Happy Thursday! Welcome to my regular scheduled weekly topic. This week the topic is organizing your gift list. As you can see we have already shopped, wrapped and put gifts under our tree. My kids are older, so this is not a big deal. Santa does not visit my children per say, anymore. I love Christmas, but Christmas can be very stressful, including buying, and wrapping gifts. With only 11 more shopping days left, if you have not even started yet, then you need to get going. Here are some of my favorite tips for organizing a gift list.
1- Make a budget. This is very important. Know how much you can, or are willing to spend, without hopefully going into debt for the next 6 months. A gift is meant to be thoughtful, not expensive. We have a 3 rule gift in my house, at least if I am running the gift list. There are several reasons for this. One, Jesus was given 3 gifts, and as Christians, I find that to be a respectful amount, and way to teach the Christmas story to my children. Second, it is a way to stick to a budget, especially in years when money is tight. It teaches them respect, and restraint. I always set a limit of how much I will spend all together for all gifts to be purchased. Don’t forget to include any charities you may want to give to. For me, I try to set aside stuff all year, like clearance items for Toys for Tots, or items for Operation Christmas Child. Another great way is to buy non perishable food starting in the Fall, to donate to organizations that feed the poor, or local animal shelters who need toys, blankets, and dog/cat food. There are several apps that can help, and I will share some in a later post.
2- Decide which gift receivers are most important. Obviously children, parents, and friends, in that order, should probably come before coworkers, or your beautician. I never forget my pets. They are easy an extra treat makes them happy. If you have to wait until after Christmas to finish your shopping, due to money issues. Be honest with your recipients. If they don’t understand then maybe they don’t need a gift at all.
3- After you know how much you have to spend, decide what to buy. If you already know you better start shopping now. If you are unsure, ask the people on your list what they may like. I love to go to Bath and Body Works at the holidays, and get their hand sanitizer deal for all of my coworkers. I think they are 6 for 5 bucks, or something like that. I know my kids love money, lol. If you are like me, and try to shop all year, take inventory of what you already have. If you don’t you may end up spending way over your budget. Consider baking gifts for close friends, or hand made gift baskets.
4- If you need to ship some of your gifts, I believe the 19th is the last day for snail mail to get there on time. Even Priority Mail takes 2 to 3 days, so keep that in mind. I used to have items shipped to me, then I wrap and ship them to recipient. Eh no more. I pay the little bit extra to have it gift wrapped from whoever I am buying from, and ship it right to their address. Saves a lot of useless stress.
5- Now you have to wrap everything. I hate wrapping! Hate it! I let my kids, who think it is awesome, wrap gifts that are not for them. I also have no problem using a gift bag, or box. The Dollar Tree is awesome for this. Plus, they have tons of cute tins to put all those baked gifts in. I also asked my husband to wrap the last couple of years, and he does some. I can live with some. If you live alone, a grandchild, niece or nephew may be willing to help. Always remember to ask if you need help. People are not mind readers.
Don’t forget if want to learn how to be more organized, and have less stress in your life, I am accepting clients starting in January. Use the contact me link to send me a message and set up a date for a free meet and greet.