We try not to jump ahead of ourselves and really take November to focus on cultivating gratitude for our blessings, and finding ways to bless others in return. We are strict "not till after Thanksgiving" Christmas decorating folks around here....mostly influenced by the hubs, as I could listen to Christmas music year round. Although I'm embarrassed to admit that my kids were so obsessed with the Dora Christmas CD last year that it's the only thing we listed to in the car. From about Dec 1st until the end of March.
That said, I'm really making an effort to have my Christmas shopping done early this year (anyone else sound like a broken record with me?).
As I started to think back to gifts we gave to friends and family last year, my memory failed. Then I looked at my calendar and realized our nephew Connor is turning 4 this month. What did I get him last year? Hmmmmm.
It was clear I needed a way to let my brain off the hook from having to remember it all! Since our family is out of state, I do a lot of internet shopping for birthdays and holidays. The post office might be my least favorite place to go with the kids, especially with large boxes in tow, so I find online shopping and shipping to be my best friend.
I have also found that as we come across a great gift for a certain age (i.e. perfect gift for a little one turning 4 or 5), we tend to send that same gift to multiple kids when they hit that age. Well, as they grow I have a hard time remembering if I've already sent that gift to a particular child. Between all of our nieces, nephews, cousins and godchildren, it's tough to keep track!
So, I whipped up a printable sheet that I can add to my Home Management Binder (a work in progress that I hope to share soon!), where I can keep track of what gift I've given to each child over the years. I will probably have 2-3 of these sheets in my binder with all the names printed.
I thought it wouldn't hurt to do the same thing for the Christmas holiday. This way we aren't re-gifting and can see how we've given in past years. I think I'll be using this one for kids and adults! Feel free to snag one for yourself too!
There are several fantastic gift trackers out there to help keep all the info on gifts/budget/shopping location/etc out there for the current Christmas season. I think I'll be using one from this post over at A Bowl Full Of Lemons.
*Anyone else out there an avid online shopper? How do you keep track of gifts given over the years?