Buying holiday gifts doesn’t have to wipe you out, mentally or financially. The best advice we can offer you for spending less and easing the stress of buying holiday gifts this year is to GET ORGANIZED. Here are some tips to getting your holiday gift lists organized so you can not only keep your sanity at the end of the day, but some pocket cash, too!
Your spouse and kids should get the best presents, of course. So, this list is probably the most extensive list as far as what you want to buy and the money you will most likely spend. When you make this list, if you know the store you are going to buy a specific gift from, make a note on the list. We suggest you put a ceiling on the amount you spend for each person and while shopping, record your spending right on the list to help you keep track.
This includes those not living with you but still family (sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews). The gift list may not be as extensive as your Immediate Family list, and you should probably have a lower budget to spend. You will probably buy only one gift per person, or one gift per household. If you buy by the household, try looking online for specialty gifts like food baskets, cookie baskets, fruit baskets, chocolate baskets – items that can be shipped and come in all price points.
Many companies do a Secret Santa, so you will need to know the procedure and the dollar limit. If you are a manger, chances are you will need to buy gifts for your staff or team. But remember, you can always do a team gift basket rather than individual gifts. Find out from your employer if gifts are allowed and if any monetary gifts will be given from the company on your behalf.
This list will include the paperboy, babysitter, gardener, housekeeper, cook, pool boy, teachers, tutors, trainer, etc. it’s very important to thank the people who help you keep your life and health on track. If these people are not particularly close to you or your family, it will be appropriate to purchase gender-neutral gifts. These can be gift cards, coupons, stationery items, movie tickets, dinner coupons, etc. If you find a gift that you like that is gender-neutral – buy multiples. It’s great to have extra gifts on hand for surprise guests and when you suddenly remember someone (your manicurist, hair dresser, personal shopper, etc.).
Sometimes it’s easier to sort your shopping by dollar amount. For instance, all persons you will buy a gift for under $25, $25 – $50, $50 – $100, etc. Then, when you find something you like, for a price you like, you can check your list in that price range and buy as many as you need.
Homemade gifts are both thoughtful and cheap. If you are adept at baking or crafts, think about your skills and who would love to get one of your homemade gifts. People understand the time and effort that it takes to make something, so look at your list and your creations and see if there are some matches.