Stress less Christmas: gift planning + free printable

Stress less gift buyingNow that we have set our Christmas values, it’s time to dive into gift giving. I know there are many people who plan their gift list in mid-June and are already done and dusted with the Christmas shopping and have moved on to fashioning homemade gifts out of felt. However, I’ll go out on a limb here and say if you’re reading about stressing less at Christmas, that you may be a bit more like me and belong to the last-minute school of Christmas prep. And that’s OK! Life is busy and it’s not until we get down to the nitty gritty that some of us snap into gear. I love a good deadline and I really need them to function (self-imposed or otherwise), but this year I’m going to be a bit more systematic about my approach.

Gifts for close family are often fairly easy to choose and buy, but the ones that always make me come unstuck are all the little gifts for teachers, colleagues and neighbours. Despite my best efforts, every year I find myself making a mad dash to the shops for chocolates, books and gift sets and find that I spend more than I should on these smaller items out of convenience.

So, this is where my free gift planning printable comes in. Make a cuppa (or pour a wine) and start by writing down all the people you need to buy for. The next column leaves room for a budget for each person. Be really realistic about how much money you have to spend overall on Christmas and break it down accordingly. It’s tempting to go all out – especially when buying for our children – but it’s not worth the spending hangover come January. With a bit of thought and pre-planning you can get really lovely gifts that won’t cost the earth.

Click on image below to download the printable: 

what's stressing you out

Once you have your list of people and budget, brainstorm some ideas and write down what you’d like to get them in the next column. I like to do this with the computer and pile of Christmas Catalogues next to me, so I can search for inspiration or for stockists of those gifts. I am a big fan of online shopping so in the ‘where to buy’ category, I’ll type in the websites that I think might stock these items or can do a bit of a google search to find where I can purchase.

Once you have your list completed you can start planning your shopping trips and online shopping. Buy all your books together online and save on posting, or do one trip to a giant shopping centre to get the gifts you’ve found in the catalogues. Or if you prefer breaking it down into manageable chunks, do a little bit each week and cross off that list!

I’d love to hear your stress less approach to gift planning and shopping in the comments below! I’d love to hear how those Christmas stress levels are going so feel free to join in the conversation on Facebook too.

Real vintage

I have a long-held theory that a person’s clothes shopping style often mirrors the way they approach the search for love and friendship.

Take my style: I don’t particularly like shopping, but I like clothes. I can instantly tell if a store will hold anything for me following a cursory glance. It’s all about instinct. I don’t like trying on clothes for the heck of it, but only try on clothes I really like, that really catch my eye. My taste could be described as retro meets sensible. I live for jeans, but I love a wild pattern, I like detailing that you might not expect. A pocket here, a ruffle there, a large button, a metallic zip.

And such is the case with my nearest and dearest. Mr P caught my eye thanks to a polyster brown shirt and when conversation ensued I found a quirky sense of humour, a sensitivity and an honesty that I found refreshing but that others sometimes find confronting.

I often find clothing items and special people when I am not particularly looking, they jump out at me unexpectedly almost flagging me down with an accompanying feeling that tells me I am closer to myself, that I’ve made a special find.

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