A Step-By-Step Approach To Planning Your Holiday Gifts

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It’s that time of year again. The shops are already packed, and the postmen and women are groaning under the strain of their mail bags. Lots of people find Christmas shopping stressful, and I can understand why. Over the years I have devised a way to reduce the stress and enjoy the festivities instead. This post is not about what to buy; it’s about planning. This step-by-step process will help you come up with thoughtful and unique gifts for your friends and family.

  1. Who

The first step is to decide who you’re going to buy for. Don’t default to previous lists. Think carefully about all the people in your life. Is there anyone on the list you could remove? That doesn’t sound very Christmassy. But it’s good to remember that Christmas isn’t about things. It’s about family, friends and being together. And let’s face it, Christmas is expensive, and for many people, it’s a struggle. So, think about approaching certain people on your list and suggesting you exchange cards instead. Or broach an alternative. Some people suggest meeting for a hot chocolate or mulled wine rather than exchanging gifts. Others suggest a small donation to charity. Do what feels right for you and finalize your list.

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  1. Person By Person

So, you have your final list. It’s now time to plan. Before you hit the shops, go through the list person by person. You may already have ideas about what to buy them. Online lists are good because you can include links to online shops which will save you time later. A simple Word document is fine, or use an application like Evernote which can be shared across devices.

Once you have dealt with the obvious gifts, you need to think carefully about the remaining people. I usually set aside an afternoon to do this. I put on some Christmas music, make a mug of hot chocolate and get to work. Begin by asking yourself questions about each person. What do they like? What are their hobbies? What are they doing right now? Are they busy or overworked? Are they looking for new interests? Are they enjoying the weather/season or looking forward to spring? This provides so much useful information. Here’s why. For the person who enjoys gaming, think about moving away from digital and going ‘old skool’. A board game perhaps? Or for the person who hates winter, what about something to remind them of spring?

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  1. It’s All In The Detail

Once you have gone through that thought process, it’s time to do a little online research. For the gamer, look for new or popular board games. Or go for something a little unexpected. E.g. a luxury dice cup from a company like Easy Roller Dice Co. or similar. For the person looking for to spring, look for spring bulbs, seeds, or a terrarium, etc. Or books to get them through the winter months.

Practical gifts always go down well as they’re really useful. Instead of buying something that will be put away in a cupboard, think about something that can be used or will make a difference.

  1. Order Away

The first thing to buy when you’re planning Christmas gifts is wrapping paper. That way, as you buy each item, you can wrap them bit by bit. So you can avoid that last-minute panic. Once you have the paper, buy as much as you can online. Plan everything carefully so you’ll be around for when they arrive. Or opt for click and collect. And finally, you can head out to the shops. Hopefully, you’ll have a good idea of what you intend to buy and you can miss the worst of the rush. That leaves you with time left to enjoy the festivities.

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