I mentioned in Part 1 that I was making some lists and checking them twice. The first list was purchased items and gift ideas. I have a list on the computer of all the people I buy for each year. It doesn’t really change much, and it helps me remember everyone . I do not have a specific per person budget, but this is a good place to think about reasonable amounts to spend on gifts. I think it is very important to stick to your list. It is hard for me. I try to plan and buy early. It is really tempting when I see other things shopping that my family would also like at a great price. Then I remember what is the point of deal-shopping if you blow your budget.
The other nice thing about a permanent list is you can put your ideas on the list year-round. Let’s say I noticed someone needed a new umbrella in July. I can put that under their name as an idea for Christmas. I can also write-in that I bought bracelets in January for my niece and that I stuck them with the Christmas decorations. It doesn’t do any good to buy ahead if you can’t remember you bought it and can’t find it. I think writing these things on your calendar for December or sticking them in with the Christmas decorations is the easiest way to find them. Just make sure the recipient isn’t one of your helpers come decorating day.