One question I’ve gotten lately is…. “Now what do we do with all of these wrapped gifts?”
By this point in time, many of you have decorated and put up your tree and the gifts will live there. For some homes the gifts are not seen until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Thus the question of What to do with the wrapped gifts arises.
After gifts are wrapped you will need a place to stash them. Those needing hand delivery (like teacher gifts) can go into a box/bin in the car – if you have chocolates in there and it is going to be some time before they are delivered, you may need to find a cool dry storage place out of the way in the air conditioning – linen closet or laundry room… or maybe just in the corner BEHIND the tree. Just keep those “gifts on the go” separate from all of the other under the tree gifts… just don’t forget where you have hidden any of them. If you are likely to forget where you stashed them, make a note in your agenda/planner/PDA. Popular hiding spots – closets, behind furniture, attic, a friend’s home, under beds. What’s your favorite gift hiding spot?
Keep in mind that if you have little peepers peeking around OR if you just want to keep at-home gifts separate from to-go gifts, you can always use a different wrap to differentiate - by person or by location of gift opening. If you use candy cane wrap for Sally’s gifts and Santa wrap for Joey’s gifts but do not put tags on them, you will know who they are for, but Sally and Joey will not know at which ones to peak! If you use gold wrap only on all of the gifts to go, you will know which ones to grab for traveling.
Out with the old. In with the New.
Take time now, this week, before the kids are home for Christmas Break, to weed through the toy bins. Look for books and toys you KNOW they’ve outgrown. For older children, talk with them about giving to others and the joy that it brings to share things that they no longer use. And if that doesn’t do the trick, you can always tell them that Santa won’t give to little children with tons of toys already; he only gives to the children who have space for new things.
I especially love the “One in-One out” rule of organizing for this time of year. If you have overzealous friends and family gifting your children at this time of year, this may not be completely practical, but stay with me. There is a simple YEAR ROUND rule or organizing that states, for every beautiful and useful item you bring into your home, one item needs to depart in order to make room for the new. If you buy a new pair of shoes, then an old pair needs to go out. If you could not resist a new handbag, book, toy, electronic devise – then an old item should depart in order to make room for the new. Simple rule. No excess.
For those of us with generous friends and family members, there is the option of toy rotation. Leave some of the toys out for your children to play with now and box the others up for a few months. When the children start wanting new toys to play with… Voila! You bring out the toys that you put away from Christmas and box up some of the toys that they have been enjoying. Keep the same number of toys in rotation so that you are not overwhelmed with a great mass of toys.
If the toys you are taking out of rotation are things that your kiddos are truly no longer interested in, it is ok to go ahead and donate those things. They have the fond memories of playing with the toy and it can move on to be loved by another child. If you are attached to the toy, take a picture of your child playing with it for one last time and let it go.
Since our last mid-week contest was so much fun, we’re doing another one!!! Tune in Friday, Dec 12 for the details.