Every year the holidays tend to bring with them a lot of stress. While I love to shop, this season usually leaves me feeling overwhelmed! Starting in November I like to start planning. I make a list of all the people I want to give gifts to. I set a budget for each recipient and start brainstorming gift ideas I think they will like. On my notes in my phone I often will jot down ideas throughout the year that I can refer back to. So if my friend had mentioned a new fragrance she was dying for or my mom mentioned a new author she’d been enjoying I can add those ideas to my list.
I use a spreadsheet to keep track of all my ideas, purchases and spending. I usually have one sheet for each child since they get multiple presents from us. Then I have a sheet for all of my other recipients. I check off if it has been ordered or picked up from the store, if it’s been wrapped and finally if it’s been shipped. This strategy has served me well over the years. It keeps me focused on who I want to buy for and who I have already purchased for. It also serves as a great budgeting tool, making sure I don’t overspend. I particularly like this to keep the gifting on some sort of equal basis for my kids. Being my kids are not close in age, the comparison game is not too strong, but I’d never want one child to feel another got more gifts (or more costly gifts) than another.
Every year I try to limit the gifts I give my own kids. Especially with my older two who are well aware that it is mommy and daddy buying all the gifts, I want them to really appreciate the thought, time and money that goes into each present and for them to be useful and things they really longed for.
I love to give gift baskets or themed gifts that go together. These don't have to cost a lot but can certainly mean a lot to the recipient. You can also make these more extravagant if your budget allows.
Here are some ideas:
Self Care Basket
Cozy bedtime basket
Date night basket
Family night basket
Board game, snacks, beverages
Movie night basket