This may sound crazy since Christmas is barely over . . . but I’m already planning my Christmas gifts for next year. The idea came to me in the middle of the night. Right now my head is full of ideas for presents, but it’s too late for this year. So I think while I have the ideas I’m going to make a plan for next year. Here are my best tips for planning ahead for Christmas gifts:
#1 – Make your list of people to give to
This may be the easiest step. Start with your list from this year and add anyone you wish you had included but didn’t.
#2 – Set your budget
I like to know how much money I plan to spend before I shop. And if I know how much I plan to spend, I can be on the lookout for deals throughout the year.
#3 – Start a list of gift ideas for the people on your list
Pay attention to things people say throughout the year. As people talk about things they like it should give you some great ideas for gifts. If you buy early you do run the risk of buying a gift that someone will buy for themselves before Christmas. So keep your receipts for returns . . . or plan purchases that it won’t matter to have more than one of.
#4 – Use a planning tool
Your list could be as simple a piece of paper. Or a spreadsheet on your computer. I’ve also found a fun app to use on my phone called “the Christmas List”. With it you can create a list of people, note how much you plan to spend for each person and their gift ideas. Then you mark off your gifts as you buy them and you will never feel disorganized!
#5 – Schedule your gift buying throughout the year
The idea of buying Christmas gifts with no pressure and without the crowds of shoppers is very appealing. And if you know you have some trips planned for the next year you could plan a few purchases along the way as you travel. You’ll be able to get some unique gifts that way and spreading out your purchases is nice for your cash flow throughout the year. Making all of your Christmas purchases in December is never fun (unless you’ve been saving all year long).
So there’s my plan for this next year. I really, really like the idea of buying all year long AND being done with Christmas shopping long before December rolls around! My goal is to be done before November. Here’s hoping I accomplish my goal!!!