“What was it that my mom said she wanted for Christmas?”
“I don’t have any idea what to get my husband for his birthday.”
“My kids need more puzzles but they definitely don’t need any more of…what was it again?”
If any of these comments sound familiar welcome to the club. It’s hard enough finding time to shop for a gift, and even harder to do it with absolutely no idea what you’re going to get. Let’s not forget that you have your little ones in tow that care more about hiding underneath the clothes racks than you finding that perfect gift! Imagine going to the mall with a list that was completed weeks, if not months, in advance. With a running gift list this IS possible! And simple.
Find a permanent place where this list will be accessible all year long. My list is in the notes section in the back of my day planner which I look at every day. You might put yours on your phone or in a word document. Even a small notebook that you can fit in your purse would work.
Next, list all the names of your immediate family members, friends, co-workers, etc. leaving room underneath each name to jot down gift ideas for each person as they come. Don’t forget to include yourself! People are grateful when you have ideas for them too. And maybe your mother-in-law will stop giving you those ceramic roosters if she notices you never ask for them!
All you have to do from there is write down any and all things that your family mentions they need or want. Usually it’s just as a passing comment, but make note of it anyway. Also, record things they don’t need. This is especially handy when my mom asks me what my girls need. If I have it written down it’s a snap! The small effort to quickly write it on your list will all be worth it when birthdays or Christmas rolls around. Start it over again right after Christmas. You’ll be surprised at how much you can gather in a year, just by listening carefully. Sometimes those ideas will blossom into creative gifts that they would never have asked for. Your thoughtfulness will not go overlooked!
I have done this for several years now and have had Christmas shopping done by November 1st. If I know what I am getting that far in advance all I have to do is wait for a great sale or coupon to come my way! Create your list and start listening!