Yesterday in my journal blog I mentioned my Christmas Notebook and I realized that maybe everybody is not familiar with that concept; so I decided to do a post about it here, for you Rebels. My Christmas Notebook is an old spiral that I have kept my Christmas notes is since the kids were tiny little creatures.
At the top of the page I simply put what year it is. I then make a column for each child; blessedly this year I got to add a whole column for our new son Austin. In previous years that was always a bit tricky as I had to buy him the same thing I bought the other "friends". Anyway, underneath each column (which takes up less than a third of the page in my family) I have plenty of room left to make a list of nieces and nephews. Underneath that goes all of the couple gifts to my sisters and parents. Lastly I have a list of neighbors and friends that I either bake for or have the kids make stuff for.
Originally, I just started the notebook out as a way to keep myself organized while I was shopping. And also to avoid the embarrassment of giving the same gift 2 years in a row (or more like I did with the wreaths a decade or so ago, I got really into wreath making and gave them away 3 years in a row and totally forgot about it, lol!!!); but I have now found that is a wonderful trip down memory lane each year when I pull it out to prepare for Christmas shopping.
See, I keep all of the kids' Dear Santa letters in there paper clipped to each year that they wrote them as well. So for instance the other day as I was going through and making my list and checking it twice, we found a couple of those old letters and now that the cat is out of the bag completely at my house; we pulled a few of those Santa letters out and read them as a family (well poor Dad was working, but the rest of us were here and boy did we crack up!).
The first one we read was so sweet from my daughter saying that she wanted a play pony (thank God for the "play" part, eh?) and something nice for her brothers. And then we open up one from my oldest son, whom of course by this time knew that I was on the receiving end of these and had only sat down to write one to humor my daughter. It said: Dear Santa, don't bring my sister or brother anything, not even coal, as they have been TERRIBLE this year. Also, I will leave plenty of Lima Beans for your reindeer so they can fart their way across America.
Well, all righty then. Merry Christmas to me. I mean we all sat here and laughed until there were tears rolling down our cheeks. Some were tender and sweet, okay only those from my daughter.... And some were funny as all get out, but they were all ones that I am so happy that I have in one place.
So make 2011 be the year you start your very own Christmas Notebook because it is so well worth it. You will never have another repeat gift again, you will have wonderful memories to look back on and it doesn't have to be anything special. Mine is an old spiral that one of the kids didn't use all of the pages in in school. Recycled!!!! Oh, and don't forget the secret column up in the corner for stocking stuffers and Santa gifts!!! That way even if the kids get ahold of your secret notebook, they will never know who S (for Santa) is....