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how to organize your christmas gift list

Christmas Presents wrapped round a tree.All wrapped under our tree.

Simple ways to organise your Christmas Gift List.  Struggling with buying too many or not enough gifts? Organizing your gifts couldn't be easier with this checklist...

Trying to get organised for the big Christmas Event?

Looking at putting your Christmas gift list together, and wishing you'd started that a few weeks back?

Wondering how your going to pay for all the gifts on your list? Wish you could deck the halls with oodles of cash.... If only eh!

Here we are going to look at the following:

  1. Who to buy for
  2. How to buy - on foot - on line?
  3. Get it Gift Wrapped?
  4. Your gift stash
  5. Handy tips for budgeting for gifts

Managing your gift list in this way should mean that you can enjoy the Christmas period, with money in the bank for the celebrations. Can't be bad eh!

Let's get started then...

who am i buying for?

Before you charging down the High Street or Mall with credit card in hand, spare yourself a little bit of time, grab a cup of tea or your equivalent, and download this printable christmas gift list.

family agreements

You may well be like us, where we have an agreement with our siblings, we don't buy for them, but we do buy for their children (our nieces and nephews).

Now you have the Christmas Gift List printed or downloaded, you are ready to fill in your own checklist, let's take a look at these components...

You do need to think about who you are intending to buy for, so consider these points:

  • Christmas Day - who are you going to seeing?
  • Christmas Day - do you have anyone coming to you?
  • Are you part of a secret santa?
  • Do you have work colleagues to buy for?
  • Do you have a social network of friends for whom you buy gifts for?

Once you are confident that you've captured family, friends, colleagues, on your checklist make sure you consider those close to home. Yes, I confess I frequently forget to put my poor Tim on my list!

So don't make my mistake, add them to your checklist, they are essential, and a must buy - even if it's just a token gesture to say "Thanks and I still love you."

Work across the spreadsheet, filling in the details that you can. For those gifts that you are really unsure about, I'd suggest a phone call or visit to the person; something would quite likely come to you as an ideal gift.


Playing with presentsOur daughter playing with her first tea set

This is the time, sat with your cup of tea, that you need to make an informed choice as to what to get the people on your Christmas gift list.

Be reasonable, and unless you have endless pockets, you may need to complete the budget information on there too.

Next question where are you going to do your shop? With the interactive list, you can update the Comments section with likely shops or towns that you need to buy from. You could even use that section to give you a link to an online store.

By sorting the spreadsheet you will then be able to buy all things from one store from one list - check how organised you are! 

Here we're going to consider the benefits of going out of your home to the shops:

  • You can buy through the year, as you go about your usual weekly / monthly shop
  • You can head to one particular store and bulk buy the presents required from there
  • Getting out and about you can find out about local Christmas clubs and/or any special deals, such as "buy one get, one free"
  • The potential gifts are tangible, so you can truly see what you are buying
  • Any spring/summer gift ideas, can be bought in their season

Personally despite the fact that I dread shopping, I do like the fact that you can touch, feel and look at potential gifts, without parting with my hard earned cash!

On the other hand you are potentially battling round the shops with your hands throbbing because of the weight of your gifts...

shopping online

...So you could do the Christmas Shop online! Here are some of the more favourable points that could convince you...

  • There is limited opportunity to impulse buy
  • You may get more favourable rates for online purchases
  • You won't have heavy bags of gifts to lug around with you
  • You can focus on keeping to your budget

Due to a recent experience of a friend though - please carry this word of warning with you for online shopping:

If you are shopping in an eStore, that you frequently use, ensure that the shopping basket is EMPTY before you proceed with your christmas gift list shopping! Otherwise, you too might end up with a 22" monitor for your Mac that you didn't really intend to buy...

Either way whether you go on foot or online, I would advise to try to limit the number of shops that you need to go to.

If you do go on foot, take the christmas gift list with you (a common mistake!) and a pen to cross off the goodies as you purchase them. Shopping online - the same applies, tick off your list once the purchase has been made. 

gift wrapping?

So how good are you at wrapping gifts?

If wrapping isn't your strong point, or there is no charge for online purchases, you may wish to consider getting the gift(s) Gift Wrapped.

There may be reasons why you don't wish to do this, most importantly if you've bought items online is due to the fact that you cannot check that they are 'ok'; especially if a fragile gift. 

However if you are looking to wrap your own gifts, this quick list will make sure you have everything to hand...

caution when travelling

If travelling abroad, check any policies with your mode of transportation or with border controls regarding wrapped gifts.

You don't want all the gift wrapping to go to waste on some security guard, who is after all only doing his/her job. It's worth checking!

  • Wrapping Paper
  • Sharp Scissors, or flat edged knife
  • Sticky tape
  • Label
  • Pen to write label
  • Ribbon / bow or frills to decorate

Having these all to hand will make sure that you don't have to scurry around trying to find something (usually the sticky tape in our house!). This is all the more handy, if you are trying to gift wrap in a hurry.

your present stash

So you've bought all your presents, and you've got those you couldn't face wrapping, gift wrapped (remember to put tags on them for who they are to, especially if non-descript 'square' boxes); but you now need to store them until the big day.

This is up to you where you can stash these, I've done a bit of research on this and the places seem varied, the trick is to remember where you put them (use the christmas gift list!). Needing ideas on where to store them, here are a few suggestions...

  • Bottom of wardrobe / closet or dressing room
  • Cupboard under the stairs
  • In the Dresser
  • Airing Cupboard (not food, especially chocolate - very messy!)
  • Sock drawer
  • Kitchen cupboards
  • Under loose floorboards
  • Garage, shed, greenhouse (make sure not perishable)

Where do I store mine...ah, now that would be telling, and seeing as my children or husband can also access the website, I'm going to have to keep that one quiet - sorry! 


How to budget for buying your gifts, is really up to you. I strongly urge you not to be a last minute Annie - but if you have to be that way, at least put a bit of money aside each month in a way of savings for christmas.

You may of course, be like my dear Gran. She'd play Bingo or enter a Raffle, declaring that the first prize was hers and that she would giving it to "name" for Christmas. God bless her, 9 times out of the 10 she won - hell of a way to do your Christmas Shopping though!

Of course, you may like a little more certainty in your gift buying and consider joining a Christmas Savings Plan - I know our local toy shop and also the sport shop, run these Christmas Clubs.  Check your local high street!

How does this work?

  • We take the children to the toy shop and see what they would like.
  • When we have found the "perfect" gifts, we take them to the counter.
  • Where, the owners kindly wrap in brown paper and store them for us.  We start (or add) to our Christmas Club plan with the shop.
  • Then visiting each week or month, we pay a little off each time.  
  • We usually collect the presents on Christmas Eve!  Great way to store them from prying eyes!

However, for myself, I do things a little differently. I have an aim, each year, to have all Christmas Gifts purchased by 1st October. Yes you read that correct - October!

How do I do this? I purchase items through the year.

It's not been unknown for me to be buying Christmas gifts whilst on my Summer Holiday. My husband thinks I'm mad, but then he likes that it's all sorted early.

My best budget tip though is to make use of the Sales that go on throughout the year, and you'll find that those items on your christmas gift list, really do not cost you a small fortune.

Make a New Year Resolution - start in January next year, in the Sales, ideal time for the wrapping paper and of course Christmas Cards!

Well with that all sorted, isn't it time for a sherry...... oh I nearly forgot, a gift for someone more challenging on your christmas gift list:

How about a website?

It's unique and it will allow them to express anything they want to, it's really easy to do, hey if I can write this site - anyone can write one, don't just take it from me. Here is some more information, read it, digest it, and why not have a go...