Anyway. I decided after last Christmas that I should save up about $400 for Christmas for this year (which, retrospectively, seems a tad excessive, BUT better safe than sorry). By "after last Christmas," I mean literally the day after Christmas. I also decided that I wanted to have all that money in place by November 1, so any shopping that needed to be done (for non-knit presents) could be done at my leisure.
There are only two people (currently) on my Christmas present who don't want/deserve knitted presents. (By deserve, I mean that they appreciate the present upon receipt, but then I never ever see them wear it, so why waste my time and yarn?) These two people have agreed that non-knitted items will be under the tree for them, so don't go feeling sorry for them. That leaves nine people (family members and my best friend) who will be getting knit Christmas presents. As you mathematically-minded people might have realized, $400 for 11 people is kind of INSANE - at least for a college student. Which is why I used some of the money for my Knitting Olympics project.
The nice thing about knowing what I'll be making for people for Christmas 2010 is that I can do things like save up a little at a time for presents, and I have lots and lots of time in which to MAKE those presents, which is really the more important thing. (Fun fact: I didn't finish Christmas 2009 presents until... ah crap, I still have one more present! Ah geez. Hopefully by the end of February.)
The whole point of this post is that by thinking ahead (way, way ahead), you too can get a handle on Christmas 2010 presents. I'm currently saving $33.33/month for Christmas presents, and I am free to withdraw that money any time I'm ready to start another present. Also, I have a schedule in place for making stuff, and I have to make only one present a month from March through November to have everything done on time. See? Nice and relaxed.