So, Zulily has had Christmas stuff on their site all week…and that reminded me, I need to get working on our holiday presents!
Yes, I’m the crazy person who starts shopping in July.
Why so early? Well, honestly, it makes everything so much easier – there are a LOT of events from October through February in my family, so the earlier I start, the better it is. The breakdown:
October: 2 Birthdays (Mine and sister Andrea), Halloween
November: 1 Birthday (My Mom) and Thanksgiving
December: 2 Birthdays (Abbie and brother-in-law Greg), Christmas, and Hannukah
January: 3 Birthdays (Chris, his dad, and my sister Melanie)
February: 1 Birthday (my sister Rachel) and our anniversary
Needless to say, it’s a crazy time of year, so the earlier I start, the better I feel about everything. It really was so helpful last year with Abbie due in December – I had every person’s holiday and birthday present bought and wrapped by my due date of December 12, and many were done by Thanksgiving. I was so much more relaxed going into the holidays, and I hope to get everything done by Thanksgiving this year!
I’m pretty fanatical about gift-giving – it might be my favorite thing to do in the world. I would much rather find the perfect present for someone and watch them open it than receive one. Since we have a large amount of people to buy for, I set a smaller budget for each person and try to put a lot of thought into each gift. I get it from my mom – she’s always looking for something different for people…and sometimes it drives Chris crazy. He wants what’s on his wish list…and my mom and I tend to not follow it. He forgives us when he gets something awesome though – like the print of Nationals Park I got him for Father’s Day – he loved it and was so surprised!
|photo from cityprints|
This year, Abbie will be giving everyone something too – but I plan on that being something small and homemade. I’ve got a few ideas brewing and can’t wait to get them started…but I won’t be sharing them until after the holidays since my family reads the blog!
To stay organized, I created a running spreadsheet in Google Documents, which I shared with Chris. I have 9 columns – the recipient, the occasion, the date, ideas, the budget, actual cost, difference between budget and cost, a box I check when it’s purchased, and a final box I check when it’s wrapped. It helps me stay super-organized and see at a glance what’s coming up. We actually use it year round, so when events come up like bridal showers, baby showers, or weddings, I can just add them to the spreadsheet.
Now it’s time to get shopping!