Yes, that’s right. I’m done. In fact, I have been for quite a while. I realize it’s only October. I’ve been done since sometime in June. Even more, things are already wrapped. Want to know how? Or why?
We all get catalogs in the mail (at least, everyone I know does) – and we also get ads via email. Usually I delete the latter and recycle the former and ignore it all. But sometime in April or May I decided I would start going through the catalogs and marking items that might be good gifts.
Then one weekend I sat with all the catalogs and made some decisions. To keep it all organized, I created a spreadsheet – I’ve been doing this for several years so I have a decent system of color coding on the spreadsheet that works for me:
You see that I can easily keep track of how much I’ve spent, where thing are coming from (I keep all the email related to order confirmations and shipping notices in a single folder) and what the status is. When items arrive, I go ahead and wrap them (I have a bin of wrapping paper in a closet where it’s easy to get to). Then into a closet everything goes:
Now, I am not known for my lovely giftwrapping – in fact it’s quite the opposite. Also, I don’t do bows so that everything can stack for storage. And nametags can fall off, so I don’t use those either. Instead, I write on the tape who the package is for (and any instructions like “1 of 2” in case there are related packages that should be opened in a particular order).
I used a label maker in the past, but realized this year a Sharpie on the tape was faster and simpler.
Now after Thanksgiving when I put up the tree I just pull out the packages and put them under the tree and I’m all set. The beauty is I have no stress, I don’t over-spend because I’m keeping track, and by the time things are being opened I have forgotten what’s in them so it’s just as much a surprise for me!
I also go ahead and buy birthday presents at the same time if I see something and I’m done with Christmas presents. I realize this isn’t for everyone, but it works for me and it makes the vacation I take during the holiday season much more relaxing. Hopefully something in this will work for you and take some holiday stress out of your life. Enjoy!