Here are a few ideas to ponder while you get over the fact that I am discussing this in November:
1. Get a small spiral notebook (3X5 or 4X6 inch size will work) and on each page write the name of one person you routinely buy a present for. Now list 1, 2 or 3 gift ideas. As you purchase the gifts…cross them off the list. Keep the book in your purse or somewhere handy and add names or gift ideas as they come to you.
After the holidays, keep this notebook in a place where you can find it throughout the year to add ideas for the next year. Then when next October rolls around, you will not only be able to recall what you bought this year, but you will have a running gift list of new ideas. You can also keep the list in your computer or phone.
I started doing this several years ago when a family member, gently, pointed out to me that I had given someone the same gift three years running and didn’t even realize it! How creative is that? NOT!
2. If you enjoy giving a small craft item, or baked goods or other food gift, etc. to some folks: neighbors, friends, teachers, etc., you can list this years’ offering as well in your little spiral reminder book. List the recipients also so as not to forget someone. Unless, of course, you give the same thing every year to the very same folks…then forget this idea!
3. Start scouting around at discount stores as they often bring out holiday items left over from the previous year. You can find some really good bargains on greeting cards, gift-wrap and decorations.
If you buy sale items (greeting cards or wrapping paper) at these same stores during the after season sales…make a note in your little spiral notebook (or computer) so you won’t buy more at the next years’ pre-holiday sale. Can happen…trust me!
4. Look at your calendar now and begin thinking about any entertaining you might want to involve yourself in. Plan a menu, guest list, invitations, etc. Look for food & beverage items on sale now. For example…. turkey at a reduced price that can be frozen and used later or ingredients that store well for your holiday baking spree. Saving money is always good, especially when this season spending can get out of hand.
Well, that should get you started thinking about the holidays. You might even enjoy the hustle & bustle of the season after a little planning.
Ann Gambrell edited 2014