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Win a $25 gift certificate to Connecting Threads!

Can you believe it's November? The holidays are right around the corner, and I know the invites for cookie exchanges, family dinners, and holiday parties are going to start arriving in my mail box any day now! Plus, there's the holiday shopping to get done, gifts to make, cards to send, holiday recipes to bake... It feels like every year my holiday to-do list gets longer and longer!

How do you manage your holiday to-do lists and still get all your quilting done? Post a tip in the comments below, and you'll be entered to win one of 3 $25 Connecting Threads gift certificates. Winners will be picked at random on January 4th, 2010 and announced here in the Quilt With Us community. Winners will also be notified by private message, so be sure to check your inboxes in January.

And if you need ideas for quick and easy gifts to make or presents for the quilters on your list, visit our holiday store!

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Comment by Trudy/WI on October 29, 2009 at 2:13pm
I changed my thought process on gift giving. Why do we work so hard to make so many gifts right before the holidays? I cut the list down to those who I knew would appreciate, and could use, gifts instead of trying to get something for everybody. The next step was to elimnate gift making for Christmas and save it for birthdays instead. This made a big difference for me, as I love to go all out decorating and preparing for the holidays in other ways. I also start baking ahead of time and freeze things as I go, including extra portions of meals for those days that are just too busy. We have a buffet style meal on Christmas Eve with our children and grandchildren, and each of our kids brings something to contribute and helps set up and take down. Also, it helps to schedule certain tasks on your calendar. When I tell myself I'm going to decorate the tree one afternoon, I don't plan on doing anything but that, and often I'm done early enough that I feel motivated to go onto something else. This works really well instead of trying to cram everything in at once.
Comment by Janet/MO on October 29, 2009 at 12:52pm
When I was growing up my mom always went all out for Christmas & I tried to do the same thing. Then a few yrs ago I realized that all I was doing was running myself ragged as well as in to the poor house when no one else really cared. That yr no one showed up for dinner on time after I had spent hrs preparing the "perfect meal". After that my dh & I decided we would only buy or make gifts for the grandies (there are 8 of them now) and would host a Christmas Eve buffet. I still always put up a tree the weekend after Thanksgiving as well as other decorations, but now I actually enjoy the holidays instead of just trying to do more & more things. For the buffet some times we buy a honey baked ham and then have a tossed salad & a fruit salad, chips, veggie plates, various types of drinks and pie. One yr we bought ribs & chicken fingers from Applebees & the pies from Marie Calendar's, which was a great time saver. I know these foods will never replace "mamma's home cooking", but sometimes the good trade off is not working yourself to death only to get upset when everyone has different times they can show up or they have already been to other family get togethers on the other side of the family so they are not hungry when they get to your house!
Comment by Carol Vickers/OH on October 29, 2009 at 11:54am
Mid fall I get out my gift wrapping supplies and set up a gift wrapping station in a spare room. As I purchase or make gifts I wrap them right away and add the item and name to my list so I remember what I already have done. Wrapping gifts two or three at a time seems so much easier to me than setting aside several evenings late in the season to wrap everything. It's almost like this job disappears!
Comment by Pam/NY on October 29, 2009 at 11:29am
The months of Oct. and Nov. I always cook double at meal time and freeze half for dinners in Dec. The time saved not having to cook every night gives me extra time to do other projects and last minute quilting!
Comment by Stephanie G. Benson-Greer on October 29, 2009 at 11:11am
thank you for this website, I may not contribute often, but I do visit every day and read the many posts there and get inspired every time, no matter how tired I am! thanks again!
Comment by Stephanie G. Benson-Greer on October 29, 2009 at 11:11am
When I was growing up, we only had enough money to feed ourselves. Christmas was a time of celebrating life and all gifts were hand made. Now that I am grown that still is what I prefer to do, unless time does not allow it. I have been working on gifts since summer, nothing really large, but all hand made. table toppers, small baby quilts, kits that I buy. I work 60-70 hours per week and this is my relaxation. One of these days I am going to make something for myself! LOL. Seriously though, as Paula stated below, I make a list of the folks I am gifting, check out their likes and dislikes over the year and make them something I know they will use. I also make one or two items and donate to charity or auction. I love to give, with no strings attached!
Comment by Paula/TX on October 29, 2009 at 10:48am
I am a last minute kind of girl. The pressure of it all makes me work more efficiently and it all seems to work out one way or another. List after list is made and they always seem to get shorter.

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