The Christmas season is creeping up on us faster than we ever expected so while you might be able to escape the shops for another month, you’ll soon need to get organised. Thankfully, Christmas gift organisation is one of my specialties so I wanted to share a few of my secrets to help you get just as organised, so that’s what I’ll be talking about today.
In my last post, I spoke about laying the foundations before you even starting Christmas shopping. This included looking at your budget, how you were planning on dividing it up and who exactly you were buying for. I’ll link that here for you if you fancy a read. Today’s post is going to be focusing on looking more in-depth at gift ideas, how to get the perfect present and keeping your lists up-to-date so you don’t become overwhelmed.
Okay, you’ve looked at your budget, you have written down every person you’re going to buy for, what’s the next step? Well, I’m a woman who loves her research and I’m not the type of person to buy something spontaneously so I give myself at least a few days of online research. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to buy online; we are very thankful to have some many wonderful independents stores not only on our high street but online too, so we have an amazing range of shopping choices. Maybe online research isn’t your thing and you prefer walking around the shops in your local town or village, that’s great too. For that, I would recommend you have your note taking preference with you so you can write down what the product is, the name of it, what shop it’s located in, how much it is and who you think would be suited to it. You would do the same system with online research too but you would include the website link if needs be.
Another way to research is a very obvious one but works wonders. If you don’t mind them knowing, ask the person what they want. Most of the time, you’ll get two answers; you’ll either get “Oh, I really don’t know, I’ll have a think about it.” or you’ll get “Awk no, you don’t need to worry about getting me anything.” These two answers are the most frustrating answers for someone because if you’re planning on buying someone something and they say they don’t want or need anything, then you’re on your own. Some people will let you know exactly what they want and I always love that because especially if they’re a difficult person to buy for at the best of times, this takes the weight off your shoulders. Going back to the frustrating folks however, it’s not always a bad thing that they don’t tell you what they want because that’s where you put your research hat on and look at what they enjoy. An example of this would be Jane; she’s a coffee drinker who loves an adventure, she tells you all the time about the crime novels she’s been reading and she loves a good weekend away. Right there, you have four prime examples of gifts for Jane. You could get her a specialist coffee that you haven’t heard her talk about, you could get her a voucher for an adventure day somewhere close to where she lives, you could pre-order the latest crime novel or get her a special edition of her favourite one and you could get her a travel gift set of products for her next trip. Again, depending on your budget, I’m almost certain something will fit your budget for Jane.
You might ask, “Do I have to do this for everyone?” In my opinion, it’s easier, yes. It will save you time in the long run when you’re running around mid-December and you’re not sure what to pick up or the worst case, Christmas Eve. (If you do this, I really don’t know how you do!) What you can also do is ask other family or friends of the person you are buying for because they may know them better than you. They may know what film they want or what book they are actually dying to read but just haven’t picked it up yet. You just have to make sure you choose someone who isn’t going to go and tell the person straight away because we all love a surprise don’t we? Another good tip to keep for the future, not just for Christmas but for someone’s birthday is to keep a little note of things they say throughout the year of potential presents. You’ll be amazed at what you can pick up from a conversation from someone when you think about it from a gift angle.
After a few days of using whatever research route you fancy, you should have a list of potential gift ideas for most of the people on your list. This doesn’t mean you have to buy every gift for them but it will make it easier to see the options you have before making that decision. It might sound overwhelming but trust me, it is much more beneficial to have your plans laid out in front of you rather than panic buying at the last minute. Once you do this, you can go back to your budget and see how much you had planned for each person to see if one of the gifts fits in. In an ideal world, it will but sometimes it might not and that’s when you have to make a decision. I believe it’s far more important to use your intuition when it comes to these decisions and don’t forget that it will involve being flexible but you have to be sensible too.
Flexibility is so important, not just when starting this process but also for your piece of mind. We all know that in life, we can have all the plans in the world but things can change. In this case, they might not make the product you want anymore, it might be out of stock or it’s something that you don’t think will fit when you see it in person. All perfectly okay reasons too and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it either. It’s all about being able to move with that change and not panicking about it. While I talk about how important your budget is to keep everything in check, give yourself a little wiggle room sometimes and the same with the ideas too. If you don’t, you risk trying to make everything perfect and becoming too overwhelmed because you couldn’t get that exact packet of coffee you wanted for Jane and you feel like your plan is falling apart. Sounds dramatic I know but you would be amazed at the amount of people (including myself) that stress so much about this time of year.
I hope you were able to take something away from today’s post because I really mean it when I say that I absolutely love researching for this time of year so if I can help just one person take the stress off a little, then I will have done my job. Leave any more suggestions for me down in the comments or over on my Instagram or Twitter.