Hi Paulette, I'm not done with mine either. Last year my sister and I set a goal to be finished by Thanksgiving. We made lists, brainstormed for great gift ideas and sure enough by Thanksgiving we were done. It was a wonderful feeling.
This year though... I think I didn't start early enough. I need to set a beginning goal rather than an ending goal. Like start the day after Halloween and be done by Thanksgiving. What helped a lot last year was I had the written list with me at all times and as we shopped my sister kept reminding me to WRITE DOWN when I bought each gift so it was manageable and I didn't get overwhelmed and forget who was already taken care of. I also tend to panic and get overwhelmed.
But I have to admit, I don't really mind not being done yet. My son is coming home from college tomorrow and I'm looking forward to spending time with him shopping and making gifts and putting up all the decorations.
Here's what I do to not panic: First and most important - THE LIST. I write down everyone I give gifts to and then pencil in what I want to give them. If I find something better I can erase and then write what the new gift is. This keeps it from being overwhelming. This seems like such a basic and simple thing, but I never did it until last year when I was 47 years old. I guess I'm a slow learner. I also keep a large bin just for gifts and put things in it throughout the year so I have a pretty good start. I started doing that two years ago and I love it. I also add stuff of mine that I don't want anymore that one of my daughters would like.
The other thing I like is ordering out of catalogs. I don't enjoy going to the mall or sprawlmart with the crowds. I like lakeside.com or theparagon.com because they have nice things that you don't see at the mall and the prices and quality are good. If I have to go shopping I go very early or at supper time when it's not so crowded.
I usually find something during the year that I've made (that turned out well :)) that I can make half a dozen of and give my my daughters and sister. One year I decoupaged plates with special photos, one year I sewed little handbags for all the granddaughters, one year I made special stockings. This year I'm making glass block Christmas displays. My sister reminded me that young people (our kids are all early 20s) don't have a lifetime collection of Christmas decorations so I'm giving more homemade Christmas things that hopefully one day they'll sigh over and say, "Mom made that back in 2005, bless her heart" like I do every year when I unwrap my grandmothers precious handmade things.
I've decided Christmas is too wonderful a time to spend it being anxious, so I just do the best I can and relax and enjoy it. I don't do anything I don't want to do like a bunch of baking or partying. All I do anymore is put on Christmas dinner for the whole family on Christmas Eve and make sure everyone has a present. My family knows my personal failings and they don't expect much. Poor things, they're amazed I can get the turkey and the potatoes to finish cooking at the same time for Christmas dinner, lol.
I think last minute shopping with relatives you love and haven't seen for a while can be fun. It gives you something to do with them besides sit around and eat :) You're very blessed to have a large family!