I was reading through some old gift submissions to the Coupon Clipper from 1998. One that caught my interest was that you should shop year round for holiday gifts. I regularly do this to save time and spread the expenditures through out the year. It's also nice to have gifts on hand for emergency gift situations.
Occasionally my daughter will have a friend who is having a birthday party so I usually keep a few gifts on hand for that type of situation. This saves a trip to the store and since the gifts I stock up on are on sale, it saves me money as well.
The best way to do this is to be organized. I can't say that this is my strong suit and I go about it in a rather unorganized fashion. When I see something at a thrift store, on sale at a shop or at a garage sale that looks like a good gift item that I know one of my friends or relatives will love, I buy it and put it into a box in my closet. Unfortunately, sometimes the presents end up in my garage and are forgotten about. Here are some ideas that I am going to implement this year to do this in a more organized manner.
So, here's my new plan.
1. First, get a little notebook or small day planner (small enough to carry with you).
2. Make a list of gift recipients leaving room under each person to write notes.
3. Under each name, add the holidays for which you will need gifts or cards (i.e. birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Graduation) for that particular person.
4. Add their interests, hobbies, age (for children), clothing size and/or gifts ideas as you think of them.
5. Have a box or boxes in a safe place where you can store the gifts away from the prying eyes of children. If you need to have several places, note in the book where you have "hidden" the gifts.
6. Make a page of gifts that you have purchased that don't have a recipient yet.
If any of you more organized people have any good ideas to add to this plan, I'd appreciate any help I can get. Post them below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org