Kick-ass Christmas Gift Planning Guide
Who wants to be spending ages on stressful Christmas shopping? Not us, so we have devised this kick-ass Christmas Gift Planning Guide to; getting it done, getting it done well and getting it done quickly.
You will need creativity and commitment, so let’s get started.
Step One – Start now
Yes, whatever time of the year you are reading this, start now.
The post Christmas sales are always a good place to stock up on wrapping paper and gift tags so you really can start at any point.
Start thinking about your really difficult relatives, they might need months of thought before the perfect present comes to mind.
Step Two – Define your goals
If this all sounds a bit “project managementy” we make no apologies. It will help you during the process.
Define what you want the end to look like. Try to use SMART goals e.g. I want to;
- Buy Christmas presents that people like and appreciate
- Spend no more than £xxx.xx in total
- Have finished my shopping by DD.MM.YYYY
Step Three – Make a list of everyone who will get a present
Sit and make a list of everyone who you will be buying a present for.
- Start with family, then move onto friends.
- Think about all the people that you usually forget (we all have them).
- Don’t forget co-workers and the secret santa
- Remember gifts to people who help/teach your children – teachers, community leaders
- Don’t forget the dustman.
Now be brutal. Just because you think you should buy all these people a gift, does this really make sense? Do they buy you one back? Would it be better if you just sent a card?
Step Four – Broad-brush budget
Against each name put a sum of money that you expect to spend. Don’t forget stocking fillers.
Add up the total of the amounts for each person – what is your total?
Go back to your goals in step two, is the total more than the total you want to spend?
If so, consider dropping people off the list or spending less per person.
Step Five – Gather ideas
Now is the time to think about what each person might want.
Step Six – Plan your delivery
The first thing to think about here are friends and relatives abroad or far away. What are the last posting days for their gifts? Will you be seeing them before or after Christmas? Do you need to act now to ensure their gifts arrive?
Next think about your wrapping supplies or wrapping service;
- Will you be having a signature colour scheme?
- Can you bulk buy wrapping paper and gift tags in sufficient quantities now?
- If you are buying online have you included the gift wrapping service in your budget?
- Do you have sufficient sellotape, scissors etc.
There is truly nothing worse than wrapping 25 presents at midnight on Christmas Eve and then running out of supplies.
Step Seven – Take action
It is now time to implement your plan.
- For each gift decide where and when you will buy it.
- Try to buy online if this is easier for you.
- Decide on a Christmas Shopping Day and stick to it.
- Think about using Black Friday offers and sales, is it a good idea to wait until then?
Step Eight – Keep the momentum going
Bought a present? Wrap it and tag it.
Seeing a friend? Ask for gift ideas.
Seeing an acquaintance? Ask if you can skip gift swapping this year.
Step Nine – Check back to your goals and plan
In the run up to Christmas check back to your plan regularly, say once a week. Are you on track?
If not, what do you need to do to get back on track?
How is your budget holding up?
Step Ten – Post Christmas de-brief
The key to success next year is to spend 10 minutes thinking about what went well and what didn’t go so well.
Keep you gift lists so that you do not repeat gifts next year. Also keep the lists so that you do have to re-think everything from scratch next year.
Did our kick-ass Christmas Gift Planning Guide help you to a stress-free and efficient gift buying Christmas? We hope so.
See you next Christmas…