73: IKEA Madness

This post is for those of you who have never been to IKEA. If you have an IKEA near you, you have got to make this store a part of your holiday shopping and preparation. Not only is it a fabulous place to buy gifts, it’s a great place to update your housewares and textiles within almost anyone’s budget!

Worried about the kids while you shop? IKEA has a solution with their fantastic supervised children’s play area and ballroom. When it’s time for a break, the IKEA restaurant has a kids’ menu.

I just want to encourage you to give it a try.

Visit their website at http://ikea.com

Fabulous photo courtesy of Sarah606

26: Mind Your Money

Today is Black Friday. While the retailers want us all to do our part to boost the economy, be careful out there. Just because it’s a traditional shopping day, doesn’t mean you need to get out there and overspend. Make a list and check it twice. Have a budget. Stick to your plan. Don’t dig yourself deeper into debt! Bake cookies for gifts, spend $10 more and go watch a movie if you have to go to the mall! Be smart!

35: Take a Vacation Day (to shop on a weekday)

If you are able to take a day off to shop, do it! Before your big shopping day, make your list and check it twice. A comprehensive list with the sizes you needs, people you need to shop for, stocking stuffers, entertaining housewares, and sale flyers will help you organize your day. Plan a time-saving route ahead of time. Stick to your list. Pack a few snacks in your purse and don’t forget your own reuseable shopping bags. They are durable, packable, and hold a lot. On days like this, I enjoy having lunch by myself at a restaurant I love and go through my lists and relax for a bit.

Take a day and get it done!

37: Go on a Date (with your child!)

We’ve started a Mommy-Daughter date night in our family once a week after choir rehearsal. I pickup my daughter from choir and we have dinner together with lots of talking, then we go to a bookstore, then home. This has been a really wonderful thing for us as she gets older (9) and needs to have some one-on-one time with her mom. We make lists, have some “girl talk,” giggle and laugh, and sometimes even grab some Starbucks hot chocolate to finish the night off.

Today, I had a date with my son. We took a walk outside, watched a construction site, and shared a basket of fish and chips for lunch. We had a great time, and he got some time alone with his mom.

The kids love going on their “dates” and so do I!

Here are a few ideas for your date with your child:

  • Baking cookies
  • Christmas shopping
  • Wrapping gifts
  • Volunteering
  • Bowling
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
  • Coffee/Cocoa/Tea and Bookstore
  • Walk

I don’t recommend movies for dates because there is no interaction. If you do choose a movie, include time after the movie to talk about the movie together. Have fun with it, and post your kid “date” idea in the comments!

48: Schedule Downtime

The Christmas season can be very busy. It’s just as important to schedule downtime as anything else. Plan a picnic, a playdate, a park day, a spa day with your daughter, a movie date with your son, or maybe just a trip out to Starbucks for a hot chocolate together. Forget about your activities, parties, shopping, cooking, and whatever else. Spend some time with the kids in a very unstructured, but focused way. It’ll be great for all of you!