New Years Day is the perfect time to start a new gift list. The holidays are now over and you’ve heard all the gifts that weren’t received from various friends and family members.
Every year people say the same old thing over and over. Holiday shopping is not only a joy, a major expense but also a hassle. Why did I wait till the last minute? First of all you have to leave yet again the warmth of your toasty home. Then drive in the cold, rain and even snowy roads to get to all the stores. Of course not everyone on your list will get a gift purchased from only one retailer. So off you go from one store to the next; in and out of your vehicle lugging bags of stuff to and fro.
Things you’ll need:
- Small notebook
- Pen or pencil
- Good listening skills
- Good memory
This is never done in one evening. Most people have quite a few people on their lists. Then there are the children to contend with. Bringing all the goodies you purchased home. Once there, the bags have to be stowed away so no little eyes peek and spoil their holiday surprises.
Usually the night before it seems that all parents are still up come the wee hours of morning. This is because all those packages have to be wrapped, labeled and tucked under a tree or in your child’s room. You finally lay your head on the pillow before someone yells that Santa was here. And, you pull yourself up out of bed to begin this joyous day with family and friends.
Now to avoid the rush of holiday shopping why not take a different approach. Now suppose the holidays are over. It is now the beginning of the New Year. Now is the time to start you new plan. You already know just about everyone that will be on your list. Get yourself a small pocket sized notebook and keep it in your purse, wallet or car. But keep it as handy as possible. Write each person’s name down on a page and being to listen to the sounds around you.
Since it is just a few days after the holidays you can recall what Susie did not get at all. Or, what Joe wanted and got instead. Some of these suggestions will be a clue what to get them next year for the holidays or for their next birthday as well. Listen to everyone that’s name is on your list.
You may drop in at you Mothers house one day for coffee. After pouring the coffee and asking you to get the milk out of the refrigerator she might just day oh darn. You reply by asking; what’s the matter? She may say something like this robe always gets caught on the cabinet knob. One of these days I will get one that has a zipper front.
Viola, you now have the gift to write in your notebook of what to get her next year. Because if she is like most Moms she will complain about that robe because it is still in good condition therefore there is no need to buy another one. One problem solved. And you do this all the way down your list.
But don’t stop there. Sometime that week or month actually go out and purchase that robe. Providing you are absolute about her size. Then one evening wrap it and label it. Store that gift in a plastic lidded storage bin and hide the bin from prying eyes. Now every time you can get one person off the list by purchasing their gift. Be sure to wrap it with their name tag on it and store it with the other gifts.
For children who are very young really only care about getting toys. Go shopping when you get some time to yourself. Pick something up each month on the way home from work. Send for something in the mail or buy online. Leave the bags in the car trunk till you are sure they are all asleep and go about the wrap, label and store plan as before. Any packages that come in the mail set aside the same way till you have that quiet time at night for yourself. You will be amazed how much less running you will have to do during the holiday season. And, you might actually be able to sit and relax and enjoy the fun and laughter with everyone else.
By chipping away at that list month by month before you know it everything will be purchased before the rush of shoppers begin to hit the streets and malls. You will have that extra time to bake cookies, visit with friends or just hang out at home with your family.
Now for big ticket items what is a good idea is to put them on lay a way. It doesn’t matter even if you can afford to buy that item outright. The second reason for lay a way is the purchase date needed for an items return. If you bought a TV outright, then had to wait till Christmas/Hanukkah to see it opened before knowing if it is faulty or not. This item you won’t be able to return it to the store because the return period is over. Most stores usually only give you 30 days for all returns, some less time. If that same TV was put on lay a way then the purchase date will show the day you paid the final installment and they will give you 30 days from that day if it needs to be returned.
Now it is nearly the end of another year. You have all your gifts ready and now have a lot more time to do other things. Plus if there are any last minute items to purchase the list will be short and you might even get lucky to buy them all in the same store.
Ideas to ponder throughout the year:
- Talk to everyone
- Listen to the clues they tell without knowing it
- Purchase what you can afford and when
Enjoy the Holidays/Holy Days!
© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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