November 29, 2012

Start Your Holidays : Holiday Organization, Part 1

This is part of a Holiday series for Starbucks and their StarbucksÆ Christmas Blend coffee!

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and while this time of the year is full of family, friends, and time together, it can also be a bit stressful.†

Wouldn't it be nice if there wasn't a single ounce of stress around the holidays? Planning ahead, which is something I'm still learning to do, always pays off in the end. And this year, I'm cracking down on the gift list early. I tend to just go shopping with no direction or ideas in mind and just "see what comes to me". That has resulted in many gift cards and frustrations that I didn't put more thought into gift buying.

I'm a sucker for a cute printable or organizing app for my phone, so I found a few tools that will help me, and maybe you, be more organized this holiday season.†

First, take time to sit down and think about your gift buying list when you are in the mood. Maybe light a Christmas candle, or start to pull out some of your gift wrapping supplies.†

My favorite two printables that I came across online can be found here, and here. One is a little more detailed than the other, but each will help you organize your gift ideas, and you can keep track of what you purchased and how much it cost.†


A useful app, for those of you who prefer the digital organizational tools, is The Christmas List app. You can set a password so no one can sneak in and see what's on your list!†

It also allows you to upload a photo of the family member or friend, and list ideas, prices, and when you do actually buy an item, you can record that too.†

I will use this app for recording what I actually buy, and refer to the paper lists for ideas beforehand.†



Although organizing your gift list will help you prepared for the holidays a bit, it's still hard to come up with ideas!†

For the women in your life, search their Pinterest boards. If they aren't on Pinterest, make them get on! Beyond that, think through their daily routine and see if anything comes to you. Are they a stay at home mom? A working professional? In college? In grad school? Try to think of things that you appreciated in those chapters of your lives, and see if a gift idea comes to you that way.†

For the men, think about the things they care about. Games and Movies? Tools? Gadgets? Then head to Best Buy, Home Depot, or Bridgestone.†

And when all else fails, and you can't come up with a single idea, hair products are always a delight to receive.†

Would you like to win a $50.00 Starbucks gift card? To be entered for a chance to win, answer this question in the comments below:†How are you preparing for the holiday season?

Please leave your e-mail address written like this " kate (at) gmail (dot) com" in your comment.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the†following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/29/12 -12/9/12.

Visit the Starbucks brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersĂ­ posts and find more chances to win!

521 comments:

  1. I've started decorating and I just made my big Christmas spreadsheet yesterday with different columns for budget, amount already spent, ideas, etc. It helps me stay on track!

    email adddress: slw2r (at) virginia (dot) edu

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  2. Right now I'm avoiding it! My husband and I have talked about it a couple of times but no concrete plans!

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  3. I've started buying gifts, listening to Christmas music, and putting up Christmas decorations ;-)

    email address: staceymthomas86(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I love these lists! I am going to download the app to help me keep track of gifts. I have been pinning stuff to give me (and my family) ideas for gifts courtney (at) courtneynorman (dot) org

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  5. I am a planner and always am trying to think of what others want/need. So, I find that reading blogs (especially those that are connected to small businesses) allows my creativity to be sparked but also support a local business. I try to find gifts that mean something to both the receiver, the giver and the creator.

    emily (dot) baker927 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  6. tweeted about it!

    https://twitter.com/courtnorm/status/274144668441255936

    courtney (at) courtneynorman (dot) org

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  7. I have also started Decorating my apartment, and will get my Xmas tree Saturday!! I have a list written down of all the people I need to buy gifts for and what I'm am getting them, and then it gets checked off if I got the item. I LOVE these free printable though much more organized! Jaimerobins(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I use spread sheets. Keep a tally as I go and how much I have left to spend. I'm going to check out the app. I like being able to have something with me when I shop.

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  9. Thanks for the idea for the Christmas List App! I'm from Canada so I can't participate in the giveaway but I'm making the holidays less stressful this year by creating a slideshow DVD for my nieces instead of making a scrapbook for them (SO much work and I was always working on it right up until Christmas Eve). I also started my shopping earlier this year and am going to start my baking soon.

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  10. I tweeted about it!

    https://mobile.twitter.com/StaceyMarie56/status/274145196030169088?p=p

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    1. email address again: staceymthomas86(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. I have multiple lists....but with this app and your list ideas, maybe i can consolidate!
    Kristih0121(at)att(dot)net

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  12. maralwallace (at) yahoo (dot) com

    I made a printable calendar for the month of December and a list of things I want to do, decorate the house, make cut out cookies, wrap gifts, etc and wrote an item on each day the calendar. It's kinda a holiday bucket list that helps me keep sight of my goals, too! Thanks, Kate!

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  13. maralwallace (at) yahoo (dot) com

    https://twitter.com/yagermara/status/274146648190500864

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  14. I prepare by making lots of lists. List for gift shopping and menu planning. Right now I'm tackling the gift shopping. I like the apps idea, I'm more old fashioned pen and paper girl, but the app idea sounds great.
    K
    pkdahlin(at)gmail(dot)come

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  15. I prepared by getting all of my shopping done early! Presents are done, meals for parties are planned, and I am not stresseda t all.

    ashleys217 (at) comcast (dot) net

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  16. I've been preparing for Christmas by being a good listener!
    I love to clue into items family/friends randomly talk about, jot them down and then surprise them with something they really want at christmas!

    somcauley (at) gmail (dot) com

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  17. Loving this blog! Thanks! xoxo

    My way of getting prepped this season is by first making a list by names:

    Joe Smith
    Jane Smith

    Then I group by personalities and interests!

    Joe Smith- cooking, health, running, likes ESPN

    Jane Smith- shopping, cooking, preppy style, J.Crew

    THEN I group with budget

    ($30) Joe Smith- cooking, health, running, likes ESPN

    ($40) Jane Smith- shopping, cooking, preppy style, J.Crew


    From there, I can either get general ideas, or list specifics items that I know the individuals want!

    Merry Christmas, bloggers!

    smmanley01 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  18. I have just been using the "notes" app on my phone, but I can't wait to try the Christmas list app! kaitlynwhitlock(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I am so happy to say that I only have 1 person left on my Christmas list! I have a few little things I need to get but I already know what they will be.

    buckeyefan_17(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  20. I'm prepping for christmas by drinking Starbuck's holiday drinks and trying to ignore the 70degree Georgia weather.

    taseoldham (at) embarqmail (dot) com

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  21. Fordhamheather (at) gmail (dot) com

    I prepare for Christmas by snuggling up with my iPad and some coffee and just think, write, research, and plan. I try to find a good deal whenever I can! I will definitely be trying this app!!

    LOVE your blog, Kate :) Oh, and btw, you were my favorite speaker at the Becoming Conference :)

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  22. I always prepare by keeping a list in my purse of who I need to purchase for and what I have gotten them - I start shopping in the beginning of the year so its never a huge rush around the holidays.

    jfagan (at) bism (dot)org

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  23. I make lists for gift giving and christmas card sending. I bake a bunch of cookies and I sync my Christmas music on my iPod and listen to it nonstop. And then I pop Christmas Vacation in the DVR and I'm all set! ;)

    mbabicki1 (at) nc (dot) rr (dot) com

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  24. I am prepping for Christmas by decorating my house and by shopping for gifts for family and friends. I like your organizational ideas. I am still more low-tech, and I use a notebook to keep track of budgets, lists, gift ideas, and all of that. It really is helpful to have things recorded somewhere.

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  25. I also make a Calendar of everything I need to do for Christmas a long with the gifts for everyone on my list.

    Planning ahead really pays off. I'm already finished with my Christmas shopping except for stocking stuffers! I'm not a fan of crowded stores, so I did the majority of my shopping online and used sites like ebates.com to help. I will actually get an additional $100 back from my purchases, on top of all of the great deals I found!

    baker.daria(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. I usually have grand plans for making lists ahead of time, which like you, I am learning the value of and the need to follow through on. This year is the year; my lists are written and ready to go!

    kristinallenallen(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. Visit my blog tomorrow...I am going to be doing some cute painted Christmas tags...http://www.fortheloveofpainting.com

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  28. https://twitter.com/Kristinn2006/status/274149863090962432

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  29. Thanks for the printables! I'm definitely going to use them!
    I started preparing for the holidays by decorating and brainstorming gifts for others!
    chaoticdomestic (at) gmail (dot) com

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  30. I have started my Christmas shopping a little earlier this year. I also keep a notebook with me and as I think of an idea for someone, I write it down. I think I will also use one of the free printables you suggested.

    amandajoy52(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  31. I've gotten all my shopping done so this weekend I plan on spending an entire day listening to Christmas music and wrapping, but enjoying a peppermint latte from Starbucks would be icing on the cake.

    nataliegiesen (at) gmail (dot) com

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  32. making my list and checking it twice! going to an awesome local christmas show this weekend hoping to pick up some goodies for gifting! meredith(dot)helsel(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. Right now I'm just working up ideas in my head before I hit the stores. Making lists and stuff. Thanks for the giveaway!
    hsheree2012 at gmail dot com

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  34. I make lots of lists! I've been switching out fall for Christmas and using fresh fruit for centerpieces.

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  36. Lists, lists and more lists. Thanks!
    mellisa (dot) willis (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

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  37. This is so helpful! I always make lists and then can never find them! Definitely getting that app ASAP!
    seachtais72(at)aim(dot)com

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  38. I am using iPhone apps as well and making sure that I choose several small items instead of one large item for each recipient. I love gift bags or baskets, so I just fill them with things I know they love!

    melissabarrett{at}grinandbarrettblog{dot}com

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  39. I've been preparing for Christmas by Black Friday Shopping!! And we are getting the house decorated, which is nice considering we moved into our house on 12/22 last year so we didn't really get a chance to decorate.

    katefavreau (at) gmail (dot) com

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  40. usually I finish my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving - my self-imposed deadline and just enjoy the rest and picking up small stocking stuffers. This year I am WAY behind and would love a gift of coffee to fuel my shopping :) kendraburton(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  41. The thing I'm doing to prepare is to stop and remember what Christmas is really about. It's too easy to get caught up in everything to forget about the ultimate gift we were given. So cool! My husband and I are headed to a concert this weekend that tells the entire story of Jesus. From Abraham on. It's so great! It helps me calm down and be thankful. (and as for gift buying? I'm done. I shop all year long!)

    jlburgart (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  42. I've got up all decorations, just missing the tree! We always get a real tree so it felt a little early this year to get it all up Thanksgiving weekend! Need to get on some shopping too- great lists you've linked us up to- thanks!
    hatchjl (at) gmail (dot) com

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  43. I am a stay at home mom who has to plan very well. I already have the list of presents I want to buy ( October) and the know the week I can buy everything. I check prices before that day to get the best deal. I make decorated sugar cookies for gifts and to sell and I learned the amazing trick of being able to freeze them. So, all decorated christmas cookies are ready. Would love a Starbucks card! Been looking to see if I could fit one of each special holiday drink into the budget : ).

    llswanner (at) gmail (dot) com

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  44. Christmas is going to be on a tight budget this year (I am a new college grad and starting my own business). I am pin-crazy on pinterest these days....so many great ideas for diy gifts that don't necessarily look diy. I've also set an approximate budget for each person I'm buying for so I don't go super overboard like I usually do (Christmas is my favorite so I tend to do that!)

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  45. I love using lists. For everything!! :) And also we have started the tradition with our kids that they get 3 gifts because Jesus got 3 gifts. This had made life much simpler and allows us to focus on the reason for the season instead of making sure each child has the same amount/value of presents. And Starbucks always helps with any shopping I do :)
    brandwein_courtney(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  46. I've already decorated the house and started buying presents. I keep a list so I can track what I have bought and who it is for. kristinthom (at) gmail (dot) com

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  47. I'm making lists and spreadsheets galore to keep track of holiday gifts and my budget!

    mylifeasateacup (at) gmail (dot) com

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  48. We've laid out our budget and I've been keeping my eyes peeled for deals, but I'm still a pen and paper kind of list girl. No fancy apps for me.

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    1. Oops! annoyedarmywife (at) gmail (dot) com

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  49. I make my list and check it twice! ;) I'm definitely downloading that app! cricketsworkshop (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  50. I have a spreadsheet on my computer for the Christmas cards I send and receive since I send about 160 out, but other than that, no lists or apps. But I am done with all of my shopping!

    adventuresofmsquared(at)gmail(dot)come!

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  51. I make a list in the back of my Erin Condren planner for who I will buy for, then a list of what I have purchased for that person! :)

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  52. Thank you for recommending that app. Think I will love it. Love your blog by the way. Great ideas.

    shantelc (at) bellsouth (dot) com

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  53. i tend to prepare months in advance. if i know someone will like something for christmas and i see it on sale in September, ill go ahead and get it then. that way i dont have to get stuck in the christmas congestion at the malls.
    itoshii (dot)miko (at) gmail(dot) com

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  54. I keep a spreadsheet with gift ideas - colorcoded to remind me which items I've already purchased.
    mkronfeld(at)gmail(dot)com

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  55. I love writing lists out so I have a list started but haven't really purchased (or made) anything yet. I need to get started!
    cmeloni5 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  56. I'm preparing for the holiday season with LISTS. I'm such a list girl. I work full-time, and go to school with 20 credits BUT graduate with my bachelors degree in social work on December 8 (!!!!) so I wrote out my list of everyone I need to buy for, along with ideas, and a price limit for gifts for each person. The same day I graduate, I'm going out shopping to a huge outlet mall and hopefully knocking all my shopping out!

    carsenault527 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  57. So far, the only preparations i've made for Christmas is getting out my tree skirt that my Mom made for us! Still trying to brainstorm all of my gift ideas for everyone! I actually set aside time on my calendar to sit down with some coffee Saturday AM and make my shopping list!

    katemartau (at) gmail (dot) com

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  58. I usually start a list in October, and pick something up every time I go out. I am finished for this year already except for a few stocking stuffers.

    joykrupka(at)gmail(dot)com

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  59. I am a huge list girl. I live my life with a list. I will make a list and mark it off as I go and of course get a gift or two for ME and a starbucks latte to make shopping that much better.

    wendy7291(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  60. I am such a planner. I have lists, budgets, and ideas ready months in advance and try to start buying as soon as possible.

    stephanie(dot)andress(at)gmail(dot)com

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  61. I buy little things throughout the year so when Christmas comes I just have to buy a few bigger items that I can usually find on sale.

    sshirley00(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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  62. I keep a list on my computer where I have what I've bought, what I've spent and what I'm planning on buying.

    kenz2410(at)gmail(dot)com

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  63. i start prepping for the season by making my list of who we buy presents for and then i determine our budget per person. i usually start in nov so i'm not completely stressed in dec and can enjoy the season. with the exception of 2 gifts, i'm finished with my shopping!

    amyalley (at) live (dot) com

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  64. I love lists! I am already behind on Christmas list thanks to grad school. I need to get on top of it.

    Ellenetzel(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  65. I keep a small notebook in my purse and jot down ideas as I see them. Definitely ahead of the game so far and hoping to finish by the first week of December so that "stress" is over :)
    jennie.harper(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  66. I've been creating private Amazon wish lists to keep track of items for different friends and family members, so I've known for a few months what I'm planning to buy, but I'm intrigued by this app of yours!

    ashley (dot) gonyaw (at) gmail (dot) com

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  67. I've been listening to Christmas music like a fiend, created a shopping list for gifts, and I've been slowly-but-surely crafting and decorating.

    Trista(dot)Yopp(at)gmail(dot)com

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  68. My goal is to have my shopping done by December 1st so that I can really enjoy myself throughout December!

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  69. I tweeted about it: https://twitter.com/accordingtoalg/status/274161832787341312

    ashley (dot) gonyaw (at) gmail (dot) com

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  70. I've got birthdays and Christmas to keep organized, i've got about 5 lists going around here somewhere!

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  71. I make a holiday gift list and try to stick to it but i always go over. I have a google doc for all the stuff we need for our Christmas party this daturday.

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  72. I am a paper and pencil girl and I love to make lists! This year I am shooting for mostly homemade gifts, and so far I have finished a few but I still have a long way to go.

    liz(dot)beckwith(at)gmail(dot)com

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  73. I'm making a list and checking it twice!

    eyezofblu80(at)gmail (dot) com

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  74. i tweeted!!

    https://twitter.com/amyalley

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  75. I decorated my apt right away.

    heyemilie (at) gmail (dot) com

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  76. I have "The Christmas List" app on my phone and actually used it last Christmas. I love it. It helps me makes notes, see where I am at with purchases, add gift ideas. Just plain helps me stayed organized. I also have the "Errands" app, which helps me to stay on task each day.

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  77. I'm cooking treats early and freezing them....no extra time spent in the kitchen when family comes in!

    aubreymae86(at)gmail(dot)com

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  78. I'm all over the Christmas music, but the decorating and gift-buying are coming a little slower!

    hdelacruz15 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  79. I love starbucks and go almost every day!!!

    aliza (dot) olive (at) gmail (dot) com

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  80. I started by creating an Excel page with everyone's name and the allotted amount I will spend on them. Then, I come up with 2-3 ideas per person and start looking for bargains. My husband and I have made it a tradition to do most of the Christmas shopping on black Friday afternoon. There are plenty of discounts still but the crowds aren't do crazy.

    kerishelley(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  81. https://twitter.com/TheNewHostetler/status/274164888564269058

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  82. I am a list-aholic. Sadly I stick to the old fashioned journal to keep my list.

    alillpop (at) gmail (dot) com

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  83. Throughout the year as I'm around all the different people I buy for.. whenever they say "Ohhh, this is nice!" when we're out shopping, or if they are at home and make a comment about "I need to get xyz...." I'll jot it down in a notepad app on my phone. If applicable I'll snap a picture of it as well along with where to find it and the cost. If the above method fails me I can always rely on the note card; we exchange names in our family on an index card and on the back each person lists 4 or more items that we would like and a $100 limit. Just check it off as I go!

    jar122002(at)gmail(dot)com

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  84. I have an excel spreadsheet with names, ideas, links to websites with the gift I'd like to get them and actual gift/money spent. I love these printables and apps though, might be simpler and more easily accessible! :)
    ksollace(at)gmail(dot)come

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  85. I have an excel spreadsheet with names, ideas, links to websites with the gift I'd like to get them and actual gift/money spent. I love these printables and apps though, might be simpler and more easily accessible! :)
    ksollace(at)gmail(dot)com

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  86. I'm not nearly this organized, but I do start shopping toward the end of the summer and try to have all of my shopping done by the end of November. Then, I spend a day listening to Christmas music, drinking cocoa, and wrapping gifts. All that said, it never fails that someone pops up that I forgot to get a gift for. UGH! I'm scaling down this year though, and always put a LOT of thought into gift giving. It doesn't matter if it's a five dollar gift or a fifty dollar gift.

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  87. I am prepping our advent calendars for the 1st of December. I can't wait for my girls to open the pocket each day and enjoy the activity inside. That, and we are giving up a lot of the gift giving with extended family and friends to simplify the season.

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  88. tweeted https://twitter.com/SaraMama/status/274167806378000384

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  89. We got all our gift buying out of the way nice and early (that's a lie, I've still got one more person on my list). We have to leave all the wrapping until last minute though as we will be crossing into Canada with the gifts and the border officials will insist we unwrap everything... woh who.

    amanda (dot) shaw (dot) clark (at) gmail (dot) com

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  90. I keep a list in my purse and write ideas down as I think of them. It's all on a very fancy sheet of my 11 year old's notebook paper!
    alysia(dot)carter(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  91. I'm preparing for the Holidays by studying hard in school and finishing up my finals, then I can concentrate 100% on gift giving!

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  92. My husband and I are attacking our list in two ways. First, I brainstorm ideas and pin them onto my secret Pinterest boards, and then, as we purchase, my husband is entering them into a spreadsheet to keep track of our spending.

    h.a.ferguson (at) gmail (dot) com

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  93. The latter 1/2 of this year has been rough for me so I'm keeping it simple this Christmas - only buying for a small handful (and I'm practically done with that!) And luckily my daughter will be in from college this weekend so she can help put up the tree & decorate my house! :)

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  94. I had my lists made out for Black Friday shopping and have actually tackled most of the family already! Knowing what everyone wants before Thanksgiving always helps me out!

    bhenderson3882(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  95. I have decorated everything outside since last week when the weather was warm. I had my christmas tree up for two weeks and I have most of my gifts bought. I'm on the ball this year! :-)

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  96. I am sort of preparing by not preparing. I have convinced myself that though the big holiday is getting closer the longer I wait the more likely it is that everything can happen in one trip. I know, crazy. Brooke(at)p-r-petersen(dot)com

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  97. ooopppss - I didn't follow ALL of the rules...please don't DQ me! :)

    sudritt17 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  98. I started organizing gift wrapping and boxes so as I buy I can wrap it up, tag it and put it under our tree. Now I just have to get the tree up.

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  99. I started making a list of Christmas gift ideas a few months ago that way I'd at least have an idea by the time it got closer for me to start buying. I've gotten a few gifts done, still have a few more to go.

    em(underscore)loves(underscore)shoes(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  100. I mostly keep ideas just in my head, which is not helpful :-/ I actually did write out a list the other day...who knows if I'll actually use it. I may have to check out that app!

    hannah.schulte210(at)gmail(dot)com

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  101. I'm actually in complete Christmas denial. Which is exactly why I need this Starbucks card, haha! No, really. I plan on decorating the apartment this weekend. I've already started shopping (I do it all online), and I keep track of all of the holiday parties in my iPhone calendar.
    danabrownritter(at)gmail(dot)com

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  102. We get into the holiday spirit by putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully my husband will work on outdoor Christmas lights soon...I hate to push him when he complains so much about it.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  103. tweet:

    https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/274174633840877568

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  104. I am using the same app! The Christmas List App is helpful in keeping track of what need to get done and helps keep you on budget. My wrapping paper is stored in organizers from The Container Store so all I have to do is pull them out for the season.

    MJ0684(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  105. We're moving mid December, so a lot of our usual holiday preparations are behind schedule. But I have a list of people to get gifts for and have already ordered some things online and picked up stocking stuffers when we've been out and seen things on sale. I have them set aside to take to the new house so they won't get lost in the move and am having my online shopping items shipped to my work. That way I will simply transport them home after we are moved!
    bethvicker(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  106. I am preparing for Xmas by trying to earn a little extra cash by participating in a craft boutique this weekend selling handmade goodies. cmcrandell(at)gmail(dot)com

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  107. I'm preparing with a sheet like yours to help me keep track of what gifts I've already bought and how much money I've spent! mnstengel(at)gmail(dot)com

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  108. uh...I have only written names on a piece of paper. The thought of shopping is there but I haven't done anything yet. Better get to gettin'.
    crissa17(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  109. I have tried to be more organized this year. ususally, I am like you are and just go for it and end up being disappointed with what I bought. This year I have tried to pay attention to what people need and I have kept a spreadsheet of what I have bought/spent so I dont go overboard! Starbucks is always a motivating item when it comes to preparing for the holidays!! (and a candle-- Bath & Body Works has the best christmas candels!)

    becs708(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  110. Our shopping is almost done, so we can relax and enjoy the holidays!

    wallerka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  111. I have post it notes all over my office - not very organized! I love the Christmas List app, I may have to download that! maguire.colleen(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  112. I use Springpad to keep my lists on my phone.
    heidigriesmer(at)gmail(dot)com.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I have a paper list of everyone I need to buy for and ideas. As I buy them, I just cross them off. Pretty simple..I can't find time to do anything more! :-)

    darciecapo(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  114. I've got big plans for decorating this weekend. I also have started my gift list/buying, but I need to get on it!

    robingriteman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  115. I'm preparing by creating a budget and coming up with ideas for each person on my list. I have about 75% of my gifts already bought!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops...forgot my email address! nmchio (at) aol (dot) com

      Delete
  116. The back of my calender has a "Notes" section and I as the year progresses I write ideas down as people mention them. That way, come Christmas I have almost a complete list of what to buy - with no thinking involved! I also use this same technique for birthdays, Mother's Day, etc.

    lindseyrdyer@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  117. Here's my tweet!

    https://twitter.com/missysusie/status/274176837788241921

    robingriteman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  118. I am preparing by using an app as well...and it's been a great way to stay organized! But most importantly, I'm praying that all my family and friends know the real reason for the season!

    Alisonsutter(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  119. Bridgestone? Like the tires? I guess thats a practical gift...

    ReplyDelete
  120. Like Santa, I have my lists and am checking them twice, in order to stay organized this holiday season.

    meaghangrable@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  121. i havent done ANYTHING to prepare yet! this weekend, decor is coming out in full force! i usually dedicate a guest room and a big desk as my wrapping station, so i don't have to worry about keeping it tidy the entire month!

    lauraleigh.wyatt(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  122. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/littlemeaggs/status/274178994042175490

    meaghangrable@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  123. I wish I could say I have been preparing. You have inspired me to get started.

    garzaonthego (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  124. I am a big list maker. I have a book that I keep track of all my Christmas purchases, cards sent, food prepared for parties, etc. it has been so helpful (and fun) to look back at past Christmases!
    Bejkuy(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  125. I am definitely NOT prepared. Using printables is a good idea and way prettier then the notebook I carry around

    AnneAshley9876(at)gmail(dot)com
    AnneAshley9876@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  126. I have a spreadsheet with all the people that I want to gift. As I purchase the gift, I add the item and cost to the spreadsheet. I often email myself gift ideas and have a Word document for that.

    sunnymolls2(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  127. My first way to prepare is by teaching my kids about the birth of Jesus through the advent calendar and Jesse Tree book with ornaments that they will color (my kids are little). Decorating the house as a family (my husband works hard for me to be at home so we really have to plan this). The kids and I love to bake cookies and one evening we get the kiddos ready for bed then hop in the car with cookies & milk and Christmas music and tour our area looking at the Christmas lights. One evening I get a take for a "girls night out" with a bunch of high school friends, yes, we still keep in touch, we do a cookie exchange and bring an appetizer to share that night and gab all evening, giggling like teenagers. To prepare for the gift of giving I make a list in a note pad of the names/families we buy for and a list of ideas then hit the stores grateful to be able to give. I just love this time of year and I hope you are enjoying too. Sara Witmer: ed (dot) witmer at comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  128. I tweeted!
    https://twitter.com/AshleyCoupons/status/274180315260534784

    AnneAshley9876(at)gmail(dot)com
    AnneAshley9876@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  129. Sticky notes and lots of coffee!
    cristy(dot)cresswell(at)ggp(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  130. I was sick yesterday, and boy did I get a lot of online shopping done! I also decorated my tree. :)

    brinewt22(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  131. Listening to Christmas music and enjoying everyone's kindness (why can't people be like this year-round?)!

    jasmin(dot)s(dot)darling(at)gmail(dot)com from adarlingadventure.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  132. i'm making lists of what to buy for friends/family.

    p2412(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  133. Unfortunately my holiday season for the past three years has kicked off studying non-stop for law school finals...but I put up my Christmas tree as a reminder of the joy of the season once I get through the next two weeks! lauren (dot) luhrs (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  134. Meal planning!
    annieluh1 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  135. I'm shopping online for gifts that I know will work - one less trip to the store!
    derouchey (dot) katie (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  136. I have started decorating. Zac the Elf on a Shelf showed up last night so I guess Christmas season is in full gear and I need to get on board. How is it almost December already?!?!

    joann_newport(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  137. I tend to be an impulse gift buyer - trying to get away from that!
    nicholekerns (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  138. Tweet tweet: https://twitter.com/laurenINlaw/status/274184178445197312
    lauren (dot) luhrs (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  139. I have been thinking about gifts that I will be giving for approximately two months-now I just need to buy the stuff...

    ReplyDelete
  140. I am preparing gift ideas like you! I have a list of everyone I need to buy for and I use it to keep track of what I've bought and how much it cost. I'm also scouring discount sites and sales for gift ideas!
    lfeierbach (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  141. I'm preparing for the holiday season by making lists! Christmas gift to buy list; Christmas gifts I'd like list; Christmas cookies to bake list; and so on! Also I put up our "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" last night - it's too cute! sara (dot) cirba (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  142. I started jotting down gift ideas about two months ago. Now that it's shopping time, I have a "hidden" spot in my planner where I have the ideas officially jotted down along with a check mark next to any items that I have already purchased! It's definitely been a great way for me to keep track of what I have and have not purchased!

    kbcsmith11(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  143. I am trying to get as much shopping done as early as possible and shop smart. I have 10 people to buy for, I'm almost done and with black friday and online sales I've spent only $185 and I only have two more people to buy for. A few of my gifts have been DIY projects to help ease my budget.

    Happy Holidays!

    ChelseaMikhail(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  144. This year, because I have 8 month old twins, the vast majority of my Christmas shopping is being done online. Not as fun as hitting the stores but necessary this year.

    khcov(at)comcast(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  145. We decided to simplyify and draw names...but I still need ideas as I drew the hardest person to buy gifts for. Would love some Starbucks to put me in the Christmas mood aka Caramel Apple Spice!
    albelle9(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  146. I'm preparing for the holidays by packing up my house and moving! AHHHHH! The craziest time of year is being made even crazier with a move from Texas to Utah to Canada! So, I think I'll need to download that Christmas app so I can keep things straight!!

    callywog(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  147. WEll, where do I begin :0) My son who is 13 wants everything from the moon & back.LOL I am like hello you are not the only one in the FAm.. My daughter who is 17 would like everything that seems like over a 100. bucks or more. lol But, I try to let them no how grateful we are to even to be getting christmas gifts. They are really great kids and make good grades. I just want them to appreciate what they have. So, as always, they make me a list and it seems they kept adding each day. Haha. But, I chose 3 or 4 things from that list. I usually do the Black Friday thing but this year I wasnt in the mood to deal with crowds. So I will have to fight the crowds until Christmas. So really I should of shop the Black Friday sales. Oh man, didn't realize that until i just typed this. Ha. I am not much of planner but thats ok it all seems to work out. :) jennifer(dot)wagner2(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  148. My husband is currently deployed (and will be home in a few weeks, eek!), so I haven't started with the decorations, but we decided to do things a little bit differently this year. During the summer I bought a million 7x10 canvases at the euro store, and let my daughter paint "originals" with acrylic paint. We did them gradually, so that they would all be completed well before the deadline to mail gifts. Everyone gets the same gift, but each one is unique. I also went to the Swarovski Crystal Factory in Austria so each family gets an ornament (the discounted ones from last year, but we stayed within budget!), too. I just went to the post office today to mail out the packages (and grouped them according to who would be celebrating together), so although we won't be doing Christmas cards, at least we got the gift-giving completely taken care of!
    I'm already brainstorming kid projects for next year's Christmas presents! So exciting to create unique presents.

    HollyCorrell(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  149. This is the first year I feel ready! I have most of my gifts bought. I started writing down ideas months ago. I hate when Christmas approaches and I seem to forget all the great ideas I had! So this time I started writing ideas down when they came to me! Which means now we can decorate and just enjoy the ultimate gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops! Forgot my email! miclyn3(at)gmail(dot)com.

      Delete
  150. I'm making sure to buy presents early, and we're getting our tree and decorating this weekend. Even though I loooove Christmas, this is really early for me this year.

    coupontress(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  151. I am pretty much done shopping- just stocking stuffers left. We put up all the Christmas decorations including the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and now we are just enjoying them.
    msumadams(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  152. I'm preparing for Christmas this year, not with gift lists, but with a calendar I printed last night of the month of December. I've written down all of the Christmas concerts/events that I don't want to forget about - every year I want to get into the Christmas spirit and I forget about this concert, that boat parade, this community event... so this year, I'm prepared and know when/where all the events I'm interested in take place. Can't wait! Thanks!
    shawnessy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  153. I'm planning on a homemade Christmas! I have started gathering all the materials I need. And I can't wait to start on all my projects.

    jill_youngberg15(at)comcast(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  154. I usually just make "cute" lists in Publisher. I've been busy making tags/lists/and calendars for our advent activities and a list of things to do with our Elf on the Shelf so I'm not scrambling at night! What font did you use for the "Christmas List App" in the photo? It looks like maybe one of the Pea...??? Love it!

    juliem(dot)snider(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  155. I make a ton of lists and I am downloading that app...yesterday!

    jenniferlynnberg (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  156. I keep my shopping list organized by using an Excel spreadsheet. I can record my gifts budget and the amounts I actually spend, which helps me keep track financially.

    courtney(dot)d(dot)francis(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  157. I am taking it easy this year. Usually I go crazy at the beginning of the season only to burnout as it gets close to Christmas. whitney105(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  158. I'm planning to dig out my tabletop purple Christmas tree soon.

    lauren799 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  159. First of all I love your blog and I read it everyday in my google reader - so I rarely comment but I do love it!

    To get ready for the holidays I'm actually using the same exact printable organizers that you have pictured! I'm an organization freak and a budget freak so I'm using them to keep my shopping under control. I'm also making some homemade gifts and some new decorations!

    dlkopp629(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  160. I tweeted about this giveaway

    https://twitter.com/runsbythelake/status/274193790116433920

    lauren799 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  161. Well, I decorated the house early, so that was one less stressful thing to worry about. And I have a running list of gifts for everybody, but sadly, it gets lost a lot and I have to redo it. I think I have 5 different lists laying around this place!

    blondiestarr (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  162. Who wouldn't want a Starbucks gift card?!?!?

    Planning out my December helps me prepare. All the events can get overwhelming so if I put it all down in my calendar, I enjoy each day much more.

    AND... I've started Christmas cards. :-)

    carolinagirl1993 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  163. I am using Excel to keep track of my gift ideas and actual purchases, to help keep track of my budget too!

    henning.stacey (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  164. Taking it slow this year, getting just a few things out each day. Hope to have the decorating completed by Dec.5!

    ReplyDelete
  165. Waiting until the last minute as usual! Around December 15 I will be crafting, painting, and sewing like mad!

    lyndsey(dot)garrett10(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  166. Good old fashioned pen and paper! I love writing lists and being able to cross items off!

    holdingthestars (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  167. planning the big things early-decorating, menu planning, etc... i tend to shop for gifts like you-if needs to speak to me! :-)enjoying the fun of the season!

    bmoore22(at)comcast(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  168. Well this weekend I'm getting ready for The North Mississippi Christmas Festival. With dress rehersal tonight and shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday who wouldn't want a Starbucks gift card?

    cireese1(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  169. I start earlier so there is no rush at the end and plan with list and budgets :) lisa.wild1 (at)gmail (dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  170. Starbucks is my favorite. I am preparing for the holidays by keeping track of gift ideas and purchases on the notes app on my iphone. The app you mentioned sounds cool, but I think I may be too far into it to redo it all. I'm halfway finished shopping already!!

    sarah.oehmler (at) hotmail (dot) com

    or

    sarah (dot) oehmler (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  171. I usually try to keep things in my head which can be a disaster! But I am totally going to use those printable sheets this year! Thanks for the tip!! kimberlywoodhead(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  172. I'm about halfway through shopping for Christmas gifts. Some of the remaining gifts are (hopefully) going to be homemade, so I still have to shop for and then make them. Still haven't done decorations, but have listened to some Christmas music. :) I'm not on a 24/7 holiday music streak yet. I'd feel too pressured to get going on everything. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry! Here's my e-mail: annesaprons (at) gmail (dot) com.

      Delete
  173. I use excel to track my gift ideas, prices and discounts from different online sites.

    beachsunset4(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  174. I tweeted! https://twitter.com/sarah_oehmler/status/274203207318765568

    sarah.oehmler (at) hotmail (dot) com

    sarah (dot) oehler (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This should be public.
      https://twitter.com/sarah_oehmler/status/274206297262534657

      Delete
  175. I have not even started shopping yet! I keep a list in my phone though all year to try to think of ideas as they come. That way I have all year to come up with gift ideas. Kmbwx7(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  176. I am preparing for the holidays by creating notes on my Ipad about gift ideas, gathering the activities I want to do with the kids and our Activites Advent calendar, and clearing out good used toys and clothes for donation. My email address is akhyatt(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  177. Lots and lots of good-smelling candles!

    tlashawnp (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  178. I make a table in Word with everyone's name I need to buy for, then I print it out and write in ideas in one column, and the actual gift I end up buying in the last column. It's worked for the past few years!
    thebakers2(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  179. I've already got our few decorations up. I need to work on finding gifts and making Christmas cards. Most importantly, I need to prepare my heart for the true meaning of the season.
    racheljulia31(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  180. In years past, I keep a spreadsheet for gifts -- I do a column of the names of people I plan to buy a gift for, a column for ideas (which I update throughout the year when I think of things, or hear them talk about things, etc.), a column for gifts bought, and a column for how much I spent (plus the value). This makes it easier to see who quickly who I still need to buy for. I include the price + the value, because I like to look back on spreadsheets of years past to see what kinds of items I wind up finding the best deals on (love getting people more valuable items for the money I've budgeted to spend!!). That helps shape my "ideas" going forward!

    I also keep a separate spreadsheet for Christmas cards I send out. Names, addresses, and a quick description of the card and/or gift I send/give. Each year, I create new spreadsheets for the year to work from, and just update the addresses by double checking them against my address book before addressing envelopes. That way I can keep my card writing supplies in a quick and handy place (in a bag, on a tray, in a basket, etc.), and mark who's been done and sent, and that means I can work on them as time allows and not keep wasting time going through a stack to see who I've missed or something.

    It might sound time consuming, but maybe only the first time -- once it's all set up, it's a breeze to keep updated, and saves me time (and money! no more buying twice as many holiday stamps as I thought I'd need!).

    Love the holidays!

    Jennifer McCluskey
    mccluskeyja@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  181. I always have the kids write their letters to Santa right after Thanksgiving, so that I have plenty of time to find the requested item. Amazon wish lists is something used by most of my family, so it makes it super simple. For those folks I struggle with, I always end up making a donation in their name to a cause they care about.

    I don't over think it and NEVER go to the mall in December. It's helped my sanity and my checkbook :-)

    ReplyDelete
  182. I have two small kids so they were so happy to start decorating but other then that I haven't gotten around to doing much else.
    cktimes3(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  183. I prepared by getting a lot done before the back friday madness!!! all my presents are bought (aside from my FIL. Now I can relax and enjoy the month! michellecarter1015 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  184. I keep my Christmas budget and the names of everyone I need a gift for in my agenda planner! Then as I purchase the gifts, I add what I bought and keep the receipts filed in my planner as well - about half way done shopping now!
    Kaitlyn Martin
    kaitlyn.horan@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  185. I took advantage of Black Friday online and Cyber Monday online!
    MissAlli82(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  186. I'm cleaning my house in preparation for guests-one room at a time-throwing away a lot of "stuff."

    ReplyDelete
  187. I'm trying to shop early so I can enjoy every minute of December! And hoping for snow :)
    bellk1020(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  188. I'm trying to get my shopping done early (as in before the 23rd of December, the first of many celebrations). I'm also trying to clear out as much of my daughter's old, unused toys as possible! lauran.frank(at)gmail(dot)com.

    ReplyDelete
  189. Taking deep breaths and going one day at a time! Pinterest is also helping me with inspiration. And of course lists, lots of lists...
    emhubbard(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  190. Shopping early, of course!

    lmt_582 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete