Awhile back, Alice referred me to O Night Divine, which is the brainchild of ubermom Mary Ellen. Mom of 7, including newborn twins, Mary Ellen still (somehow ... I want her secrets ....) found time to create this blog, which is devoted to celebrating Christmas. With guest bloggers such as Alice, Elizabeth, Dawn, Jenn, and Gwen, it's sure to be full of inspiration and mind boggling creativity.
For what it's worth, I'll throw in my own little getting-ready-for-Christmas tip. For about the last 9 years, I've kept a Christmas journal that's been a huge help in getting ready for the season. It's an informal journal, kept in a pretty little blank notebook. What do I record in it? All of the following:
St. Nicholas Day (ideas and gifts given)
Christmas card list (to send)
Copies of annual Christmas letters
Christmas card list (received)
Christmas gift ideas for kids
Gift ideas for everyone else
Ideas for homemade gifts
Book lists (new seasonal books purchased, and an ongoing wish list)
Post-Christmas purchases (that I've squirreled away for the following year)
It's so helpful to be able to look back through the journal and see that a gift idea I jotted down for my sister last year will work again this year (how many years in a row has she hinted that she'd love that CD?), to jog my memory about a new book we want to get our hands on, or to be reminded that I already have some gifts purchased and hidden away. (Isn't it sad that I have to be reminded of that?)
The only other tips I can think of at the moment are:
To choose and consistently use the same hiding place for those squirreled away items, so that they don't get lost or forgotten.
To keep files on each liturgical season and feast day that you want to celebrate. (For example, I have a file for Advent and within that, are ideas for St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia celebrations, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and so on.)
Mary Ellen has a very detailed post with more in-depth references and links on organizational ideas here.
Thanks, Mary Ellen!