Let’s talk Christmas shopping! Have you made your gift list yet? Or stock-piled any gifts? Or bought gifts a few months ago and then totally forgot about them? Well if so, you are in the right spot!
Something happens to your brain once you have kids. You forget EVERYTHING. I mean, you manage to remember to keep the kids alive, and fed, and picked up from school, but all of those other small details? Forget about it! Our Elf hasn’t shown up yet because I cannot for the life of me remember where I put him and the exact same thing happened last year. You would think I would have learned by now! I am also totally guilty of buying presents months in advance, hiding them away, and then forgetting about them. Anyone else do this? This year I came up with a gift strategy to keep myself organized, on budget, and not lose my mind hunting down gifts.
First, when the kids write their letters to Santa, I make sure to record all of their wish-list items on my phone. Otherwise I would completely forget! Whenever we are out shopping, and the kids see something they want, I tell them I’ll add it to their list….and I do it RIGHT THEN on my phone. That way, when family members ask for gift ideas I don’t have to scramble to remember what my kids want. All of the gift ideas are right there on my phone and organized for each child.
We try to stick to getting the kids something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read…..but it usually turns in to several “somethings” that they want. And that’s okay. But it makes it really important that I stay on budget!
To stay on budget my husband and I typically decide together roughly how much we are able to spend on gifts each year. We start putting aside a little money a few months in advance so that we aren’t hit with a giant bill in December. Since we shop all year, this helps spread out the spending too. We also do our best to get on the same page with family members and have mostly opted to only shop for the kids in our family. This year we’ve incorporated several of Allstate’s budget tips into our shopping and saving routine, and it has helped us stay on track. You can check out their post here.
I also keep a separate list of items I’ve bought for each person on my list. Now if only I would remember to update that list from time to time.
Next, I designate a large storage tub for each kid’s gifts. I tend to shop for my kids all year round, so whenever I buy something or something comes in the mail, I just toss it in the storage tub. I used to hide things in our closet or in random spots in the basement….and then forget where they were.
By putting everything in a storage tub, it keeps all of the gifts organized. And since my kids are too young to understand how much things cost, the storage tote is a great visual for me to know how many things each child is getting.
I like to mark each tub with just the child’s initial and then store them in our basement. If my seven-year-old, Hudson, saw a tub with his name all over it he would for sure open it up. With just an initial, they don’t even notice them. (Plus, we have a ton of storage tubs in our basement, so they blend right in). If I buy something that doesn’t fit in the tub, then I hide it under a blanket in the basement and then make a note on my phone, so I don’t forget! If I over-buy for one child, I just keep the extra items in the tub and save them for their birthday or for birthday presents for friends.
Since I typically have a kid (or three) with me whenever I go out, I primarily shop online for their gifts. I feel like boxes are constantly arriving at our door! I’ve found it best to immediately open the box and then store the gift away. Otherwise it gets confusing and opening up a ton of boxes at one time just isn’t my favorite. Since we do most of our shopping online, we’ve implemented several of Allstate’s strategies to keep our identities safe. As we get excited about shopping for gifts, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there waiting to take advantage of what should be a fun and joyful experience. We stick with trusted websites and make sure to monitor our credit card statements frequently. Staying on top of things, especially during the holidays, makes a big difference.
How do you get organized your Christmas shopping and gifts each year? This post is sponsored by Allstate, but all opinions are my own.
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.