It's December 28th - Let's Talk Christmas

@p1kef1sh (45638)
December 28, 2008 11:26am CST
I have been informed that next year I will be organising the P1ke family Christmas! So the time to start thinking about it is now whilst memories of this year's event are still fresh. What I need is a monthly itinerary leading up to next Christmas. An added complication is that we may well be celebrating it in North Carolina (assuming that the P1kelet gets into university there) so I shall have to factor in renting a house (somewhere near Wilmington) - I don't want Christmas in an hotel! So mindful that we may well be in the US and not the UK, what can I do now and what should I leave until we get to the US (in December). I want to be doing something - present buying for example - every month. What's the best way to organise myself please.
6 people like this
19 responses
@ElicBxn (61063)
• United States
28 Dec 08
I would make an outline, recruit anyone you can (the boss for example) and certainly buy presents each month. Then, when you have a better idea of where the get together is going to be, you can ship the items over if it is, indeed, going to be in North Carolina. Sit down, perhaps with whoever orgainized this year's to-do and find out what all needs to be done. then make an outline of what has to be done and then break down what can be done in advance and what can't be done until the last minute...
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
The Boss has set me the project Elic. I have to impress her with my organisational ability! I kind of know what needs to be done. I just need to get it all in the right order.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61063)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Of course she did, why didn't I know that! I would suggest again, figuring on shipping as much as you can over, ship in perhaps the end of October or November, perhaps the P1kelet can either store the stuff for you or arrange a facility to store it for you. And, since the P1kelet will be there, they can do some of the legwork for you in NC. Then, rather then hump it back and pay airline fees, again, ship it back. FYI, clothes weigh less than books....
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
No books unless they are absolutely impossible to buy here. Clothes? Hmmm. Cowboy boots and stetsons? LOL.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 08
I'd love to help but I am busy doing the happy dance that you may possibly be spending Christmas 09 in North Carolina!! My daddy lives there. I could stalk you :) You plan your present buying I'll start making the jello shots :)
1 person likes this
@novataylor (6570)
• United States
29 Dec 08
I'm going to be no help on this at all, p1key. I'm positively paralized with the prospect of you being out of the computer screen and physically in front of me! I'm a stuttering fool. But don't let that stop you!! You make the plans and I'll do whatever you say. Omg, I can't stand it! Surely I haven't been this completely, comprehensively excited since I was a very small child...I can't sit still. Oh my.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
Gonna come? You know that you want to........ Of course I may get there first in which case. I'm gonna come, I know that I want to...........
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 08
and mama will be there too? oh yes, she has to come. I know she wants to. She will. You'll make her come, won't you P1ke?
1 person likes this
29 Dec 08
Hi p1key, As there are sales everywhere now and in January so you can buy next christmas presents for half the price so you won't have to buy it monthly, hope all goes well with your trip next year. Hugs. Tamara
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
That's my thought Tamara. Buy something each month. The trip all depends on my daughter getting into university over there. If she doesn't then we'll be staying here. So either way, I have a Christmas to plan.
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
28 Dec 08
Begin by declaring all Christmas Gifts as Part and Package of the Commercialization of Christmas and Void them. Suggest to your family, that they Gift all year around, rather than just at Christmas, and only when they see a need and reason. Go ahead and rent your house. A house can be very handy when you plan to invite Family to a different continent. Take some cooking lessons. A Christmas Dinner is best when cooked at home, and by someone who has at least, some knowledge of what he/she is doing.(The Christmas Dinner is not part of the problem (with commercialization) as we humans have to eat anyway.)
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
Now I would happily void presents. But I have to be realistic. That's not going to happen. I can cook, and cook well, so that part is covered. However, all the food will have to be purchased on the USofA I imagine.
@ronaldinu (12439)
• Malta
28 Dec 08
I would set clear objectives and try to reach them monthly. It depends how would you like o organise your family christmas. Then I would try to evaluate whether I have reached my objectives or not. I wish you good luck in your quest.!
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
Thank you. I hope that by simple planning I shall make it work.
@Humbug25 (12551)
29 Dec 08
Hi yas p1kef1sh I should leave it to the Boss LOL
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
But I can't Humbug. She's the one that has decided that next Christmas is all mine to organise!
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
29 Dec 08
She's brave!! LOL
@p1kef1sh (45638)
30 Dec 08
I am wonderfully domesticised. I'll come and prove it if you want!! Pass the ironing over (my least favourite job.) LOL.
@GreenMoo (11837)
6 Jan 09
You do like to make life complicated, don't you?! As you're unable to make any real decisions until the university place is confirmed, I'd be spending the immediate future thinking about things you can do in this country like buying and writing Christmas cards and buying, wrapping and addressing pressies for those who will be left behind in the UK. Do some investigative work. Are there Christmas foods that are exclusive to the UK which your family can't live without? Will you be able to import them to that part of the US? Once the university place is firm I imagine you'll be up to your eyes in work. Helping someone to move countries is no easy task and I'm guessing that there will be all sorts of last minute problems to overcome. Then of course there will be renting that house! Left to my own devices, I think the idea of Christmas in a hotel is a fabulous one. Of course, it would have to be swanky and they'd have to be willing to come and clear up all my discarded wrapping paper whilst I indulged in a fabulous Christmas breakfast, including proper English style bacon of course (I couldn't get it this year, I'm devastated. I need pigs before next Christmas.). Ultimately, I think your family will have a superb Christmas just by dint of being together :-)
@p1kef1sh (45638)
6 Jan 09
I think we'll be happy to be together - there may be a myLotter or two as well. I shall buy the cards first in the sales. Bacon is a good point. I don't know that you can get proper English bacon there. I like smoked back bacon. Now I'm hungry! A couple of proper sausages too. Eggs....................
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11837)
7 Jan 09
I'm trying to imagine you trying to get a couple of sausages past a stone faced US customs officer. Best of luck!
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Best time to buy Christmas gifts is when they have their after Christmas sales and what they call Black Friday and Cyber Monday but still they will have other deals through out the year that will be nice to catch like when it is warming up and the winter clothing goes on sale for over 50%-80% off. It is best to make a list of all those you want to buy for then get their sizes and favorite colors and likes and dislikes down on paper to have when you need it. And keep a ear out for the things they say they would like to have and keep it written down so if you come accross it you can maybe purchase and then hide it. I once vacationed in North Carolina with my uncle and his wife and we visited and hiked Linville Falls it was amazing not something to do in December in winter though. Well I do hope your little P1kelet gets into the college of her choice. Organizing things isn't the easiest job. But make sure have a list of all the things you will need for decorating. Will you be flying or driving to North Carolina? If driving you could look around other places and each state by a different decoration for tree..Well I do hope all goes well for you.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
6 Jan 09
Over here right now the sales have been on since forever Becky. Stores are going bust daily. I couldn't drive to NC without getting wet!! There's the small matter of the Atlantic Ocean to navigate first. LOL. However, I guess that we will fly into somewhere like NYC or Atlanta and then drive from there. So we will see some scenery en route. I like the idea of a tree decoration from each state (or city). That's a very good idea.
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Sorry having one of those"Here's your sign" moments that Bill Engvall likes to give people who are sometimes not thinking straight or thinking at all.lolI could say it has been a long day and I am tired and wasn't fully thinking about how far you have to come to get to the States. Yeah it would be nice to have a few mementos also.
@guybrush (4660)
• Australia
30 Dec 08
No, no, NOOOOOOOOOO! Please, no more Christmas YET! I'm willing to bet there'll be Easter eggs for sale in our shops next week - and the Back to School merchandise is already on the shelves! If you are having Christmas away, it'll be a lovely change, though - and the P1kelet will no doubt appreciate you bringing stocks of Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons and Brighton Rock. As for a monthly itinerary ... I need a really good sleep before I can even think about it ... *snore, snore, snore*
@p1kef1sh (45638)
30 Dec 08
A tea shop in Salisbury was offering as it's "Deal of the Day" on 22nd December a pot of tea and hot cross buns for two for £1.50!! Merry Easter!
@guybrush (4660)
• Australia
30 Dec 08
Merry Easter indeedy ... from a very hot and cross BUN!
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
29 Dec 08
It's a very happy news that you are going to USA and you will celebrate next Christmas. I think you will do higher studies there.I wish your success.You are thinking about next Christmac celebration and it's preparation. It's difficult to say how you will manage.As a friend I suggest you cut your monthly expenditure and buy something for next Christmas.Thanks p1kef1sh.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
It's my daughter that will be studying. Her mother and I will go out to see her. But we ned to think about it now if we are to arrange it. Thanks Bhansub.
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
29 Dec 08
My blessing for your daughter.
@bdugas (3581)
• United States
29 Dec 08
I make a list of all who will be there, and I try to figure out what I will be serving for dinner, as for shopping for gilfts, as the year goes by ansI notice something in the store that one of my relatives or kids would like I buy it then and put it back in the closet. Sometimes I wrap it before I put it up there so that part is does too. Hosting Christmas is a big job, so many things to do and you sure can't wait until Dec 1st to start.I agree that being in a house is a lot nicer than a hotel room. So you can start to look now at what is out there and will be available, maybe a time share or a vacation home that people have gone to Fla for the winter, and would like someone in their home for a few weeks. I would get a calender or a book with the months in it and list things that I need to do and keep track of what I am doing and also the money I spend on doing this.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
I've already styarted to look tentatively. However, if she doesn't get to Wilmington she may well end up somewhere in Connecticut so I don't want to make a firm booking before I know for sure. Wherever we are there's work to do.
@bdugas (3581)
• United States
29 Dec 08
Good luck where ever you end up, I know now adays I have to make a list and write everything down so as not to forget anything. Too much rush in our lives anymore. But you have a lot of time so I'm sure you will do fine.
@Rosekitty (19396)
• San Marcos, Texas
28 Dec 08
P1ke i know you have a passport so thats done..and you are working on renting wherever she gets in at, but try not to bring a tree from England..we have them here....leave all your clothes at home since you will want to buy clothes here and you will need all the room since you might lose your luggage anyway.. any medications you can't get here..I'll send you brownies instead to help..if you drive west then south you can visit me and Bo and Irish. Start your lemonade stand now to make all that extra money to spend on gifts for your mylotter friends and heath bars.. When i think of more i'll write back here..
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
Rosie I am thinking of becoming a Girl Scut so that I can sell cookies etc. I might eve get to Texas before Christmas. It's a thought. Maybe if I settled somewhere between Austin and Fort Worth I could do some travelling without killing myself. But we'll have to see. I have so many people that I want to see - they might not want to see me mind!
@Rosekitty (19396)
• San Marcos, Texas
28 Dec 08
Sell Girl Scout cookies?..Does that mean you are going to wear the bra cone? Would I get a discount? RJ..you can have a Natural Light since i can't send you gold..the real stuff not painted like p1ke's
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
29 Dec 08
I am aghast at the prospect of organizing a Christmas for a family in another country, the logistics are overwhelming. You must be flushed with cash. If you have that much money why do you not hire someone to do it for you, sort of like a wedding planner except for Christmas. When you total the hours involved in this project it must be weeks of time total, plus the impossibility of doing things by long distance. Maybe some of the other posters know you better than I do but I doubt you are Superman.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
Not flush with money or anything like. But it can't be that hard. Just rent a house, buy some food and cook it. It's just the organisation that will take a while to sort out. But if my daughter's there, I will be too!
@oldboy46 (2132)
• Australia
29 Dec 08
So you have les than 12 months to organise Christmas 2009 which means you really do need to get started NOW, bearing in mind the "limited" amount of time that you have available. Let's accept that your daughter will get into the university of her choice, which just happens to be in the USA. First step is the budget to be worked out, then add another 20% to be sure that you have covered all bases and will not exactly burn up the credit card. Then the entire family will need current passport. If you do not already have them, getting those must be a priority here so do not delay. Remember that you will be dealing with a government department and they are not known for their efficiency. You will be able to obtain some sort of Christmas tree in the US, so no need to take one over with you. Whether you choose a real tree or a plastic one does not really matter unless you have a real dislike of either sort. Decorations can also be obtained in the US so theyt can be bought when you arrive, except of course if you always put the same angel (or whatever) at the top of the tree. So that you still have that special Christmas feel, you should pack that decoration in your luggage. I suggest that it should be in the carry on luggage, because airlines are notorious for misplacing luggage. At least that is what will happen if you have something special in the luggage that you book through. As far as I know they have the same sorts of food in the US as you do in the UK so there should be no need to take any food with you. The other thing to consider is that their customs could sieze your food or charge you a fortune in import taxes or whatever. Remember the US economy is not so great at the present time and they could be looking for additional means of boosting the treasury coffers. Also think of history and there will be some Americans who think that the English should just stay at home. lol If any doubts about the availability of food in the US, you can always arrange for a survival ration pack to be delivered for you and the family to consume while you are in the US. Even better, arrange for one to be delivered so that it is there when you arrive and then another during the time you are there. How many care/survival packs you would need will, of course, depend on how long you are planing to be in the US. Christmas presents could be a bit of a problem in the sense that if you aren't careful you could find that you exceed the luggage weight limit. So everyone is limited to one present or alternatively you only take along one spare set of clothes (in the carry on luggage) which means you will have more than enough room for several presents for each person. You can start buying the Christmas presents now, but do keep in mind that you will be taking them with you and also have a limit on the size and weight of the luggage. There is no point in getting a really good bargain only to end up paying more through the excess luggage costs. I would look to getting as many of the presents as possible bought in the first 6 months so that the latter part of the year you can devote to paying for the house rental, air fares etc. Generally air fares can be cheaper if bought and paid for some months in advance, if you want to arrive at your destination at a particular date that is. Good luck and have fun right from the very start of your planning.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
There's a lot to do. The travel arrangements are relatively easy and the passports are fine although mine needs renewing in March which it will be. Food I don't see as a big problem but I do need t decide what we are doing. Thank you for a very comprehensive response. I may well return to it from time to time.
@checapricorn (16065)
• United States
29 Dec 08
[i]Hi p1, Enjoy first this NEw year and after that, I am sure your mind is ready to tackle that responsibility! LOL! Just write everything you need and ask friends and relatives for suggestion and tips from friends here also will count for sure... I will go with what they have said, accomplish a goal each month for the next Holiday! Enjoy![/i]
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
That's what I shall do Checapricorn. Once January is here I shall start preparing in small ways. Actually the presents are the easiest part as none of us are very demanding. My best present this year was the fact that we were together.
@Jenaisle (3803)
• Philippines
29 Dec 08
Wow, that's thorough planning, if you start if now. Isn't it too early?lol..Anyway, If I were you this is what I would do: Prepare the projected total expenses, so you'll know how much to spend for each item. Look for the venue-go and visit it, have an ocular inspection, then if it's okay-reserve it for the specific date that you will be using it. That would make sure no one will get it ahead of you. Then of course, plan the food. Prepare the menu based on the allotted amount. You must remember that prices may go up by then. Prepare the guest list. Would there be any guests? How many family members are there? Be sure to have room or bed assignments too, who sleeps with whom. Then go on to your Christmas gift list. Always keep in mind your budget. Now if you have money to spare then by all means, don't be conscious of the finances. Anyway, I'm sure you'll be able to organize it well, You're a very organized person? lol..happy new year.
@p1kef1sh (45638)
29 Dec 08
Thank you Jenaisle. That sounds the sort of thing. I want to be planned and setting a budget is very important. Happy New Year to you too.
@Opal26 (17686)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Hi p1ke! Wow! You might be celebrating Christmas in the US! How exciting for you and your family! I don't know what to tell you! That sure would be quite different for you! I guess it would depend on when you would be coming to the US and how much stuff you intend on dragging along with you or having to ship! And you want to rent a house! How are you going to do that from England? Oh my goodness P1ke that is going to be a tall order! No wonder you are starting to think about next Christmas now! I have no idea where to tell you to start! I'm sorry that I can't be of much help on this one!
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
I've already started looking at houses, but really I ned to wait until we know for sure which university our daughter is going to. No good renting a house in NC if she ends up in Oklahoma (where the corn is as high as an elephant's eye.....)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Make a list of all the things that you know have to be done to set up for a wonderful Christmas. Then, go through the list, dividing it into two sections, things that can be done now and taken with you to U.S., and the things that will have to wait until you are there.......getting a tree and decorations(Unless you want to take the chance with shipping decorations), etc. Take into consideration that you are either going to have to take with you or ship the presents, as well. Choose things that can be easily packed into your bags, or packed in boxes for shipping. It may just be easier to do your shopping once you are there. And, I am no help at all, because I work best under pressure. I usually wait until the last minute, make a list and check them off one at a time, usually checking off the last item on the list very, very early on Christmas morning.*L*
@p1kef1sh (45638)
28 Dec 08
I know that you are organised Bo and your idea is great. I will definitely make a list or two!
1 person likes this