- Make a list of everyone you will be making or buying gifts for (jot down a date of when you need to exchange or mail them).
- Keep notes next to each name of things you think they might like, need or really appreciate. Think about whether they would most appreciate. A gift that you bought for them, or maybe they’d love a donation toward a cause and you could do it in their honor? Whatever the case, take a few minutes and decide your plan of attack.
- Another thing I do ahead of time is window shop. I write down or take pictures of things so I can later add them to my gift list with their price. That way I don’t go nuts spending way too much. Then I go home and make up my real gift list including what I am buying and how much it costs.
I actually take this one step further and create my gift list on a spreadsheet because I have a budget in mind for each person. All of this is then stored in one place. When I am at the store I know I can get what I intended and make sure I don’t spend too much doing so! This has helped not only keep me organized, but also keeps me from spending way more than I should have out of guilt, loss of time or impulse purchases.
The idea here is for you to be giving gifts from a place of joy, not last-minute stress. Be smart, shop in stages so the hit on the budget isn’t so severe!
For more details: Get Your Christmas Organized page 48
Share Your Thoughts:
How do you tend to get your gift list going? Do you plan it out or just shop and then worry about it later? Do you buy for everyone or just a select few? Share with us what gift giving traditions you have developed or adapted over the years.
Do you cringe remembering how much you overspent last year (or ten years ago)? Responsibly accept the consequences of poor past decisions by making better choices this year. And by not persecuting yourself for the past. You will feel far less overwhelmed when you stay in the middle ground of accepting responsibility.