Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WFMW: Christmas Organization

Good grief, is it Wednesday already? Again? Where is the time going? It really seems like time speeds up during the holidays.

So, for the nth year in a row, I'm using a spreadsheet to organize our Christmas gift giving. My spreadsheet has the following columns:

Name ///// Gift Idea ///// Gift Bought ///// Charity ///// Notes

This year, I took last year's list, put "2006" over the "gift bought" column, added a new column for 2007, and my list was ready to go. I even had a couple of leftover ideas from last year that I didn't end up using.

As I'm surfing, reading catalogs, and shopping, I'll note "ideas" for various people. Under notes, I'll put things like "on sale at Best Buy" or "www.(this is the name of the website where I can buy this).com" or "allergic to peanuts" or whatever else I need to remember.

This year, we're giving charity donations to some people in lieu of gifts (at their request) or in addition to gifts, so if I come across something that would be especially meaningful to that person, I'll put it under the charity column as a suggestion to myself. Later I'll put in notes like "$50 to Habitat for Humanity, 12/10/07" so I know what I gave, when, and to whom.

In years past, I've been known to keep track of how much I spent on each person, but that gets overwhelming, so I quit doing it.

Of course, you know I'm totally Googlified, and I'm keeping my spreadsheet in Google Documents, and my husband has access to it to, right? That goes without saying at this point...

Spending a little extra time each year to keep things organized prevents me from accidentally giving someone a similar gift two years in a row (that desk set scene in Dead Poet's Society really stuck with me), and helps me keep my sanity (ha) during the holidays.

Share your best Christmas tips in the comments!

Are you here for WFMW? Check out my other tips:

How to breathe new life into your lamps with spray paint.
How to use calling cards to give the illusion that you have it all together.
How to use GCal (again) for menu planning.
How to save yourself time in the kitchen with a hot water tap.
How to tie your shoes if you have lollypop thumbs like me.
How to feel good about spending insane money at Christmas.
How to prevent dryer fires.
How to use Google Calendar to organize your family.
How to save a zillion dollars with the Magic Bullet.
How to quickly cool Mac & Cheese.
How to soothe a teething baby without whiskey - oops! I mean Tylenol.
How to do Time Outs correctly.
How to improvise a changing table.
How to get a baby and a toddler into the car.
How to keep your house decluttered with an old waitressing mantra.
How to find a great baby sling.
How to manage your grocery list online.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon!

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips!


Angie said...

Love the spread sheet idea! I'll have to do that!!!

Ronnica said...

I like this idea, because I never remember what I got people last year. I think I'll adapt it to include birthdays so that I don't give them similar gifts for their birthday and Christmas!

Char said...

Hi Amy
I found your blog as a link from Rocks in My Dryer and I'm glad I did! c",)
Love your list idea. I'm going to have to start that, for sure!

Laane said...

That's a great idea!!

Feel welcome to visit my site

Laane on the World

Have a great day!

Barb J. said...

Wow. I just found this via Rocks In My Dryer. I have gone back and looked at all your Google idea posts. I love organizational forms, and I am now officially hooked.

Using your advice, I have created a gift list, family calendar, menu, and birthday and anniversary calendar.

I am in charge of keeping the calendar for both our Cub Scout pack and our church updated and current, so guess what? I am going to start using these google calendars. If I understand correctly, I can make them public where the scout parents or church members can look at them. Thanks! said...

I LOVE Google documents, so I don't know why I didn't think of using them to help me organizing my gifts for this year. I've scribbled it down in a notebook for heaven's sake!!! Thanks for bringing me out of the dark ages :)