Thursday, January 10, 2013

2 Critical Components for Christmas Prep 2013

If you'd like to join me in prepping for Christmas throughout the coming year, the two most important things that you need right now are:
  1. a way to track the 4 Ws (who, what, where and when)
  2. a dedicated storage spot for your gifts
Let's take these one at at time, shall we?

Gift Tracking

Simple gift-tracking list.
To keep track of the 4 Ws and avoid duplicating your great ideas (how embarrassing), you need a way to track gifts that actually works for you. Over the years, I've tried many ways to track gifts but have settled on paper and pen. Yes, I tried a spreadsheet on my computer, one of those glitzy online gift-tracking sites, a cutesy little notebook, etc. But what actually works for me is a printout of a simple table with appropriate columns across the top and my gift recipients clustered by family down the left side. Now in my seventh year, I can say conclusively that this is the method for me!

If you'd like to try this basic way to track your gifts and you'd also like to track birthdays and Mother's/Father's Day like I do, I'd be happy to share my table with you if I could figure out how to upload it here. Beings I can't, I included an example. But you can easily create your own in your word processing program or by hand on a blank sheet of paper. I write in the year at the top and I like to start with Christmas beings it's the biggie, so my current list is actually 2012-13. If it works better for you to just stick with the calendar year, that's fine, too. Since not all of the columns apply to all recipients, I simply draw an X in the boxes that don't apply. Now, how simple is that?

Gift Storage

The other thing you need is a dedicated place to store your gifts. If you don't have enough space in one location, figure out a couple of spots but try to limit yourself or you may lose some gifts (experience talking here!). And if you buy gifts ahead for specific people, make a note where you stashed them right on your gift list. If you're in the habit of buying gifts and deciding on the recipient later, make doubly sure that you know where all your gifts are hidden! It is so easy to forget...

So, what are you doing to prepare ahead of time for Christmas?

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