Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Christmas Gift Planning

I know, the 'C' word twice in 2 days, I'm not even going to apologise.

If I don't get my head around gifts now I will be stressed to the eyeballs. Anyway, I like lists, in fact I love lists. And September through to December are really busy birthday months for friends and family too - just bad planning all these people being born in the autumn/winter!

I have a Christmas system (who'd have guessed?). I have a little notebook that I carry with me and I list who I'm buying for and jot down as I pick stuff up. Immediate family in the back of the book, everyone else at the front - basically I work towards the middle. This means I have several years worth of info in there and can ensure we don't inadvertently repeat an idea. I guess this sounds overcomplicated but we buy for lots of children, little ones get stuff passed down from older siblings - it's no good buying a game for Little A if we bought it for her big brother 3 years ago. And our Stocking gift model requires it's own rule book - makes sense to me but new inlaws have been mind boggled so I guess it's evolved over a period of time and it helps if you were in from the beginning!

I'm trying to move to using my iPad but am struggling, I do love notebooks, some kind of stationery fetish obviously.

To add an extra level I come from a big family, we gave up buying for everyone years ago. We each buy for one other person (little children get dispensation - for me Christmas is about the children, I love that they believe in the magical aspects of it, we keep that going as long as we can manage). This really works for us, we mix it up, try to make sure it's not the same person we're buying for every year, share ideas and aim for each of us to get one thoughtful gift parcel from 'the Tribe' and minimise the financial impact, it's all about the level of thought and effort.

Now is the time for this to be planned, it's a feat of negotiation but all part of the build up for us. And the master list goes in my book - yes, we did have one year when P and I ran round on Christmas Eve because somebody (Star Wars name Lando Calrissian for exactly this reason, cannot always be relied upon in a tight spot!) forgot who they were buying for - good grief.

Thanks to some travelling this year I already have a pretty good stash of novelty stocking gifts - result. I am planning to make some things too but I need to be realistic about what's achievable. So I'm going to keep a check on myself by listing on here, a combination of motivation and realistic expectations, not an easy balance for me.

I'm starting by signing up for Karen's Apronalong at Did You Make That? The Pyjama Party was great fun earlier in the year and I've got several potential recipients for aprons, and not insignificant amounts of fabric! I'm not going to buy the pattern Karen is using, I have promised myself I won't buy any new ones unless I stumble across a total bargain in a charity shop (ie under £1).

This is my 'No Buying Patterns until after Christmas Pledge'! It's out there, I'm sticking to it!


PS - yes, I am the eldest sibling, I know, textbook case!


  1. Oh my goodness I haven't even thought about Christmas gifts yet, although I did have the "what are we doing on Christmas day" conversation with my sister at the weekend. ie, who's house are we going to etc.

  2. My brother tried to have the 'who's where for Christmas lunch?' conversation with me in July - I kid you not! Actually I think that's going to be more straightforward for us this year, with a big family scatterered about I think we had 12 for dinner last year and many of those stayed here for several nights. I do love Christmas but I have to get organised or I'll sink! :)


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