Ahead of the Gift Game

Are you ever just a tiny bit jealous of the people who always present thoughtful, useful, meaningful gifts that are beautifully wrapped with matching gift tags?  I am.  But I don’t really think the jealousy stems from their perfect gift-wrap or hand-made tags, I think it’s more about how prepared and care-free they seem to be around the holidays.  My problem is that I never allow myself enough time to be like this and I end up spending the weeks leading up to Christmas stressed instead of enjoying the season.

Well this year I am going to try a new tactic so I can get ahead of the gift game and have time to do the things I enjoy, like watch every Christmas movie I own, drink eggnog, see the Nutcracker, decorate for the holidays, bake cookies and more.  But the clock is ticking.  Here’s my plan to make sure my holiday shopping experience is something like this…

Start with a list – Include anyone to whom you might possibly want to give a gift.  Even if you’re just planning on gifting a plate of home-made cookies, it will be better to have that on the list and not in your over-crowded memory!

Brainstorm – Do not hold back…any and all gift ideas should be included on the list.  It’s better to have too many ideas for someone that not enough.  If you can’t think of a specific gift item, list a hobby he/she enjoys and maybe this will spark an idea a little later.

Budget – Assign a dollar amount for everyone on your list.  There is nothing wrong with being on a budget for the holidays…just be sure to actually follow it.

Get shopping – Online or in-store…whatever your preference.  I’m going to try to increase my online shopping this year so I can be more strategic and less impulsive.  My goal is to be finished by the end of November so that I have a good 3 weeks of stress-free holiday cheer!

Wrap as you go – I’ve always been one to save all my wrapping for a wrapping party that ends up being more of an all-nighter and less of a party.  So even though it might mean pulling out the wrapping supplies more than once, I’m hoping that wrapping in small amounts will be motivation to continue checking items off the list.

What about you…do you have a plan of attack for your holiday shopping or do you fly by the seat of your pants?  Is your deadline coming up or is it the 25th?

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