Christmas is less than three months away and we should be finished with the gifts we're giving by the end of this month.
Oh I can tell you that planning ahead is especially important for us because we (a) live far away from all recipients and (b) have a greatly reduced family income from which to get the gifts. But really, it's because I like to stay organized. I dislike the retail craziness in December and will do just about anything to avoid shopping, even online, during the holiday season.
The first year Kent and I were together, he was a little dismayed in September that year when I asked him where he was in his gift planning process. Thankfully I’ve learned to nag far less than I did when I was young, dumb and even more impatient (I know, hard to believe I was ever less patient than now because I’m sure not very patient even yet), so I didn’t harangue him about the evils of his unorganized ways. But he did notice that I was finished in October and not scrambling around in late November and December, making mad dashes to the mall or looking online.
The next year, he joined me in the planning process and it’s continued that way ever since. We have scaled gifts up and down as our financial resources have increased and decreased but we still give presents and we don’t go into debt over them.
We have a shared spreadsheet on Google Docs that lists names, need by dates, ship by dates, delivered by dates, the gifts themselves and also a column for interests.
We're making a lot of our gifts this year. Some are from fabric, others involve food and all are going to be made with as much care as we can possibly give. I don’t want someone to get a gift from us and think it’s a tacky thing. Yes, it's the thought that counts and we think highly of our family and friends.
I’ve got what I need to make gifts for five people, plus I know what I’m making for another half dozen or so. In a way, I hope I stay unemployed for the next month because I have a lot of work to do.