This week’s blog is on the dreaded Christmas List. It’s a musing in two parts – one the Christmas List you make for friends and family to give. And two the Christmas List you make for yourself to get.
Let’s start with friends and family. Make a plan and stick to it. Write down everyone you need to shop for and some ideas – maybe things you’ve heard them mention through out the year. Ask them for ideas – you’ll be surprised what they say! This year I got access to the curated list on Amazon that my brother and sister in law have made for their son and it had the entire parent approved list of toys and gear on it. My kids and I had fun going through the list and we ordered some great stuff! What is wonderful about this is that my nephew will get age appropriate things pre approved by his parents from us…exactly what he wants and needs. Ask your siblings if their kids have a list!
I also have friends who both maintain an amazon list for themselves that their spouse knows to shop from. No more guessing, no more wrong things. Sure it takes some of the surprise out of it but I love the efficiency. And as they say – happy wife, happy life.
Stick to your plan when you can – this holiday season can be super overwhelming. Ask questions of your intended giftee and see how they can guide you. Not everyone is great at holiday gifts. My husband recognized this was not his skill very early in our marriage so I’ve been buying all the gifts for everyone (even his parents) for years. He just has to buy for me.
When possible automate your list so you can bring it with you and check off people as you shop. I found some great list organizers on Etsy but you can also use your note pad app on your phone.
Second step is to make your own list! My Aunt always asks us for a list and I make sure to give her a few ideas. Really – saying get me whatever is stressful for the gifter! Maybe they honestly don’t know what to get you and without a hint they will have a great deal of stress during the season.
Also making your own list is a great way to control clutter - you have the right to control what comes into your house! Let me say that again – you have the right to control what comes into your house! I’ve asked for experiences this year: A session with the psychic my Aunt likes, a design consultation with a podcaster I follow… Rather than a necklace that I won’t wear or a lipstick that isn’t my color I have taken the guess work out of the way to my heart.
For my little one who said to me just the other day that she doesn’t like Christmas because she just gets more stuff (a girl after my own heart) I’m doing a make up lesson and a penguin encounter at the aquarium. She’ll be thrilled, still have something to unwrap on Christmas morning, but not have the burden of “putting it away”.
How can you think outside the box this holiday season for your loved ones? I challenge you to shop local and small for at least one gift per person on your list. Then I challenge you to get at least one experience to replace a physical gift. Everyone will be impressed with how creative you are – and you’ll be helping loved ones cut down on clutter!