Say this phrase with me:
“I will plan and be organized this holiday season!”
Trust me, I know this maybe a difficult phrase to say out loud, but it can be true if you take advantage of your time Right Now. This is a perfect time to simply begin making lists, writing down possible gifts, and doing research to maximize your gift giving.
That’s why I created the gift giving planner. Traditionally it’s used to plan gifts for loved ones and friends throughout the year for events like birthdays or anniversaries; however, you can now download the holiday version to easily plan your shopping more effectively. Click here to download your own copy.
Step 1: If you have a journal, create a story of how your holiday season will end up. I know this may sound completely foreign to you; however, I’d like you to expand your mind from anything standard and imagine something stress-free and better than you’ve ever experienced. I love doing this process in The Success Journal by Stacia Pierce, because it’s a guided journal completely setup so I can not only write-down this story, but even cut out pictures of what looks like the story I’m imagining.
Step 2: Write down each person that’s important in your life or is someone you plan to have on a giving list. This is a great time to recognize those beyond just relatives, but individuals that help with many life routines. This could include your child’s teacher, the bus driver, hairdresser, neighbor, coach, pastor, or even a colleague.
Step 3: For each of those important names, write down that person’s interest, personality type or gift desires. For example, my hairdresser absolutely loves makeup and the overall beauty process. Or my mechanic always talks about going to hockey games. You might have to do a little social media research to understand the posts these individuals make or the places they frequent to really understand their bent, but it will ultimately help you give the gift they will adore.
Step 4: Based on the gift recipient’s life interest, brainstorm the type of gift they would enjoy. Again, my hairdresser loves makeup application so I may gift her a beauty and makeup coffee table book. Another example could be my best friend’s 10 year-old son loves science and I know the children’s museum will have a large hands on science exhibit coming in January.
Step 5: Create a budget—I know you’re wondering—doesn’t this step create limits? No, it’s so important to brainstorm without limits, but now you’re taking your ideas and focusing them based on the set plan you have to ensure once January hits, you’re not stressed out by bills. You can give excellent gifts at any budget, especially when you plan early and avoid impulse buying. You’ll be surprised how thoughtful your gifts are now based on executing a set plan vs. simply roaming the mall on December 24th.
Step 6: The most important step to holiday shopping success is to START NOW! That’s right—avoid the last minute shopping which can add so much stress to what should be a joyous time with your family or an opportunity to catch up with old friends. You also want to avoid giving the last item on the shelf or paying extra shipping costs because what you need is out of stock in the store. Planning and executing now will make those last two weeks before Christmas to be well worth it.
I’d love to hear about your shopping experience and how the gift giving planner has helped make it a success.
photos: Christian Morales