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!