4 tips for managing holiday shopping without the stress

November 15, 2016

I know it isn’t Thanksgiving yet, and this post is breaking all of the rules — but you guys, the holidays are officially around the corner! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this time of year. Mr AG always says he thinks I was an elf in a former life — which IMO is, like, the highest honor. 😉 All jokes aside, I know the holidays tend to creep up increasingly earlier every year — but there is one thing that is better to tackle earlier than later, and that is holiday shopping.

I am by no means organized in all aspects of my life (you should see my bathroom drawers right now), but when it comes to Christmas shopping, I have to be really organized. Today I’m sharing a few tips I follow to keep myself from feeling too overwhelmed when tackling holiday shopping.

1. Timing is everything.
There are few things more stressful than trying to find a parking spot at Dallas’ North Park Mall during the month of December. For this reason, I try to start my holiday shopping as early as possible. It also really helps the budget if I can buy a few things every pay period throughout the fall. And when you have plenty of time to work with, you can afford to wait for sales and free shipping on Internet orders.



2. Make a (good) list.
This is an obvious no-brainer, but my list has to be super organized for it to be of any help to me. I use a google doc (or an excel sheet) and list all recipient names, gift ideas, links to purchase (if ordering online), and a box to mark once the item has been purchased. Often times, I’ll even include a date for purchase to help me spread out those purchases throughout the months. (If anyone wants my template, just let me know in the comments and I’m happy to share!)

3. Be strategic about the order of your purchases.
When I’m deciding what to purchase first, I start with items that likely won’t need to be returned — anything personalized, candles, etc. I save clothing items and other things that may be returned for later to make sure the exchange policy doesn’t expire before I even gift the item.


4. Wrap as you go.
My love for gift wrapping is likely why I can’t wait to wrap my gifts, but it also makes it so much more manageable to wrap as I go. I’m not saying you have to wrap every single gift the day you pick it up, but I usually wrap a couple of times a month so that I am never sitting down to wrap a ton of presents all at once. And if you start early, you’ll actually have gifts to put under the tree when you pull out your Christmas decor!



What other tips do y’all have for keeping holiday shopping from getting too overwhelming?! I’m all ears over here!

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  • Reply Sarah T Byrkit November 15, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Send the template!!

    • Reply Abby November 15, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      You got it!

  • Reply Lindsay Hess November 15, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    YOU ARE A GENIUS. Just in general. I want to sit at your feet as you fill my brain with wisdom and knowledge.

    Also you take really, really pretty pictures. 🙂

  • Reply Julie Swain November 16, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Would love your template, Abby! As always, I enjoy your blog! Best wishes to you and happy holidays!!!

    • Reply Abby November 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Happy holidays to one of my favorite little families! (Template in your inbox!)

  • Reply Becky November 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    I would love your template too!

    One tip from a not-so-organized gift buyer: Amazon Wish Lists have been a lifesaver for me when it comes to coordinating gift giving for my kids, nieces and nephew with grandparents and siblings. I save whatever the kids say they want or what I think they need/want to the list and then share it with my parents, in-laws and sister. They can tell me what they’re getting my kids, and my sister/sister-in-law can make sure we’re not overlapping for their kids.

    • Reply Abby November 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      That’s a great tip, Becky! I think you’re more organized than you give yourself credit! 🙂 Template coming your way.

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