Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gift Notes:  A Planned Approach for Gifting
Well, I think it’s pretty much official! The Holiday Season is here! I was hoping I could wait until around Thanksgiving to really get underway with Christmas and all that it entails, but no go. It’s here. Sigh. Get ready!

Today I'm sharing my new strategy for not only gift giving, but also keeping track of the gifts I've given. I realize this method may be a bit much for some, but I enjoy making lists and keeping track of things, so this approach is right up my alley. I'm sure there are many ways to adapt this method to fit your style, including using an app on your phone. But for my pen and paper folks, my strategy may work for you!

Have you ever forgotten what you've purchased someone from one year to the next or couldn't remember if a gift you gave was for someones birthday or Christmas? While ultimately, we know this isn't important, it matters when you're like me and want to give nice, thoughtful gifts that preferably, you didn't give them just the year before!  In the digital age, where everything is computerized and synchronized through Google calendar, I still enjoying jotting things down the old fashioned way.

Enter gift notes.

Step 1:  Determine how many people you have to shop for and for what occasion. Write one person's name on a card and under the name, write the occasion, if you're doing it for more than Christmas.

I decided to make notecards for birthdays as well as Christmas because we have a lot of birthdays close together in my family that are also close to Christmas. After a while, the years and occasions start running together and I can't remember who I got what and when.

Step 2:  Brainstorm. I am not one of those people that can go to a store and just "see what I can find" for someone. That is a sure fire way for me to come home empty handed. I have to have a plan and have at least a general idea of what I'm looking for. I pre-plan all my gifts and I feel this spares me from wandering through stores aimlessly.

I don't usually brainstorm all at once, but I jot things down as they become apparent. If I notice my husband's wallet getting raggedy, I'll jot that down on his notecard as a potential gift. If see my mom use the last squirt of her perfume, I'll jot that down on her notecard.

Step 3:  File or store appropriately. I store my cards in this card box which allows me to keep them nice and neat, while also easily accessible.

Step 4:  Reflect and check. As you start your shopping, be sure to refer back to your notes and check things off or scratch things off as needed. You can also transfer ideas from a birthday card to a Christmas card and vice versa.


And, that's it! Not rocket science, but an easy way to keep track of gifts and create a plan so that gift giving doesn't become a pain!
Do you make a plan before you go shopping? How do you remember what you buy each person from year to year?


  1. This is a great tip! You are sooooo organized! I JUST asked my husband what I bought him for our anniversary last year and neither of us remembered! Since I am on a budget this year (especially) I will try this method. I spend a lot of aimless time at the store, but with a 6 month old, time is limited...so I must plan in 2013. Thanks for giving me some ideas!

  2. I think this a good idea....I'm not big on writing notes physically....but I do keep mental notes about what I have purchased and who still needs a gift....and when I shop I already have in mind what I'm looking for ie a sweatshirt, a scarf, a hat etc.