Week 3: November 8-14
Welcome to Gifts and Giving Week! It's the time we focus on gift lists, gift buying and gift wrapping.
A recent poll at our site showed that gift-buying wins out as the "biggest holiday organization challenge". During Gifts and Giving Week, we'll give you the tools to get on top of the gift list. Hint: more lists!
For many families, gift-giving is a prime source of holiday financial stress. We'll divide and conquer, spreading gift-buying over a four-week period, and tracking our purchases. Goal: a bountiful, yet sensible holiday free of the bust-your-budget credit card trap.
Ready? Let's get organized for great holiday gifts and giving!
To Do This Week
- Divide entries on the master gift list into five groups. Continue shopping for Christmas gifts, and try to buy one-fifth of the gifts this week.
- Start a stocking stuffers list. Tip: slip shopping bags over a coat hanger to store stuffers by recipient.
- Divide the Christmas card list into five groups. Write and address the second group this week.
- Review and renegotiate adult gift giving. Can you simplify your family's "unwritten rules? Draw names and set a price limit for a gift exchange. Could your family dispense with adult gifts in favor of gifts to charity or family service project?
- When making gift lists for loved ones, make life easier the rest of the year by adding a birthday/anniversary calendar to your Christmas planner.
- This year, shipping experts warn that holiday deliveries may be substantially delayed. To ensure delivery, finish all catalog and online shopping this week.
- Use a three-hole punch to add a large manila envelope to the Christmas planner notebook. Place all receipts in the envelope to track purchases, provide for returns.
- Mailing deadlines ahead! Set up a wrap and mail center to ease holiday mailing chores. You'll speed gift wrapping and parcel mailing with supplies all in one place.
- List all gifts to make, and inventory them on a gifts to make list. Be stern! Make your list and cut it in half--there's less time than you think. List needed materials and add them to the master shopping list.
- Begin working on "to make" gifts this week. You must make one-fourth of your gifts each week.
- Plan Thanksgiving Dinner using the holiday menu planner.
- Order the turkey.
- Schedule family service projects, or sign up for church charity efforts.
- Complete holiday scheduling. Reserve baby-sitters for December's nights out.
- Keep tight tabs on the holiday budget. Add gift purchases and other expenditures as you make them.
To Buy This Week
- Continue Christmas gift shopping. Divide the master gift list into five sections. Purchase gifts for one-fifth of the list entries. Wrap gifts as they are purchased. Keep a running total of gift expenditures.
- Buy materials and supplies for all "to make" gifts.
- Gift wrap, wrap and mailing supplies