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Holiday Prep Part One: Gift-Giving Guide

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and with just over six weeks to go, it will be here before we know it. To help you prepare for the holiday season, we have put together a two-part series that will get you organized so you can enjoy the festivities.

As retailers are busy making preparations for the holiday shopping rush, shoppers everywhere are making lists and checking them twice. As such, we decided to begin our two-part series with the art of gift giving. Yes you read that correctly, there’s an art to holiday gift giving, which we have outlined for you below.

Holiday gift giving can cause a great amount of stress for people, but if you get organized and start purchasing your gifts now, you can avoid maxing out your credit card and making any last-minute shopping trips. Here’s what to do:

  • Start with a list. Make a list of the people you need to shop for this holiday season. Now is a good time to review adult gift-giving options such as drawing names or setting a gift limit.
  • Set a budget. There is nothing worse than opening your credit card statement in January only to learn you’ve spent a small fortune on holiday gifts. Set a price limit on how much you will spend per person on your list and stick too it. Be sure to include any stocking stuffers into these costs. Those pesky little gifts can add up very quickly.
  • Find the perfect gift(s). Most organizational experts recommend making a list of what you want to buy before you start purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask recipients what they would like to receive as presents. The last thing you want is to give a gift that will end up in someone’s attic or the local charity shop. For those who don’t know what they want, think about their lifestyle, hobbies and general interests. If you’re still not sure what to buy, see below for some 2012 gift trends.
  • Shop ‘Til You Drop. Now that you’ve nailed down your list and set a budget, it’s time to start shopping! Early November is a great time to begin shopping for holiday gifts. Give yourself a goal of completing your shopping by a certain date. Start your shopping experience online to establish price and product availability. Many online retailers will provide free shipping for holiday items and guaranteed holiday delivery.
  • Wrap as you shop. To save you time down the road, wrap gifts as you purchase them and be sure to put them in a safe hiding spot.

If you are seriously stuck on what to buy for someone, there are a number of websites that provide gift suggestions. Whether it’s the season’s must-have gadget or a time-tested toy, you are sure to find something for everyone by checking out these sites (and others like them):

  • Digital/Electronic Gifts: Check out Squidoo for the hottest electronic gift ideas of 2012. Among their recommendations are tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD and the new Apple iPad.
  • Toys: Amazon has pulled together a 2012 holiday toy list that features literally hundreds of popular toys for children of all ages.
  • Trendy Gifts: For the hipster in your life, check out Trendhunter.com. Their site has tons of unique and witty gift ideas for the funkiest people on your list.
  • Golf Gifts: Esquire has pulled together a list of gift ideas for golf lovers. They consulted World of Golf president David Braham about which tools and gadgets are worth buying. Among them are the Garmin Approach S1 GPS Watch, the Callaway LR550 rangefinder and the Momentus Speed Whoosh practice club.

How do you practice the art of gift giving? Please share your comments and thoughts below. Also, be sure to look out for part two of this series in our next newsletter. We’ll provide you with tips on decorating your home, how to find the perfect tree and so much more.


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