In December, my Organizing calendar suggested that “to prevent the embarrassment of receiving a gift from a friend and not having one to give, but a few small items to have available as last-minute gifts. … Wrap these gifts and label them with a sticky note (which can be removed before giving) as to what is in the wrapped package.”
I totally agree with this concept and it relieves the stress. This also provides an option for people you forgot to put on your list – like maybe the newspaper delivery person – or someone you spontaneously decide to include your seasonal activities.
I also keep a gift box in my home all year round. I buy things I love whenever I see them. This especially works well for taking advantage of post-seasonal sales. Items bought at muchly reduced prices can then be stored away and used anytime for birthday, anniversary or spontaneous thank-you gifts. In fact this works to your advantage as some suitable gift items are much harder to find during the rest of the year.
If you have a family of small children, you know that you will have birthday invitations all year old. Buying a stock of age-appropriate gift items like toys, games, books or even clothing when you see them will save the stress of last-minute shopping when you discover an unmentioned invite in your child’s back-pack only a few days before their classmate’s party.
If you have been too enthusiastic in your shopping, you will have a headstart on next year’s holiday season. Because I keep this treasure chest of gifts active all year round, I also start searching for items, and re-stocking it, as early as September for the Christmas season. The result is less stress during peak holiday shopping times.
A few suggestions: candles or reed diffusers, hand-cream or toiletries, books, movies…
Things to keep on hand during the season (but not longer term): chocolates, candies, coffee or hot chocolate.
Do you keep a treasure chest of gifts? During the Christmas season or year-round? Tell us about the ideal gifts that you stock it with.