Gifts and Giving

Getting ready for the holiday season?  Try these ideas to keep gifts and giving sustainable and affordable.

organize holiday gifts and crafts

No More UFOs! Get-Em-Done Strategies for Handmade Holiday Gifts

Scanning a list of handmade craft gifts is something like reading a cookbook: it makes you hungry! 

Whether you wander the crafts store, settle in at the library's craft bookshelf, or browse online, visions of bright and beautiful gifts follow one after the other. Will this be the year you give hand-crafted gifts ... to everyone? 

Give in to the impulse to overload on holiday crafts projects, and you're likely to find yourself drowning in UFOs: Un-Finished Objects. Try these ideas to keep your holiday crafting within bounds--and budget and timeframe, too.

Understand the rules underneath holiday giving

Gifting Guidelines: Understand the Unwritten Rules of Gift-Giving

Christmas is coming! Do you understand the unwritten rules of gift-giving?

Each of us carries within ourselves a set of rules about gift-giving. Seldom acknowledged and rarely discussed, these rules determine what we give, how much we give, and to whom we give. Despite living only in our minds and expectations, the unwritten rules of gift-giving govern everything from the office Secret Santa exchange to the family's morning under the Christmas tree.

Gift closet for an organized Christmas

Gift Closet Guide: Get Organized for Christmas Giving

We should all have a friend like my friend Joyce. No matter what the occasion, she comes up with the perfect gift--even at short notice. 

Her wrapped packages are lavish and lovely, her cards are sweet and well-chosen--and she does it on a budget and without last-minute dashes to the shopping mall. Her secret? 

A gift closet.

It's a concept we love here at Organized Christmas: a dedicated space in the household to store gift items, gift wrap and cards. A gift closet holds a stockpile of gift items and everything needed to wrap and present them.

Organize online shopping

Three Tips for Smart Online Shopping

Planning for Christmas, catalog or online shopping has many advantages over the holiday mall scene. 

No long lines. No sore feet. No staggering to the car, weighed down by parcels and shopping bags. 

Shopping becomes a pleasure, conducted from a favorite chair. Make your choice, load your cart, sit back, and wait for the UPS man. Ahhhhh!

Still, it's possible to have too much of a good thing! Holiday promotions sweep in at the end of August, filling email inboxes--and disorganized shopping exacts a high price for convenience.