Friday, December 11, 2009

4 Gift Giving Made Easy

Tomorrow we are heading out for our annual holiday gift shopping extravaganza.  Yeppers!  The kiddos are heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house, while the hub and I brave the crowds and shops, to try to complete the remainder of our holiday gift shopping.

But of course, we wouldn't brave this day without a plan!  And I am happy to share it with you!

I have built an easy spreadsheet that breaks down our annual gift giving (click to enlarge):

We sat down tonight, figured out who we needed to shop for, what we are looking for, and how much we are willing to spend for that person.  We also went as far as listing where we plan to purchase each gift!  Then, looking at the locations we now had listed, we created a game plan, thinking about the best route to take to hit all the necessary stops (including a run to grab a hot cup of jo!) So, now Grandma has an idea of how long we will be gone, and we have a major plan for finishing everything up in a couple of hours!  YES!

This spreadsheet could be used electronically, however, I prefer to print it out, and fill things in as we go!  That way I can keep good track of what we have, how much we have spent and of course, what is remaining.

Next is the best part!  Once you have hit that last store and snagged that last oh so perfect gift, add up your actual gift costs and watch it come in under budget!  When that happens, feel free to do the giddy dance as we do!  And if it doesn't... well, just be happy you are done right?

And, while I am on the subject of using spreadsheets when it comes to gifts, I also created one to make sending out thoughtful words of thanks, a nice and easy process.
This spreadsheet (also printed and carried with me), allows me to keep track of the gifts I or my family receive, and who the generous person was that did the giving.  This way, when my brain has an attack of the "Jen Moments", I have less opportunity of leaving out a loved one, which would definitely make me sad and a little disappointed in myself!

So, there you have it!  An easy way to stay organized during the holidays!  And as a gift to you, if you leave a comment with your email address, I can send you a personalized and editable version of the Excel spreadsheet for your personal use as well!


  1. I was just reading your blog from the beginning and I love these spreadsheets. I know this was posted almost a year ago but was wondering if the offer was still out to email the spreadsheets for personal use. If so, my email is Thanks and I LOVE your blog and ideas.

  2. Hello Jen,
    I recently found your blog through pinterst posts. I decided to start from the beginning and I love your blog. I live in an apartment with my boyfriend and it can get a little out of control. Your blog has made me want to start organizing every part of my apartment!! Thank you for sharing your tips and ideas!!


  3. Hi, Jen! I have just ran across your blog & I love it! I've been reading from the beginning of your posts. I know this was posted back in Dec. 2009 but was wondering if you could still send me the Excel spreadsheet w/your gift giving idea budget! Email:
    Thanx, Jewel

    1. You can find a recent version here in my shop:



Thank you so much for taking a moment to join in on the conversation! I read and appreciate each and every comment, however, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious, or spam-like. I would love for this comment section to be used as a place to engage in purposeful dialogue, I only ask that everyone remains constructive and considerate.

All comments will be moderated and may take a moment to appear.