Planning Christmas in JulyYou may feel that it is way too early to be thinking about Christmas since it is the beginning of July, but this is exactly the right time to start. Most of us are on a tight budget these days, and the holidays can be very expensive. Many department stores have big clearance sales in July that can save you some money and shopping earlier in the year helps ease the burden of buying everything after Thanksgiving.

Another reason to start early is to plan to give personalized handmade gifts. Like most people, I have a very busy schedule and it is going to take some time. I find I have some time to myself early on Sunday mornings when no one else in my house is awake. I can have a cup of coffee, sit at my sewing machine, and create. My favorite projects can be finished in a weekend, but I have a couple of quilts that I am making that will take a few months.

You don’t have to be that creative to make thoughtful gifts. You could fill a journal with favorite recipes for your daughter, paint clear wine glasses with flowers, or even make scented soaps for your family and friends.

There are all sorts of handmade items that you could create. I have a friend that makes Christmas stockings, another that knits sweaters, and yet another that paints. No matter what creative idea you have, if you start planning in July you won’t need to stress out in December.