Prepare Now and Enjoy Later! -

We are entering the season of giving. I love this time of year for too many reasons to list. Above all, I love modeling the art of giving without expectations with our children. You may remember our family participating in a variety of service projects in the past like the Cereal Drive or coming up with creative ways to pay it forward with a Random Act of Kindness Challenge. Guess what? You are in the right place because we are giving you a printable list of RAKS you and your family can do. Grab this list at the end of this post!

Today I want to share how I manage to stay sane, eliminate going broke and get present wrapped and delivered in time for the holidays.

The key is to START NOW! What’s that you say? Start holiday shopping in October? Yes, that’s exactly what I said and I’ve been known to start before Fall but let’s not go there!

#1 Make a List

Start off by making a list of everyone you will be buying gifts (or making if that’s what you enjoy) for this season. Rack your brain for those special people in your life that you may not acknowledge on a regular basis like your UPS package provider or USPS mail carrier. Next to each person’s name, write a budget amount. After you have what looks like a final list, add up the total budget. Do you need to make adjustments to stay in a comfortable range for your family finances? Part of making a list and keeping it handy at all times, is being intentional about the shopping. This helps keep individuals on track so that they do not over buy. The importance of keeping this list handy is so that you can write an idea down as you are out and about and see something that would be a perfect gift! If you need help coming up with ideas, Pinterest is a great place to browse. I also personally love the following websites for inexpensive, yet unique gifts to purchase:

#2 Designate a Space

If you start shopping early, one must stay organized. Follow the tips below to get this show on the road!

  • Make your list (step #1)
  • Define your budget
  • List ideas and browse catalogs that come to your house or online sites like Pinterest
  • Start shopping!!!!
  • Track your gifts and cost per item on your list. Save receipts.
  • Put the gifts in ONE SPOT. This is important. I’ve slacked on this rule before and lost gifts. Luckily, I found them in time for Easter baskets 🙂
  • If you have the space, begin wrapping and labeling as early as October. Have a tupperware bin for wrapped gifts and another for unwrapped. I turn a space in our home that has little traffic into wrapping central for a good six weeks. I store the gifts here and keep all of my wrapping materials (and packaging for our family out of state) out. This eliminates a frantic “I’m going to stay up allllllllllll night long to wrap” mode. Unless that’s your thing 🙂
#3 Leave Room for Love

My favorite thing about beginning holiday shopping early is that it allows us time and space to think of gifts our loved ones will cherish. I am not rushed into buying whatever because of a lack of time. The kids have time to get creative and crafty, which our gift receivers love. I also don’t start the new year with a feeling of gluttony because of overspending. We stay on budget (for the most part) and enjoy all the feels that come with the holidays like the true meaning of why we give gifts in the first place!

Don’t forget to download your free download-RAKS for the Entire Family. It’s the season of giving, let’s stay calm, enjoy all the holidays have to offer and model generosity to our children.