31things: Shopping approach

Inspired by my attempt last December and from my friend Stephanie, I’m going to try blogging each day in December — holiday themes, of course! I’m calling it “31things.” Click here for more details. Read below for today’s post.


This post: Approach to holiday shopping

For me, I start with a budget sheet in Apple’s Numbers program. Each person I buy for has their own colorful block where I place items I plan to buy and offer an estimated price. There’s a separate column for the actual price. There also are blocks for other items such as postage stamps, paper for my Christmas cards, etc.

There are seven individual people blocks and then an additional one for the other items, which also can include gifts for others.

The estimated and actual total lines from each block then are listed at the bottom of the page and are added up, giving me a grand total of estimated and actual spending.

It’s pretty cool, and it also helps me to recall what I spent/purchased the previous year.

As for actual gifts … I try to either theme a gift, buy local stuff or get a gift card they’ll like. I used to be anti-gift cards, but it’s fun knowing you can give somebody the gift for them to get what they’d like.

Though, for some gifts, I do spend quite a bit of time thinking about. For instance, my mom and two best friends gifts have been quite difficult. Though I have nothing yet for anybody else, I sort of *know* what they’ll get. But I seem to put a lot of pressure on my mom and two pals’ gifts.

And as much as I love Christmas, I don’t finish shopping until Christmas Eve. Why? I don’t buy into the hype of planning your list and shopping like a nut in the fall or on one certain day. Gifting the *right* thing takes time. A lot of thought goes into gifts, and I hate just rushing through a store with a list. Where is the love in that?

Plus, I hate the material meaning that people put on Christmas. I buy things out of love, not just for somebody to open.