Are you ready for the holidays? Okay, let me rephrase that. Are you ready for the public display of commercialism that will be here in just two days???!!!
If you’re anything like me, you have either not really starting shopping for those unique gifts for you family and friends OR you “forgot” a few people and are now scrambling to find something, anything, for those individuals. But don’t worry. The more you panic about it, the less likely you’ll find that perfect gift, even if it’s right under your nose. Literally.
Here are few quick tips to either help you get started or to help you finish up:
- Set an overall budget and don’t go over it! Make sure to also set a limit on how many gifts you want to get per person. You don’t want to go overboard on one person and run the risk of making them feel uncomfortable.
- Make a list of who you are wanted to grab a gift for and any/all ideas you have for that person. My suggestion would be to create this list in Excel. You’ll have plenty of columns (for things like…ideas, budget amount, actual amount spent, bought, etc.) and rows (for all those wonderful people in your life).
- If you can, make sure to pick up a few interchangeable gifts for those that may happen to give you a little something, but whom you did not intend to give back to. These types of gifts would also be good as last minute hostess gifts for those parties you were just now invited to and to which you intend to attend.
- If you are making your gifts, make sure to include those items in your budget.
- Save all your receipts and make sure to get gift receipts when possible. This will not only help you out after the big day, but will enable the recipient to make the exchange himself/herself at a later date.
- If you have small children in your family (spoiler alert!!!) that still believe in Santa, make sure to distinguish Santa’s gifts from everyone else’s by buying specific wrapping paper just for that purpose. In our household, we make sure to buy wrapping paper with Santa on it and save all Santa related gift tags for those specific gifts. Make sure to hide that wrapping paper out of the sight of prying eyes!
- Designate a specific are of that house that is off limits while wrapping is in process. This will not only build on the anticipation, but will give you some much needed quiet time. Make sure you have all necessary tools needed-tape, scissors, enough wrapping paper, tags/bows, Christmas music (if you wish) and maybe a nice hot drink. Hot chocolate or apple cider would do the trick nicely, don’t you think?
- Create stacks. One stack for colleagues, one for out of town gifts, one for family and friends and one for immediate family (those go under YOUR tree). And of course, a stack from Santa. You could have more or fewer stacks you need to make. Then, my suggestion would be to work backwards…Santa, yours, friends/family, out-of-towners and colleagues. This way, the more immediate gifts are done first.
The Big Day
- If you can, wake up at least 30 minutes prior to getting the kids up. That way you can wake up, have a cup of coffee, plan your breakfast menu and mentally gear up.
- Have plenty of trash bags on hand so that all the trash, “shredded” paper and bows go straight into the garbage or recycling bin. Not under couches or behind the tree. 🙂
- Have a warm family breakfast.
- Watch the kids exhaust themselves on all the new toys and games they were given and have then promptly taken a nap right there on the floor.
- Relax and enjoy yourself!