I have almost ALL of my Christmas shopping done and November just barely began.
Is this normal for me?
Did years of working in retail groom me to shop this far in advance?
NO. If anything- that made me wait until the last minute.
I would be silly not to mention that this year just feel- different on so many levels. I would normally laugh at the thought of putting a tree up and shopping this far out but in some ways it feels like the only part of the holiday I have any control over. #ihaveacontrolissue
If you’ve ever heard of the book The Five Love Languages by Gary D Chapman, he details the 5 ways love is expressed and received. I am a giver and find so much joy in gifting others. I don’t mean to boast but when it comes to gift giving, I like to think I am pretty good at it.
Each year I start with a list and this is how I do it:
List who you’ll be shopping for. This seems obvious but having a visual is key. The list should allow you ample room check things off and cross things out. Having a list is like having a plan- it’ll keep you organized and leave less opportunity to forgetting someone.
*Don’t forget to add things like hostess gifts and secret Santa!
Define your budget for each listed person. This step is very important because it is so easy to get carried away. Some people on your list will be easy and some- not so much. I can easily get carried away shopping for my mom and sister. My dad and grandmother tend to be my toughest ones. Setting a budget helps me stay in control and alleviates the urge to keep adding to people’s gifts.
Once you’ve made the list and set the budget, it’s time to get serious about gifting. I’ll share gift lists in the weeks to come. In the meantime, start gathering ideas and add them next to each person listed. Be sure to keep an eye out for sales and deals and do not forget to shop around!
Dos and Don’ts:
Do- take your time. Try not to rush or just buy something to buy it. A thoughtful gift is always well received.
Don’t- put so much pressure on yourself. Concentrate on their likes and think of practicality. Especially during this time, think of things people can enjoy while at home- socks (a family favorite), cozy blanket or pjs are always welcomed.
Do- take note of what you have already purchased. Many times I’ll forget to note what I’ve already grabbed and end up with things left over. This happens a lot when shopping for my mom.
Don’t- underestimate gift cards. There are two rules of thought here for me:
In the back of my head I can hear my mom saying that money and gift cards are “so impersonal”.
My grandmother always believed that “green” (the color of US money) always looked good on everyone and no matter the amount it was “just the right size”.
Do- think outside of the box. Maybe someone really needs a night out and babysitting their kids is the perfect gift. Maybe you have a talent and can gift it to someone. Not all gifts come from a store or can be delivered by the Amazon man. One of the best gifts I had given was homemade granola. This person consumed store bought granola regularly and I took the time to make it from scratch with all of their favorite fixings. The amount of time and effort I put in was evident and it was very well received.
It is the gesture of the gift that counts.
The holidays should be a time to relax and unwind with our friends and loved ones. This time is even more important as 2020 draws to a close. The last thing you need to worry about is the stress that comes with gift giving. Be sure to check back soon for more shopping lists to help you out!