Does December fill you with dread at the thought of Christmas shopping? Thinking of presents for people, finding time to shop for them and stretching the budget to pay for them. Everyone has that "person who has everything" or a work colleague or new friend that you don't know well enough yet to know what they would like. Here are a few ideas to simplify your gift giving preparations this year.
Save Dollars, Spend your time
If you're good at something, make lots and give it to everyone. A recipe that everyone raves about for cookies or jam? Do people always compliment your taste in music? Make a playlist and give it out on CD or USB. Is scrapbooking your thing? Make a framed "page" of some great 2012 memories. Create a gift voucher for your services for babysitting, handyman work or whatever your skill is. My Grandma is going on a cruise this month and so I'm thinking of giving her my time and skills to help her put together a photobook or framed enlargement of her travel photos.
Reduce the numbers
Do you really still need to give a gift to your 2nd cousin that you only see at Christmas? A great alternative is to organise a secret santa amongst a larger group to reduce the number of people you need to give gifts to. It can even add a bit of excitement when everyone tries to guess who gave them their gift. I make up cards for each family member that are all the same style so that each person takes a random card to tell them who they are buying for. When all the Secret Santa gifts are under the tree, noone can tell who gave what because they all look the same!
If time is what is scarce this year, get someone else to do the legwork for you. There are services available (like mine) where for a fee, I will purchase your gifts for you , wrap them, and deliver them to you ready to go under the tree. Check out the details here.