Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Surviving The Holidays, Part 2

Did you read and complete Part One? If not, get to it! Here's the next step in my plan to survive the holidays: Make your own wish lists.

I know you're busy making lists for the kids, the spouse (or spousal equivalent), and anyone else you are a caretaker for; and I know you're busy trying to get lists from all those you have to buy gifts for, if not shopping already. But if you don't make the time now to list all the things you want for Christmas, well, you know what sorts of unwanted things you'll find in your stocking and under the tree...

These less-than thrilling things bring not only disappointment (for you as well as the gift giver who wants to delight you), but mean trips to the mall to return or exchange them -- or more clutter.

Here are some quick trips to make holiday wish list creation easier:

I know that sometimes the worst part of making lists, for some of us, is coming up with what to put on it.  We spend so much time thinking of others, it's difficult to answer the question, "What do I want?"  Here are a few ideas to jog some ideas...
* Since you're reading here, you probably read at a number of blogs and websites; check to see if any of them have lists of holiday favorites or gift suggestions.

* Check your bookmarks.  You might be surprised the number of things you've marked for dreaming over later that you might just be able to receive!

* I'm a firm believer that gifts should be luxuries, but that doesn't mean they need always be ridiculous. How many times a week do you find yourself sighing and wishing for something around the house? Maybe you hate folding those shabby towels, simply hate that can opener, wish the folding trays for snacking while watching TV weren't so rickety; whatever those wishes are, right them down on your list.

* Borrow ideas from the Christmas lists you are given!  One year, my sister was in the know about a great book I'd never heard of. Last year, my mom's request for a fancy comforter reminded me about those sheets I'd wanted but couldn't afford. And my niece has the best taste in music -- so I always want a CD or two that's on her list.
Now look at your list -- is it specific enough? Instead of "bath towels," you should list something more specific, such as "set of four pale blue bath sheets," etc.

This is especially true for all the men in your life. Don't make him guess, be specific!  (I really should post a guide just for getting the gifts you want from your man; we'll see if there's time.)

Now that you've made your list, it's time to delegate to Santa's elves!
* Use online services to make wishlists and send to links to those who shop online and/or seem to "live" online.  Used correctly, most of these wish lists keep track of what's been bought in such a fashion so that gift givers won't purchase what has already been purchased yet you won't see what has been purchased for you.

* For those who do not shop online and/or prefer shopping at stores, make individual paper lists (i.e. each list has different items; it is not the same list copied). Individual lists not only limit the possibility of receiving duplicates, but they can be tailored to the preferences of the gift giver. (Aunt Martha prefers the malls, your sister is the jewelry expert, you and your friends have agreed to limit the prices of gifts this year, etc.; and you can hide what ideas you borrowed from the lists of others, if you think that would bother them.with)

If you present you list and the gift giver comments that they've already completed their shopping, tell them they can keep the list of ideas for your next birthday, anniversary, etc.
Now make -- and distribute -- those lists!

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