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Holiday Prep: Gift Giving

On the Nov. 23rd post, "Happy Holiday Decluttering!", I wrote about decluttering Holiday decor and all the trimmings. Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty of gift giving.

Make a list. I suggest gift-giving only to the people you will see during the Holidays. No gifts out of obligation; it defies the word 'gift'.

Make a budget. Once you make a budget, review the names on your list again. You only see your cousin Carmen at weddings and funerals, cross her off your list! Plan the rest of the gifts so you do not go over budget. Also look at any gifts you can make, or simple things like a picture in a frame you own but have'nt used.

Go through all your wrapping items. Do you have wrapping paper, boxes and gift bags? Do you need to purchase tissue paper, tape, bows, or gift tags? Decide on what you need and make a plan for when and where you will purchase them - stay within the budget! Pitch anything old and wrinkled. Note: Gift wrapping can be expensive. Buy wrapping paper, or gifts bags in a solid color, then get ribbon, bows, and gift tags in another color, and you're done. Any leftover will come in handy for birthdays.

Write a list of all the gifts you bought and ordered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Write the name of the recipient next to it. Review list and your budget one more time. Make any changes as needed... including returning items - just sayin'!

Highlight names of any children on your list. If you do not know what to get them, call the parents for ideas. Purchase the children's gifts next becasue they are the most important recipients of any gift giving. Santa Claus did not bring gifts for adults; the 3 Wise Men brought gifts to baby Jesus; whatever your belief, none of them are about adults receiving gifts. Start here because if you're one of those people that have a budget, but use it as a suggestion, at least the kids are covered if you reach your budget.

Schedule the day and time you will get all the wrapping done. Wrapping each gift, one-by-one, may feel daunting. For those of you who prefer to wrap after each purchase, have a space set up so you don't have to go through the trouble of putting things away and then bringing it all out again. I have this wrapping station*

Place wrapped gifts under your tree, or designated area. If you're like me (I only have 5 gift recipients), take some empty boxes, wrap them, and place under the tree. Hey, it's okay not to get EVERYONE a gift... that's why I'm down to 5!

Give yourself an end date of when you will be done with all the gift purchasing, gift making, and gift wrapping.


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Organized by Catherine O organizes all areas of your home, maximizes your space, and problem-solves time management and productivity challenges. We are based in New York City and serve the NYC-Metro area.


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