Making a List and Checking it Twice: Organizing for Christmas Gift Giving

by Barb on October 10, 2013

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Organization is key to my gift giving for Christmas. I have 5 kids to buy for, plus a husband, extended family, godparents, and 4 teachers. Oh, and little gifts for at least 3 classes. Yes, I do gifts for my children’s classmates. I need to take care of lots of people during a busy time of year.

Making a List and Checking it Twice: Organizing for Christmas Gift GivingStart Early

I start buying gifts after Christmas to take advantage of the clearance sales. This is the best time to grab bits and bobs for the classmate gifts I do. One year, I bought tons of small containers of playdough and packaged them the following year for 2 classes. I think 24 containers of playdough were reduced to $2 after Christmas.

You can also pick up wrapping paper, cards, and other gift giving supplies after Christmas. Last year, I picked up party invitations with penguins on them to use for my daughter’s birthday party this December. I restocked my gift tag supply, something that I like to pay very little for. I keep my wrapping supplies organized in a storage container under our bed.

organizing your wrapping kit for fast wrapping sessions

Shop Through the Year

I always keep an eye for gifts. Every time I check the clearance racks at Target or Kohl’s, or anywhere else, I look for toys and picture frames. I also look around in the housewares section at Goodwill; local retail stores occasionally donate excessive inventory to my local Goodwill. This fall, I picked up a few gifts at a fall festival in my local town.

Make Wish Lists on Paper

As part of the #100daystoChristmas challenge, I printed out wish lists for my kids from and asked them to fill them out. With my youngest 2 kids, we sat down together to fill out the wish lists. I’ll keep these lists after Christmas in case any of the grandparents need gift ideas for birthdays.

Amazon Wish Lists

I have wish lists on my Amazon account for the kids. Because you can find just about anything on Amazon, it’s easy to add whatever the kids want to their Amazon wish lists. I also use the wish lists to keep track of housewares we’ve talked about buying just in case we decide to buy one as a gift for my husband and myself for Christmas. You can share public wish lists with other people.

New to me is Amazon’s Friends and Family Gifting. You can keep track of birthday and gift ideas, and receive shopping reminders for every occasion. You can also find and remember other people’s gift lists which is helpful if you’re trying to figure out what to get your husband at the last minute, or you forgot your son’s birthday. Not that that ever happened to me.

To start with Amazon’s Friends and Family Gifting, you can add people through Facebook or add them manually yourself. You’ll be able to enter birthdays, shopping reminders, their gender, relationship to you, and their interests. Using Facebook’s interface reduces the amount of personal data you need to enter. You can also enter a shipping address in case you need to ship something quickly to their address. If you share the Gift List with someone else, they can use the shipping address which will remain confidential.

What tools do you use for organizing your Christmas Gift Giving?

Christmas: Organizing Tips, Recipes, Crafts, Gifts, Activities


Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 3939 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

carrie October 10, 2013 at 8:50 am

Man. I feel behind the eight ball on this already! I guess with moving in less than a month, I need to prioritize!
carrie recently posted..How to Be a Mom


Colleen (Souffle Bombay) October 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

This has been on my mind – I swear you should be my Jiminy Cricket – you are so organized! I CAN NOT get through Christmas (or any party or big event) without lists – that has always worked for me!
Colleen (Souffle Bombay) recently posted..Quick & Easy Baked Apple Cider Donuts


Barb October 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

LOL – It’s for survival!


Heather October 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm

This is the first year I have started keeping Amazon wishlists for each of my family members and it is life changing!
Heather recently posted..Pop of Yellow {More Shared Boys’ Bedroom Details}


Caitlin October 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I never thought of amazon lists! What a great idea
Caitlin recently posted..playing in the rain and sleeping through the night


Life with Kaishon October 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

You are very organized for sure. I haven’t even thought about Christmas yet. Well, I did think of it on the 25th of September when I realized I only had 3 months to get ready : ).
Life with Kaishon recently posted..the Color of Fall :: the Creativity Project :: October, 2013


Barb October 15, 2013 at 4:10 am

LOL – I am so behind on Christmas. I need to look at the challenges and get myself caught up.


Lauryn October 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Oooh, this is great! I do a lot of the same Barb, especially buying wrapping paper and tags after Christmas. But…I don’t give gifts to all of my children’s classmates…maybe I should:)
Lauryn recently posted..A Simple DIY Fall Wreath Made with Jute


Barb October 15, 2013 at 4:10 am

It seems to be a tradition at our school to do the classmates gifts, and less common at others, especially in the upper grades. We usually do Valentine’s Day and Christmas.


robbie @ going green mama October 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

I admit my way of organizing is much simpler. I keep a list in my planner of what I’ve purchased for whom.
robbie @ going green mama recently posted..Honey peanut butter popcorn with essential oils


Barb October 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

Good for you! The simpler the better!


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