St. Louis, Missouri (NAPSI) - There are some people who will always lean toward putting off until tomorrow what they could do today. Procrastinating-and according to experts at the University of North Carolina, everyone does it at some time may be something we do for good reasons.

These can include being busy or being a perfectionist, and sometimes it just works because you only get motivated by the looming deadline to do the job.

One occasion when it might be sensible not to procrastinate is in the hectic time leading up to the holidays. By planning ahead, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Getting started on your holiday card and gift shopping well in advance can help you have a more serene life.

Here are some pointers that can help.

September—Shortly after the summer vacation, make some lists. Who gets gifts? Who gets cards? Who gets an invitation?

October—In early fall, start shopping for special items; innovative and thoughtful gift ideas. It’s also a good time to buy cards that will show how special your friends and family are to you. For example, reproductions of the unique, original paintings of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) can be found on holiday cards, a 2015 desk calendar and gift items such as puzzles, books and wrapping paper. The worldwide for-profit organization is owned and run by disabled artists and helps them to earn their living through direct sales to the public.

One of those artists is Chicago-based Mariam Paré, who was recently a guest on TV’s “Katie” show. An art student, Paré became a quadriplegic when at age 20 she was in the wrong place; as a passenger in a car, she was caught in the middle of random gunfire and took a bullet to the back. She taught herself to paint again, holding the brush in her mouth. Now, her watercolors and oils that reflect her love of movement and vibrant colors have been exhibited internationally and are in numerous private collections.

This year, her art will be one of the cards in the holiday sets. Look out for them and the desk calendar that will be mailed out in October. Or you can view the full range of products at or call (877) MFPA-USA.

• When the last of Thanksgiving’s turkey is gone, it’s a good time to start writing holiday cards in preparation for posting. You can make a holiday card even more special by thinking carefully about the message you write inside. It’s likely the card will be on display for a few weeks, so make sure the message is from the heart. You might want to include a few photos, too.

• The day after New Year’s Day, keep up the fun of not procrastinating: Plan in your next vacation, in your “new” MFPA 2015 calendar.