Simplify your life {Week 46: Holidays: Gifts simplified}

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by Debra Dane on November 12, 2012

in Rhythm, Rituals & Routines, Simplify your life 2012

One aspect of holidays that is often stressful is gift giving. Who to buy for, how much to spend, what is the “perfect” gift for each person, shopping, and wrapping.

Your challenge this week is going to be to simplify this process as much as possible for yourself. Look at what areas stress you out and make changes accordingly this year.

Here are my tips for simplifying gift giving during the holidays

  1. Come up with some ideas for the people you plan to shop for or make gifts for – brainstorming, browsing online, looking at catalogues will all help you spark some ideas as a jumping off point at the very least
  2. Use a list rather than aimlessly searching for the right gift to appear – obviously if you are totally stuck for someone this won’t matter, but when you set out to shop it will be easier if you have a list in hand
  3. Think about what stores to visit so that when you do venture into the wilds of the overpopulated shopping centres you have a plan of where to check out the goods.
  4. Set a budget if needed and / or know your prices so you can grab items when you see the at a “good” price
  5. Buy multiples of some great finds – rather than reinvent the wheel, sometimes you can find a gift that works for several people on your list who are not in the same circle / celebrations. You can choose variations on the same gift as well.
  6. Give experience or charity gifts – less clutter, great options out there for everything from movie tickets to sponsoring the purchase of a goat or well in a village overseas.
  7. Use online shopping options – everything from eBay to your favorite stores to online outlet shopping to overseas options. You save driving, parking and shopping time and can do to without having to take kids along or deal with traffic. Do it early to allow for delivery well before you need the gifts. Bonus if gift wrapping is a free or cheap option.
  8. If you are wrapping gifts keep it simple- all one type of paper, or 1 type per family member to colour code them, or have gifts wrapped where you buy the. If possible. It takes the staff a few minutes to make a fabulous effort and you know your gift is 100% ready.

Your challenge this week: If you are like most people and are about to embark on the greatest shopping period of the year, start making your lists (and start shopping if you are ready – the early you do it the less crowded the shops will be and the more plentiful their supplies will be). Decide on your essentials – the who, the what, the how much etc

 

Do you have any tips to simplify holiday gift giving?

 

Find your simple,

Deb

 

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Image credit: flickr user kisocci

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate November 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

We are doing Secret Santa this year, buying only one adult gift (though all the kids get one). My tip – a little cheeky – organise it yourself and totally rig the draw! ‘No, don’t want Auntie May buying for me… let’s just redraw that!’

Just kidding. There is no Auntie May. But I did rig the draw.
Kate recently posted..An incredibly fortunate girlMy Profile

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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

LOL at rigging the draw – that would have helped when i was a kid as in my family there was one Aunt no one wanted to have buying for them LOL
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Aroha @ Colours of Sunset November 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

We are doing secret santa with my siblings and their partners this year as well, and I just bit the bullet and asked for some ideas. It can still be a surprise if they give you a few things they want/need. Nothing worse than getting something for Christmas that ends up in your closet and then the bin, months down the track. My MIL used to ask everyone for their Christmas list by Thanksgiving and then she picked things off it. it might not be in the true spirit of giving/Christmas, but it spares disappointment and having to fake that “oh thank you so much, you shouldn’t have!” conversation.
Aroha @ Colours of Sunset recently posted..Week 45 {52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life}My Profile

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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

ah there’s no real spirit of christmas rules right? better to give people what they will use and enjoy so we don’t contribute to waste and land fill ; ) xx
Debra Dane recently posted..A story to tell – Interview with Andrea from Postpartum and PigtailsMy Profile

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Emily November 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Great tips!
My tips:
**If you’re buying for children, nieces and nephews, hit the July toy sales and put things on layby. Useful if you’d prefer to stagger payments, but also so that you don’t have to store items at home.
**If you’re doing a Secret Santa, pull the names out of the hat earlier in the year. You never know when you’re going to see the perfect gift for someone at the right price.
**If you travel for Christmas, don’t wrap the presents until you get where you’re going. All of my beautifully wrapped presents last year were a complete mess by the time we arrived at my in-laws’ house!
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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Agree with the first two for sure! since we were going away this year i did not hit them hard but still grabbed a huge book set for my girls! So sad about the 3rd! xx
Debra Dane recently posted..The list that reduces my stress instantlyMy Profile

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Deb @ Bright and Precious November 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I was just thinking that I needed to simplify Christmas this year. Your list is perfect! As usual, you help me think clearly. Thank you dear Deb! x

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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

You are very welcome – hoping your holiday is a simplified one filled with positivity , love and laughter xx
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Bec November 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm

This is great! Emily I did just that – bought up big in the mid-year toy sales…but wouldn’t you know it, half the stuff I ordered for my son he isn’t into anymore and he has new wants! I’m going to be returning the laybys when they come and remember not to spend too much in the middle of the year next year!
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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

It is a bit like gambling as you are trying to predict 6 months into the future xx
Debra Dane recently posted..Postnatal Depression Awareness Week – It’s not all black and whiteMy Profile

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Shell November 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

We are going very simple this year. The kids (ours & those we buy for) have all been done mid-year through kinder fundraising catalogues & a big lay-buy pressie for the backyard. The adults are getting home-grown pressies made by my green-thumb hubby. Fingers crossed they keep growing and all work! But the great part is the spending is done & we don’t have any more shopping to do.
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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Love that your hubby is growing your gifts xx
Debra Dane recently posted..Postnatal Depression Awareness Week – It’s not all black and whiteMy Profile

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Elisa {With Grace& Eve} November 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Oh thank you for the reminder! I most definitely need to make a list! Now! xx
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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm

you’re welcome hon xx
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Things Engraved November 13, 2012 at 12:43 am

Thanks for the post. I have shared it on our facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/ThingsEngraved

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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Thank you for sharing – happy holidays a little early xx
Debra Dane recently posted..Postnatal Depression Awareness Week – It’s not all black and whiteMy Profile

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Emma November 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Hi Deb, Apologies if you are getting messages saying that I have uploaded a link then deleted it. I have done a catch up post for the SYL challenge but for some reason every time I try to link it, it won’t come up – only shows my old posts – so I deleted it. Will try and figure it out in the morning! Just wanted to let you know that I am still here, enjoying and completing the challenge. It’s been so long since I linked up a post I obviously have to give myself a quick tutorial again!

Emma (dance like nobody’s watching)

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Debra Dane November 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Hope it worked – off to check but don’t think i saw anything – i did have 2 come through last night though… good to see you here !
Debra Dane recently posted..A story to tell – Interview with Andrea from Postpartum and PigtailsMy Profile

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