Today, my friends is a fun day! You have permission to go surfing online to finish up your last minute shopping. You have the chance to sip coffee in your pj’s and shop for your loved ones all at the same time! No standing in long lines, feeling all hot and bothered with bag imprints going up your poor arms, no whining kids begging to go home already, no eye-rolling husband waiting for you. Best of all, no sore feet! No, this is a day to celebrate, for we have this great invention called Amazon! YES!
Here’s your objective – find a great place to shop with great deals. Next, shop away! (Don’t forget about places with free returns, free shipping or discounted shipping costs). This is going to be the best Clutter Free Christmas yet!
Where do you like to go to get great deals? Are you one of those infamous Cyber Monday shoppers? Share with us your favorite places to online shop. Where do you find the best deals with the lowest costs on shipping and handling? Share with us on our page!
Remember – even when everything seems important, not everything is possible.
Plan ahead for gifts for out-of-town family and friends
Refer back to your gift giving list to identify anyone who will require their gift to be shipped, as these gifts for out-of-town family/friends can take extra thought. Now think of the least stressful ways to make this happen. A gift card to their favorite store or restaurant is a great gift and extremely easy to ship.
You can also ship gifts directly to people from whichever website you are ordering from. You know I am a fan of Amazon, and if you aren’t a prime member, order all of your gifts at one time so you have an order of $35 for free shipping.
Assignment: Plan you gifts for out–of-town friends and family.
Think about what you are going to get for whom and by what day you need to have it in the mail. Put the dates on your calendar and plan purchases accordingly.
Consider e-gifts or something that is easy to mail.
Be sure to check out the mailable gift ideas in the book.
Supplies: 1) Your gift list 2) calendar and 3) ideas.
Share Your Thoughts:
Share ideas for gifts for out-of-town family and friends? Any tips on mailing gifts? How many gifts do you usually mail?
Dreading the lines at the post office? Listen to “feel good” music through your headphones. Or better yet, set a goal to make the line more fun for everyone by seeing how many people you can get to smile. Remember — when we pre-decide our reactions, we get to be grateful instead of bitter.
Maybe it is the new year, but I’ve plugged along with decluttering my cupboards. Then one day, while at a friend’s house, she asked me to grab something from under her kitchen sink. Upon opening the two doors I found literally five items (if that) inside a bare white cupboard. It was beautiful. My jaw dropped.
I immediately envisioned opening the doors underneath my own kitchen sink. Cue the shower scene music from the movie Psycho. Eek, eek, eek… I have a billion items under there. I own every cleaner under the sun and then some. My heart was deflated. I left her house feeling completely terrible about my own organizing capabilities. Wondering, what is wrong with me?
The next morning I was ramping up to work on a design project but my organizing ability was spilling over into my work and making me feel insecure. I read my daily devotional. It talked about how God uses us best when we are operating in our “sweet spot.” In fact, the devotional quoted my go-to verse.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
This verse always reminds me Christ gives me the strength I need, especially whenever I approach a challenge and in spite of all my weaknesses.
But this time when I read it, in light of the words in the devotional, it occurred to me: Christ accomplishes much when we need his strength, He can accomplish so much more when we are leaning into our strengths and operating out of our sweet spot. The place where we are supposed to operate as opposed to operating out of this place that isn’t unique to us, it isn’t where we are gifted.
I sat down to start the design project I felt to inadequate to accomplish. I ended up painting a picture inspired by flowers found on my morning walk. I must admit, I have not painted a true watercolor in years, and I was scared. What if it didn’t turn out as I envisioned? I am guilty of not even doing something if I don’t think the end result will turn out perfectly.
But this time, recognizing only Jesus is perfect, I mustered up my courage and his strength. I sat down to actually do the work I was called to do. God sparked in me my passion, my very own “sweet spot.” When I witnessed his creation through me I knew without a doubt I was doing what he called me to do.
I cried, tears of joy that resonated in my heart. “I am an artist.” I had been so defeated about not being organized and I hadn’t embraced my true calling in a really long time. I am an artist. I work great in organized chaos. I may not have a completely bare cabinet, but I am truly gifted in art. Now that I found my sweet spot, I will be brave with my God-given talents and no longer wish I was someone I am not. Someone I was never created to be.
One Small Win: Christ accomplishes much when we need his strength, He can accomplish so much more when we are leaning into our strengths and operating out of our sweet spot.
Julie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships – especially in marriage and friendship. She is a speaker and a “wife coach” who loves sharing with women her passion for prayer and ways to actively cultivate a thriving marriage. She leads a growing number of women in San Jose, CA, through her curriculum: Consistency and Persistency: The Art of Praying for your Husband.
Having been married 12 years, she and her husband have cultivated a marriage filled with intentional love, effective communication, sustainable fun, and a date night every Friday night for the last nine years. She also finds deliberate ways to spend quality time with her nine-year-old son who shares many of her artistic talents. Follow her on Instagram: @julielandreth.
This post was previously posted two days before Mother’s Day last year. Here it is again to give you an early start!
How to Have a Great Mother’s Day
I’ve seen a huge number of articles on surviving Mother’s Day. All well-intentioned, but they just all came too late- the Friday before Mother’s Day is not enough time to put healthy thinking and guidelines into place.
But a month? A month I can work with.
So I’m putting a note on my calendar for April 10th to remind myself to read this article, and put a plan into place to make sure I’m well-taken care of for Mother’s day. It all some down to having a plan in place. Here are my three steps:
1. Plan Something
If you do not belong to a “planning family” (in other words, your kids are too young, or too unaware to plan anything, and this isn’t your husband’s strong suit,) make sure you plan something
yourself – whether it’s for yourself or your own mom, mother-in-law, or stepmom. There is nothing worse than sitting around on Mother’s Day, scrolling through your Facebook wall, looking at all the posts of well wishes from adoring husbands and cute kids.
Plan something and get off of Facebook. On Mother’s Day, Facebook is not your friend.
Get out of the house. go to the movies. Go on a hike (far enough away that you are out of cell range.) Go out with a friend, go out with your husband.
We celebrated on Friday night – which was great. We had most of our kids there, we had kabobs, it was lovely. But Sunday? Let’s just say I should have planned a hike. Next year – I’ll know better.
2. Order something.
Whether it’s flowers or a great book from Amazon, have a package ready to be ripped into for Mother’s Day, even if it’s for yourself. We ordered Shari’s Berries this year and boy – everyone was glad we did. We had more fun with strawberry pic with everyone (and they were so delish. I may have eaten more than my fair share. But it’s Mother’s Day.) I’m placing an order for next year. These turned our time together into a celebration.
3. Ask Something
Not every gift needs to be a surprise. Ask your kids to do something they are talented at to contribute to your celebration. My boys bought gifts (Jer can always be relied on to bring flowers, and Justen always shows up with a book he knows I’ll love,) but the girls contributed talents – Kimber made the cake, and Amanda did henna tattoos for each of us. Utterly unique, utterly special. Make your special request far in advance. Your child will be flattered you asked, and you’ll get to brag on your kiddos.
Be intentional. No one wants a martyr mom on Mother’s Day. Be sure to celebrate you.
Today is shipping day! Grab your packages, grab yourself a Starbucks, and brave the post office (the lines won’t be nearly as long this early in the game).
To make this day painless, take some time earlier in the week to familiarize yourself with USPS.com, print out labels, and pack everything up so it is ready to go for pick up (you can still enjoy a Starbucks if you like)! If you have never used USPS.com before, this may just be the most magical part of your Christmas this year.
Assignment: Ship Your Boxes.
Learn how to ship using USPS.com
Use Priority Mail Boxes
Priority mail can be picked up at your house the next day.
Check out Kathi’s Quick Tips in the book for ideas for packaging and sending.
If you realize after the fact you missed someone, check out the gifts over at Evite. They can be ordered and shipped directly to someone.