Before I get to my Christmas post, let me share a Christmas Card with you. This uses the darling Christmas Tree stamp and die set from Papertrey ink. So gosh darn cute! I love it!
Today's Christmas post is on a lighter topic. For those that know me I'm a type A personality. Well, maybe a type A+ personality. What is a type A personality? Well, here is the wikepedia definition.
The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.
So, how would a type A personality 'do' Christmas?
Well, let me describe how I do Christmas and you can get an idea of one. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that ALL type A's do it this way, but it's how I do it.
First of all, Type A personalities LOVE lists. So Christmas starts with an excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has pages. The first page is for the budget and includes mostly gifts. Every person I expect to buy a gift for is listed in a row. Each name is listed, The next column is called budget. This includes how much I intend to spend on gifts for each person. The next column is called Final. This is a calculated field so as I buy gifts I add them into the final number. So for instance if the person has 3 gifts, when I buy the first one is says =10.00. Then if I buy another gift at 35, I make it = 10+35. and when the last gift is bought I add that amount = 10+35+17 and the cell displays 62.00. If my budget was 50.00 it tells me I am over budget for that and at the bottom I keep a running tally of budget vs actual. I add another column called 'done.' Then if I have bought all the gifts for that person it shows yes and I can visually get a sense of what % of my shopping I'm done with. Are you with me so far? Do you think I'm nuts or are you thinking - 'hmmm, that's a great idea.' come on now all you type A's out there...... you know who you are!
Christmas 2013 Ideas Budget Final Done? Bob Surprise! 100 Eric Headphones, jacket 150 Jessa Yoga Clothes 50 Sarah Surprise! 150
After the gifts come other things we spend money on at christmas. I have a row for decorations, a row for wrapping and a row for charity. Our goal is to spend as much on charity as all other people on our list so once I have a budget for all the people we buy for, i put that amount in my charity row and yes, this doubles the amount we spend on christmas. Yes, we give a lot to charity at Christmas and yes, it also keeps us more focused on our budget. A budget of $750 times two is $1,500, but a budget of $1,200 times two is $2,400. As for which charities we give to at Christmas time, we do a few things. First we do a few shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Second I sponsor 2 social service kids at work and third (my favorite) is we pick items from the World Vision Christmas catalog and give the bulk of our spending there. We give goats, soccer balls, portions of a deep well, portions of a cow, bicycles, medicine, school supplies etc. Every year on Christmas eve we, as a family, look through the catalog and argue about what to give to until the money is gone. It's actually a lot of fun. Oh, and I'm not bragging, I hope you don't read it this way, but we don't only give money to charity at Christmas. We give every month to church and we have 7 world vision children that we support. We believe very strongly in giving back so part of our month to month budget and Christmas budget are focused on charity. We have been so blessed and it's not that big a burden to take 10% -15% of what we get and give to others. I feel very blessed that we have extra and can do this without sacrificing food or heat. For many, this isn't an option, but for us it is, so it's what we do.
Okay, enough about that. What else do type A personalities do? Well, for me, I plan and plan and plan. For instance it's December 10th and I can tell you what's going to be for dinner on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th & 24th. Yup. I've actually started making some of those meals. I make a calendar every week of the upcoming days. I note if both Bob and I will be home and if so I decide what we'll have for dinner. I buy the ingredients during my weekly shopping and often prep some of the food before hand. For instance on Friday the 13th we will have minestrone soup. I have already cut the meat, browned it and put it in the freezer. I will cut up the vegetables tomorrow and put them in the fridge. Then Friday morning Bob will put them all in the crock pot before he leaves for work and we'll come home to home made minestrone soup. I'll whip up a salad and heat up some rolls (or make grilled cheese) and yum - dinner is ready. The same is true for the 'big' holiday meals. I have 12 for dinner on the 20th and I've already planned lasagne and cherry pie.
Another list making thing I do is I send myself e-mails of 'things to do.' So when I'm in a boring meeting at work and am not especially paying attention (don't judge me - lately I spend 6 hours a day in meetings with my projects and trust me, not everything being discussed pertains to me) I go into my e-mail and send myself a message. I send it from my work e-mail to my personal e-mail. It goes something like this:
It's way better than writing a list and then on Friday I can open my e-mail (from my phone if needed) and ensure I got everything on my to do list done. So what happens if I run out of time? No problem. I just transfer things from Friday's to do list to Saturday's to do list. and yes, if you are wondering, almost every day has things to do! I told you - not just type A, probably type A+. and yes, it's a 'good' day if everything on the list gets done! And yes, sometimes I put things like 'shower' on the list and 'nap' on the list - partly so I have more things to check off but more importantly so I make sure to do them!
Lastly, I color coordinate all my gift wrapping. What does that mean? Well, I buy 4 different rolls of gift wrap (all in complementary colors that 'coordinate.) Then we decide which paper is for which person and all gifts for Sarah get wrapped in 'her' wrapping paper. Then I don't have to do tags and on Christmas morning, everyone knows whose gifts is whose (well at least for the gifts from someone in our house.) This year I bought 5 rolls of paper because this year, we'll have gifts for Ivan (our future son-in-law.) Note - Jessa gets a gift too, but I put that in a gift bag this year!
So, are you type A, type A+ or something else? Are you inspired? Are you intimated? Are you sorry for me? All are fine. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season. Thanks for stopping by today and visiting my blog!