Friday, November 6, 2009

Avoiding Wish List Woes

About this time every year when I was a child my mom used to hand my sisters and I each a piece of paper and ask us to write our wishlist for Christmas. It was an exciting time to dream big, cover all avenues of clothes, toys, accessories, and such. She told us that we had a deadline of Thanksgiving to give it to her and after that we she couldn't guarantee that we would get something we really wanted. The other rule was that we couldn't buy anything off our list for ourselves, of course.

We'd look through magazines and turn down corners for her to see the picture of items we thought were cool. One year I remember giving her such a detailed list that not only included the thing I wanted, but what store to get it at and how much it cost. She later commented how much that made shopping for me a sinch. I was, and am to this day, so fortunate to have such a wonderful and loving Mom and Dad. We were so lucky to get many things we wanted each Christmas.

Unfortunately, it seems as we get older this wishlist thing gets a little more daunting as we become the gift buyer and have to think what to get everyone on our list. It may be hard to know what someone might like or need and we may have a budget we are trying to follow. Here are a few quick tips to ease the stress related to gift buying this holiday season:

* Make a list. Write down who you want or need to buy for and any ideas you have for what you might get them. If you don't have any ideas, leave a space to fill one in later. This way you will see who you need to ask specifically or do some research on.

* Set a budget. After you make a list, write down next to each person how much you ideally would like to spend on them. This will help you when you are out and about shopping and may get tempted to buy more than you were hoping to spend.

* Put a store name next to each gift idea. This way you can save time and gas money by picking up more than one gift at any given store instead of running around looking for one person at a time.

* Set a timeline for gift buying completion. Maybe it's the 1st of December, or the weekend before a holiday party. Whatever it is, factor in gift wrapping time and other holiday preparations you may have such as baking cookies or seeing someone's holiday show.

* Make your own wish list! Remember to let yourself dream a bit too. Post a list on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror and write down ideas as you think of them day to day. That way you'll be ready to give an idea to someone when they ask: "So, what do you want for Christmas?" Just don't tell everyone the same thing, or you may get five pairs of pink fluffy slippers!


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