There’s so much to enjoy about the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and all the other special days are such a perfect time to share quality time with the people most important to you. However, these celebrations often take a lot of preparation. So, why leave your planning to the last minute? In this article, we have a range of tips to help you get ready for holiday gift giving, so you can minimize your stress and enjoy spending quality time with your family.
Why to get ready for holiday gift giving early
The holiday season is a few months away, but everyone knows just how quickly this busy time of year sneaks up on you! Getting ready early is a great way to avoid spending your December 23rd standing in a long line at the mall and trying to guess what your second cousin’s new wife will think of the bracelet you got her.
When it comes to holiday celebrations, there are many aspects to stay on top of, and not all of them can be tackled early in the year. You can’t exactly buy all the food for your Christmas dinner several months early. And it would be a little strange to put the decorations up now.
This means that gift giving is the perfect aspect of the holidays to get ready early on in the year. You can beat the crowded stores, take your time choosing amazing gifts, and simply put them in storage until the holidays. Here are some creative and easy tips to help you prepare.
10 tips to help you get ready for 2021 holiday gift giving
1. Set a budget
The cost of holiday gifts can quickly add up. It’s important to decide how much money you’ll be setting aside for gifts this year. A great way to do this is to make a list of everyone you’ll be buying a gift for, and then decide on a maximum amount of money for each person.
You might think it seems a little harsh to assign a value to each recipient, but it makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend a little extra money on your close family than, say, your neighbor. Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend hundreds on each person to be a generous gift giver, either. Simply allow enough money to be able to afford a thoughtful gift that will make them smile.
2. Check your cards and gift wrapping supplies
Before heading to the mall, you need to assess what wrapping supplies you already have, and what you will need to buy. Dig around in the basement and lay out all the wrapping paper, boxes, bows, and ribbons you already have.
Think about if you’re going for a certain color scheme or style this year, and consider that as you write down everything you need. Don’t forget that you’ll need plenty of tape and a good pair of scissors. You may also want to buy name tags.
3. Create a rough gift list
Once you’ve got a list of each person you want to give a gift for, start planning gift ideas for each person. There are so many great options. Toys are great for little kids – just make sure not to get anything too loud that might annoy their parents. Young women and teenage girls will likely enjoy some minimalist or trendy jewelry, such as a silver bracelet or a pendant necklace. Books, cooking supplies, skincare products, homewares, and more – the possibilities are endless.
Try to think about each person’s unique personality and interests. A family member who loves swimming might enjoy some waterproof headphones. If someone’s a bit of a prankster, you could get them a funny mug or something that references an inside joke.
However, when in doubt, don’t be afraid to play it safe. It feels good to know that you got them something that they’ll be sure to enjoy, even if it’s a little boring. If you go for something risky, you’ll likely spend the months leading up to the celebration feeling stressed about whether they’ll like it or not.
4. Minimize stress by choosing similar gifts
If you’ve got a big list of people, it’s easy to get overwhelmed about what to get them. You don’t want to accidentally be unfair, but you also want to make sure everyone gets something they like. In this case, it can be a good idea to opt for similar gifts.
For instance, you may decide that every adult in the family will be getting a book this year. Although you can choose different books based on what you think people will like, this rule means everyone will be getting a similar thing and there won’t be any jealousy. It also minimizes the number of stores you need to visit, making shopping that much easier.
You could also segment the gifts down further. You might decide all the kids get a toy, the men get a board game, and all the women get earrings. This way, you still have some variety, but it narrows down your decision making. Plus, it’s fun to go to the jewelry store and pick out gorgeous gold, silver, and gemstone earrings in a range of different styles.
5. Get started on any handmade gifts
If you’re a crafty person, you may be planning to give out some handmade gifts. This is a great idea, as something made with love is always cherished by whoever receives it. If you’re planning on giving a new mom a pair of tiny hand-knitted booties for her baby, or making some homemade socks for your husband, make sure you get started on these early. This means you’ll be able to take your time and enjoy making them.
6. Don’t forget to order gifts online
Ordering gifts online is a great idea. Getting things delivered minimizes stress and takes so much of the effort out of holiday shopping. Just remember that they can often take longer than expected to arrive. Plus, you need to make sure you have time to return items if there’s anything wrong with them. When it comes to online holiday shopping, the sooner you place your order, the better.
7. Ask about gift wrapping
Many stores offer free gift wrapping, but don’t always advertise it, so don’t forget to ask when you’re shopping. Much of the time, the cashier will have a range of gorgeous wrapping supplies on hand, and be happy to prepare the gift for you. This means less work for you, and also adds variety to how your gifts are presented.
If the store doesn’t do wrapping, keep in mind that charities or community groups often set up wrapping booths at malls. You may need to wait a little closer to the holiday season for this, but it is a great option. This usually just costs a small fee, means you don’t have to wrap the gifts yourself, and also allows you to make a donation to a worthy cause. There’s really no downside, so always look out for wrapping booths.
8. Buy spare gifts
One of the most overlooked ways to get ready for holiday gift giving is to make sure you have extra gifts on hand. You’ve almost definitely been in the awkward position of having an acquaintance give you a gift, and not having anything for them.
For this type of gift, something like a pretty necklace or men’s socks may not be the best option. Go for things that almost everyone is bound to like. High quality soap with a neutral fragrance, chocolate, wine, coffee, a mug, or homewares such as nice pillowcases are all great ideas.
9. Make a wrapping station
Once you’ve bought all, or at least most of, your gifts and are ready to start wrapping, make sure you have a great workspace to do it. Set up a table with all your materials and tools, and space for you to wrap even quite large items.
Be sure to set up your wrapping station somewhere discreet. Many people in your household, particularly kids, will want to take a sneak peek at what they may be receiving. Keeping your wrapping area out of sight of any prying eyes is a good idea to keep all your holiday surprises unspoiled!
10. Send international gifts early
In 2021, it’s more important than ever to send gifts to friends and family members who live overseas. Due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, they may not have been able to see their loved ones as often as they normally would. Make sure they know they’re in your thoughts by sending them a thoughtful present.
Just remember, another result of the pandemic is that shipping times have slowed down significantly. To make sure they can unwrap your gift on Christmas morning, ensure it gets sent off nice and early.
Enjoy your holiday season!
There’s nothing wrong with getting ready for holiday gift giving early. By sorting out all your gifts ahead of time, you’ll be able to relax and focus on spending your holidays with your friends and family. Don’t forget to enjoy the festive season!