Thursday, January 28, 2021

January 2021 Christmas Club meeting!


So on Monday, January 25, we actually did something very appropriate for Rudolph Day -- we held our first Christmas Club meeting for 2021!  Three of us gathered at Susan's home for  a cup of tea and an hour or more of purposefully catching up on our Christmases and our plans for the coming year.  It surely did feel as if we were starting the New Year off right.  

We began by discussing how our Christmases had gone in 2020, especially considering that some things had to be different due to the virus.  We all felt that they went quite well.  Carrie felt good about keeping things more organized, and shared that her family did nearly all of their usual Christmas activities.  She had also asked the kids about any activities they might like to incorporate, and only one thing on their list did not happen.  Susan shared that their family time with their granddaughter was truly wonderful, at times actually feeling like a Hallmark movie as they shared memories and old family photos.  Wow!  It's hard to imagine much better than that.  As for Mr. T and myself, we felt that things were much as usual and we made some great memories with the local grands.

The one negative thing we all experienced in common was the unusually slow postal service.  Yes, we were warned about all that -- but for a package to take a week to get from the middle of New Hampshire to the lower end of it is slow indeed.  And then it still had to cross the country to its destination.  Though mailed in plenty of time, the gifts sent to Nevada were all late.  (Other than those sent directly from Amazon, which went through just fine! 😀)

We went over a list called "January Assignments" that I had saved from a previous year.  Most of this came from Organized Christmas originally, I think. 

 The first point -- tie up loose ends -- was mostly covered by our opening discussion of our Christmases.  In thinking about this, I know that both I and Carrie still have some Christmas things up in our houses, as we do decorate for winter.  In fact, at my house the tree is still up.  We did take the manger scene down and replaced it with a lighted log cabin.  I am also in the process of winnowing through a tote of Christmas and winter decor, and most of it is headed for the thrift store.

The second point concerns gift closets, and both Susan and I did go through ours this year.  I threw some things away and sent some to the thrift store.  I also found a couple of gifts in an area where gifts had previously been stored.  One went to the gift closet and the other to the thrift store.

 I do need to print and fill out a gift closet inventory form to really make the best use of this storage space.

The third point involves making a Rudy Day tote to have a way to stay ready to celebrate each month.  It's a lovely idea, but probably something none of us will make time to do.

The fourth point is a fun project: recycling Christmas cards.  We are going to do that at our February meeting, but I still have 2018's and 2019's cards, so hopefully I will turn a number of these into gift tags before that time.  The tags pictured below are from a previous year.

 Susan has placed a number of reminders on her phone for the various months, and for February 1 she has a note to herself regarding Valentine's Day: to plan, make, send Valentines or Valentine gifts, or to plan a special meal or activity for Valentine's Day.  

Susan likes to send Valentine cards and maybe gifts; Carrie usually makes a special meal or dessert for her family.  When my kids were in college (a long time ago now) I sent Valentine care packages.  Now that it's just Mr. T and myself, I might make a special meal or dessert, or we might go out.  We don't usually exchange Valentine cards or gifts, preferring to save the money we would have spent on these things and use it on getaways instead.

 Above you see my to-do list to accomplish before the next Christmas Club meeting.  It includes making gift tags from 2018's Christmas cards; printing out and filling in a gift closet inventory form; and going through cookbooks to identify new recipes to try for kitchen gifts.  (For example, I am planning to retire my bran muffin recipe as I just don't like it anymore, and so am looking for something different to replace it.) 

 We will see how well I do.  But it does feel great to have met for Christmas Club -- and on Rudolph Day, to boot!


  1. The idea of a gift closet is wonderful. I'm smiling just to think of it. My mom used to keep a gift dresser, which was handy for tucking things away. I don't believe that she ever came to the end of her gift stash.

    I went to the mailbox two days ago, the 27th, and found a Christmas card from my auntie who lives in Maryland. It had been mailed on the 20th of December. I was very happy to have it, but I think the USPS is falling down on the job. Their story is that covid wiped out entire mailing centers. Smells fishy to me.

    You are all so very organized. Well done!

    1. Thanks, Vee! That USPS story sounds fishy to me as well. I think of the old motto of the post office about neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night staying "these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"and I shake my head. Our rural carrier is not that dedicated. In 2019 he ignored, for 2 days running, a package on our porch for which I had scheduled a carrier pickup. We took the package to the PO ourselves then and complained. In 2020 anytime there was (apparently) "too much snow", he appears to not even have gone out on his route that day. Not on our part of it, anyway.

      Your mom's gift dresser -- yes, that's what my mom had as well. And I can state definitively that she never came to the end of her stash, because it was still there when we cleaned out the house!

    2. And I should have added, my own "gift closet" is actually a cedar chest at the foot of our bed. I had been wanting something like that in that spot for years ... well, at one point the pine chest (cedar on the inside) that's now in our living room was in that spot at one time, but it was needed elsewhere. I think that pine chest has lived in at least four different rooms in our house.

      But I digress. The cedar chest now at the foot of my bed was, I think, my sister's Lane hope chest. It works wonderfully as a gift closet!

  2. Can I just say I LOVE your Christmas club! It's so fun to hear what you girls do and I will definitely steal, I mean borrow, I mean take inspiration from some of the items in this post. Thank you for sharing the Club meeting with us!

    1. We consider you an honorary member, Vicki! Borrow all of the ideas you like!

  3. I recently switched a Christmas breakfast item to scones. So easy to make. Yummy too!


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