Gift giving whether during the holidays or for an occasion can be very stressful. We stress over finding the ‘perfect’ gift. It can be stressful if a loved one has asked for a gift that is hard to find, very expensive, or in short supply. Then we stress over getting it to the recipient on time. So much stress! It is even more stressful during the holidays when people are already busy with decorating, baking, and hosting parties. We can make holiday gift giving less stressful by focusing on planning in advance and being organized.
Here are 5 things you can do to make holiday gift giving less stressful
Make a list of people you want to buy gifts for
Think about the people you want to give gifts to. You probably have a good idea of who is on your list. I know my list only changes when there is an addition to my family. In January, my son’s family size increased, his wife gave birth to a handsome little boy!
I exchange gifts with very few friends. These friends and I have been exchanging gifts for decades. My other friends and I are more likely to get together during the holidays for a nice lunch as a holiday celebration instead of exchanging gifts.
Ask for a list
I always ask my sons if there is something special on their wish list. Sometimes there is, which helps to make holiday gift giving less stressful. Other years, there is not. Then I get creative and hope for the best. Now that I have grandchildren, I ask if there is something the parents want the children to have.
Since we agree it is helpful to have a suggestion of what to get someone, if someone asks you what you would like, be prepared with an answer. Please don’t say, “I don’t know”. Everyone has something on their wish list!
Create a budget
Think about how much you want to spend this year on gifts. You don’t have to divide it up equally among the people for whom you are purchasing gifts. Just have a general idea of the total amount you want to dedicate to buying gifts and then stick to your budget.
Other kinds of gifts
Remember gifts do not always have to be purchased. You can give a gift of babysitting to a new mom. If cooking is your thing, gift a dinner or dessert made by you to a friend or family. Think about giving gifts of your time, talent, or experience. Often the most treasured gifts cost the least amount of money.
Create a spreadsheet or checklist
As you make gifts or shop for the people on your list, write their name on a checklist. Create a field to capture what the gift is and how much you spent, so it’s easy to stick to your budget. Sticking to your budget is another way to make holiday gift giving less stressful. It also reduces stress when you are sure you have a gift for everyone on your list. It’s always easy to shop for my sisters and difficult to shop for my brother!
Have another field to indicate that you wrapped and tagged the gift. I like to wrap and tag my gifts as soon as I have them. That reduces my stress and makes it easier when it comes time to send or deliver the packages.
Don’t let the thought of shopping and the whole gift giving process put a damper on the holidays for you. I love wandering the shops, looking at the decorations, and seeing what the stores are trying to entice me to buy. Sometimes their displays work. Other times I stay outside the store and enjoy the window-shopping experience.
Use these tips to make holiday gift giving less stressful. If you need help planning and prioritizing, consider signing up for our Clear Space for You clutter support group. Jonda Beattie and I start a new series at the beginning of each month.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia