Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Using a Christmas gift buy list

Ever had that? You think that you have a bunch of gifts, more or less divided equally among recipients, but when it comes time to wrap those gifts you realize you have a whole bunch of nothing for one person, a pile of tiny stuff for the other, and one really big expensive gift for yet another?

What happened is that you have been shopping by intuition and impression. You buy what you think you need for the people you thought still need "stuff".

The solution: a Christmas gift buy list.

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The Christmas gift buy list

Think of a Christmas gift buy list as a sort of inverted wish list. instead of a list of gifts somebody would like to receive, you have a list of gifts that you intend to give.

It works like this.

Following our year-round Christmas gift shopping routine you buy a gift. As soon as you come home you store the gift in your designated Christmas gift box. You then write the gift on your Christmas gift buy list.

If the gift is intended for a specific person, either write his or her name behind the gift or use a separate page and list the gift there. Which solution you will use depends on how many people you are shopping for.

Additionally you can write both the value and the price of the gift.  Sometimes you will pay a lot less for a gift versus what its real value is. Writing down the value helps you to estimate how much value each person will receive this Christmas versus what you paid for that person’s Christmas.

Gifts that you can’t assign to a specific person yet go on the Anyone list (or you write Anyone behind the gift entry) where you write anyone behind. This is your gift stash.

Bring Your Christmas Gift Buy List

Your Christmas Gift Buy List should be portable. If possible you should have it on you or bring it with you at all times. You never know when you walk in on what seems to be in good deal  When you have your Christmas Gift Buy List with you, you can quickly reference it to determine if you really should buy someone yet another gift.

Or, sometimes you run into a nice gadget or other tiny stuff and then you might want to check your list to ensure you’re not buying one person a whole bunch of nothing.

Use For Christmas Gift Budgeting

By noting both the value and the price of the gift you can use your Christmas Gift Buy List to budget this year’s Christmas and set yourself a fixed maximum amount of money to spend on each gift recipient.

How To Finish Christmas Gift Shopping On Time [Organizing Christmas]

Recognize this? This year you’re going to do it different and get the right gifts for the right person at the right time. You’re going to shop early! In November, maybe, already!

As you plow your way through a slow moving shopping mob, you suddenly realize Christmas is two weeks from now – and you still need to do most of your Christmas shopping!


What’s worse, almost, is that everything is hugely expensive; even those items you saw on sale "just now".

Why Christmas Shopping Doesn’t Finish on Time

The reason why no matter how well intentioned we may be our Christmas gift shopping always ends too later or at the very least has some stress involved is our mind’s bad sense of time.

Be honest, when you thought about shopping in time and on time you thought "three months before Christmas – heck, even two months before Christmas is good: two whole months!"

But you know what two whole months translates to? To about four or five  chances to go Christmas shopping.

Look, if you’re anything like me you don’t have all the time in the world. This needs to be done, that needs to be done. Usually both need to be done at the same time!

Those 60 days ("two whole months!") of shopping? That’s fake. Most of those days you wake up from the alarm clock and by the time the day is finished enough that there is time for what you want to do in life, you certainly don’t want to go out and so some considerate Christmas shopping!

Which leaves the weekends. In two months that’s just 8 weekends. Can you take time every weekend for 8 weeks straight to say "ta-da, I’m out shopping!"

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Realistically speaking we can’t (see: there’s always something to do).

So those two whole months you have? That’s just a handful of trips to the mall, countable on indeed one hand and each trip closer to Christmas with everything getting more expensive while at the same time more common: there are no special Christmas gifts around Christmas time.

Buying Christmas Gifts Year Round

The trick is to buy your Christmas gifts year round, starting the day(s) after Christmas with the expensive stuff that’s suddenly at half price.

Because following the logic of real time as available to us, one whole year of Christmas shopping isn’t that at all! Right? It’s what? It’s about 52 weekends – so no more than 50-52 chances to pick something up for someone. And yeah, we might not be able to go every time we want to. And we don’t find something every single time we go to a shop.

So according to our real Christmas shopping time calculation, that’s 20-30 Christmas shopping trips.


As you develop the habit of thinking about buying Christmas gifts no matter if it’s the season or not (and of course you’ll be applying this to other gifts and seasons as well!), you’ll get a hang for it. You’ll develop a special sixth sense that will home you in to "on sale" items that are really on sale (versus just being cheaper than the day before). You’ll start to find items that are really special. And as you’re buying gifts because you want to and not because you need to right now or else… you’ll start to match up the very best gifts to the right person.

Better yet; as that gift you gave was bought in May the person receiving it won’t have seen it in all the shops for all the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s really unique!

Store & Track Your Christmas Gifts

Once you come home with a Christmas gift, store it in your dedicated Christmas Gifts Box.

You should also note the item on your Christmas Gifts List. If you know for whom it is, make a note of that. If not, leave it in the anyone section.

Wrap It Up

  • Count the number of weeks you have before Christmas and divide that number in two or three: that’s the real amount of times you’ll be able to shop for Christmas gifts
  • Start Christmas gift shopping the day(s) after Christmas, buying the luxury items that are now on 50% and better
  • Buy Christmas gifts year round
  • Store the bought gifts in your Christmas Gifts Box
  • Note down what you bough (and for whom) on your Christmas Gifts List

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Image credit: Huahe, bensonkua