Holiday shopping or why lists are great

I’m working on a gift guide for one of my outlets and have already started shopping for my family. Not friends – instead we get together, decorate our various trees and end up appropriately sodden by the end of the night admiring our work.

But gifts – good gifts are difficult to buy. Just yesterday my sister-in-law and I traded some gift suggestions and my mother and I had a call about the exact same topic.

My father? He texted me on the weekend wondering what to get my mother.

That’s why I’m resurrecting this mini-article/tip sheet I wrote when I was at Yahoo. The takeaway? Lists. Lists are good. 

Making your holiday wish list

Sometimes it’s best to just forgo the surprise and give your loved ones a wish list of gifts you’d love to receive. But before you do, it’s best to know the unspoken rules of wish lists.

Making a list and giving it to a person who asks, “What do you want for Christmas?” solves the problem of them knowing what to get you and you knowing you’ll get something you like.

There are rules to the list though:

1. Keep it relatively short. Don’t put 20 items on the list unless you have a huge family
and you all buy gifts for each other.

2. Don’t just put expensive things on the list – that’s just greedy. Have a price range.

3. Don’t expect more than one gift.

4. Reciprocate. Ask them for their list.

Yes, it’s not spontaneous, but it takes away the stress of gift shopping. And seriously, isn’t less stress during the holiday season a good thing?

What are your tips for gift-giving? Do you shop early and often or are you a last minute grab-what-you-can shopper? Or have you finished shopping already?


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