November 27, 2010

Christmas: The Gift List

It's not even December yet, and I am so excited to announce that I have 3 gifts left to purchase and a few more stocking stuffers. I have a few simple things left to make, but most gifts are finished. I hope to be finished by the end of next week! How did I do it? I have to admit, while I can take credit for the shopping I can not take full credit for being so organized. You see, I have a super organized husband. Every year after Christmas he creates a new spreadsheet for Christmas next year. Here's what it looks like (of course, this is not the complete list and it's edited to ):

Our Christmas List
Family Individual Giver      Gifts/Ideas Cost Purchase/Make Received/Finished Wrapped Delivered
Reno Monkey1 Mom and Dad PJ's $5 P R X
Monkey1 Santa Mac Truck Race Track $20 P
Monkey2 Mom and Dad Warm Buddy $25 P R X
Monkey2 Monkey1 Zhu Zhu Pet $4 P R
Reno Grandma All of us Yeah Right N/A M R X

I hope that makes sense for all of you.

Now, it's not just that he creates this list to help us stay organized, but he has it stored in Google Docs and shared with me. It's an awesome way for us to keep it truly up-to-date and on hand at all times. He can even access it from his phone when we're out shopping! ( No forgetting we already got something.)

Anyhow, I love that with 100's of days left until Christmas (well, more like 364) we already are writing down ideas for next year. That and when we think of something - we pull up the doc and enter it. Now, some of those ideas are scratched when we find great deals on something awesome, or when the idea just doesn't seem right anymore, but it's awesome to see the list slowly come together, things get ordered, purchased, and projects finished.

Another bonus is when I can look over the list while wrapping and shipping and make sure everything that needs to be in the package is there! If you haven't already sat down and made yourself a list - do it.

The fact that I can look over my list, see all of the things I have to make, and start getting ready early is awesome. (I am a procrastinator at heart, but I refuse to let that habit ruin our Christmas.) That means two things:
  1. I usually have way too much to make and get stressed. Of course looking at the list I can tell when it's too much so I eliminate some of those things by watching for deals.This year our PJ's were purchased. The boys were $5 each and ours to coordinate were about $14.
  2. There were some things I just really wanted to make so I started watching early for good deals. I can't wait to show you some of the gifts I have made.
Honestly though, the best part of all is how much money I save this way. I always watch for sales on specific items and when I'm reading my coupon blogs, check back to my list when an item catches my eye that is amazing. This year I got four gifts for free and only paid for shipping. These would have cost over $200, and while there's no way I would have got that gift at it's regular price I still saved about $20 per gift when I consider the other item I would have got them.