiday’s are very sneaky Lynn- I think if I get some gifts cards ready for Amazon’s cyber Monday sales and finish all my knitting by November 30th I’ll be super happy! Of course I’ll have tee shirts for everyone to support my addiction to 🙂

  4. I say EVERY year that I’m going to start buying early and be all done and cruise through the holidays. Never happens. Woot has a shirt of the day and I often chuckle and think of the person I’d buy it for. Ah … all good plans. Maybe THIS will be the year? 🙂 Great tips.

    • I love shit.woot and teefury I check them every day- I’m a little obsessed. I’ve already bought my first gift shits this year 🙂

      I’m think about reminding everyone in August- maybe I can help you reach your goal of an easy holiday.

  5. This year was the year that I did things different. I have a friend who buys all year round and she encouraged me to do the same. It was awesome! When Christmas rolled around I literally had everything I needed except for two things. They were all nicely stacked in the cupboard where I decided to store them. Now, if only there was a way to get out of wrapping, Christmas would be perfect! Great post.

    • I love teefury- sometimes they will have a run of shirts I don’t care for but when they have something I like I get really excited. If you check daily you will find the perfect tee shirt for the special geek in your life. LOL- Thanks August

  6. Some excellent ideas!

    I shop year round too, making like a squirrel and storing good gift objects away for future use. I’ve been so busy this January that the Christmas tree and ornaments made it upstairs into the guestroom…and that’s where they’ll stay until I find time to pack everything away in the closet. That could have been better thought out.

    On the upside, I bought stamps last Saturday and can now finish my Christmas cards….

  7. Wow, this is what “planning ahead” means! 🙂
    I’m a compulsive gift-giver. When I see something that I think it’s perfect for a friend, I buy it and store it, sometimes for months.
    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one…

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