How many gifts do you give a year? It may be more than you realize if you’ve never added it up. We’ve all endured those stressful times of realizing at the last minute that we need a gift for someone. Take the stress out of gift giving with our helpful tips for how to plan ahead and enjoy it.
Make a List
A lot of things in life start with lists, don’t they? That’s because lists are great! If we trust our minds each day to remember everything amidst the crazy busyness of life, something will get forgotten. To start enjoying gift giving, grab a cup of coffee, your calendar, a notebook, and a pen, and start a gift list. Look ahead through the next 12 months, and include these occasions:
- Other traditions
Next to each celebration or gift need, list the people you’ll be giving to. Leave room for spontaneous gifts. Keep in mind, Christmas is a big holiday, and unfortunately, stressful if not well-planned for. Plan ahead for Christmas in every way, including with a thorough list (don’t forget friends, teachers, co-workers, and whoever else you’d like on the list), so you can enjoy the holiday season.
Create a Budget
Unless the sky is the limit, the most important part of how to plan ahead and enjoy gift giving is to create a gift budget. Creating a gift budget requires you to make an all-inclusive budget for all of your spending, then you’ll see how much you can spend on gifts. Decide which gifts require a small dollar amount and which need a larger amount, then assign those dollars beside each name.
Find Some Space
A great way to save money on gifts is to keep the list handy. Add it to the notes on your phone or keep the paper list in your purse or wallet. When you’re out and about shopping and see great sales on gift items, pull out the list and see if any of the items match up well with someone on your list, even if the need for the gift is months away.
Also, if the deal is too good to pass up, but you don’t know who needs it, grab the item for those last-minute surprise gifts. Sometimes a friend has a bad day, and we wish we had a gift for them. These great finds at the store are perfect for those moments. Keep an eye out for things most everyone can use, such as candles, journals, and decorative jars of salsa.
You’ll need an area in your home where you can store future gifts. Otherwise, it’s easy to forget where you hid something and find the gift years later, covered in dust. A shelf in a closet works well as a gift shelf, so you always know where to go.
A fabulous option that eliminates the stress of running all over to find gifts is a gift service. In your budget, leave room for services that send gifts to people (with your name on the card). This type of gift is fast, easy, and always a joy for others to receive.
Gift giving is fun when it’s planned for. Within a couple of hours, you can have your gift-giving plan complete and be all set for a year of gifts.
For more ideas on gift-giving planning, check out these posts…