Christmas is near and teens appear once again on our gift list. As the previous years, we find ourselves asking this over used question “What to give the teens?” The young once are somewhat easier to cook something up to please them but what about the teens?
We see Christmas wish list, Christmas shopping list, Christmas to-do-list and so forth. Mind you there are also plenty of Christmas gift list out there? These are all great but are they effective or convenient enough for you? Are you quite able to keep track of your gifts and make your purchase accordingly? Are you on top of your gift list? Or is it the other way round?
Not so long ago, my schedule for gift giving was so messed up. Being a mother with a teen daughter and having nieces and nephews aging 10 years upwards I had to come up with something to reduce my Christmas shopping anxiety. A well-prepared gift list was (and still is) my ultimate solution.
This is my strategy:
1st STEP-List of names and appropriate gifts
Throughout the year I always have a notebook with the kids’ and teens’ names that I intend to give a Christmas gift to. From conversations, we have or that I hear off, I will jot down an item in and allocate it with their name accordingly.
Example: Dwayne=Gemstones book
Source of conversations can be:
- Through direct engagement with the kid or teen on a one on one basis.
- Kids and teens talking among themselves of their heart desire that I overhear.
- The parents giving me a hint of what their child has been pestering them for.
- From their friends
- From other relatives or neighbors
You see! I at least have 5 reliable sources
- The number of items doesn’t matter. The more the merrier for this will enable me in the end to at least come up with a gift for each one.
- Nowadays I enter my notes on an Excel sheet which is more efficient. However, my notebook still remains available for quick services or brainstorming.
2nd STEP-Gift searching
Now comes the second step which involves searching for the gifts. I do this in two ways; virtually and physically.
Virtually is through online shopping. With the new norms, this is the very best way to go. I will research such-and-such item without the intention of immediate buying. I will take my time to evaluate and compare. Time is a factor which I have plenty of since I am way early in my perusal.
Physically, I will also visit my local shops to see what they have available. Providing that I find what I am looking for, this particular task becomes fun because again I am not under pressure to buy a gift straight away.
Tips: When you take the time to do your research, you will have great value for your money. Keep a close eye on the price tag especially if you are working on a budget here. Enter the value of the item at present time.
3rd STEP- Gift identification
The cards are now in your hands for you are well aware of what are available and what are not, where to find them and at what price. By now, you will have identified what you will be giving the kids and adolescence, for the most part anyway.
4th STEP-Wait for the right moment to buy
So you have your gifts in mind and down on paper. The right moment to buy will present themselves to you as special promotions or sales. This is important because it will leave more money in your pocket so make the most out of it.
This is my list:
|Dwayne||10yrs||Gemstone book, pocket microscope||$16/$13|
|Dayne||10yrs||Led sport watch, waterproof digital camera||$13/$40|
|Trisha||11yrs||Gift basket (Turning into a lady)||$30|
|Tera||11yrs||Gift basket (Turning into a lady)||$30|
|Leah||14yrs||Skateboard and accessories, waterproof shower speaker (She is into sport)||$58/$40|
|Jean-Luc||15yrs||Compression sleeves/socks, basketball lessons: understanding play callings (He is into basketball this year more precisely)||$14/$8/$10|
|Christy||16yrs||Spa gift basket (in line with her career choice)||$37|
So I will definitely be searching into the sport department and dainty lady’s stuff. Categories and price range are all sorted out.
The benefits of my list are such:
- You get to tick off the item once you’ve purchased it and wrapped it up.
- Your only job now is to put it under the Christmas tree or send it on its way to the desired recipient.
- I now have a clearer idea of my total cost for the gifts. My ideal price range is around $25-$40 for each child or teen.
- I can therefore better manage my spending.
- I get to buy the gifts early so that they don’t come out directly from my Christmas paycheck.
Take note; if I buy the above gifts when they are on promotion or sales, I will benefit on discounts.
I happen to live in a small community with close relatives nearby. Our family tradition is to get our children to come collect their Christmas gift under the Christmas tree at each houses since we live close by. It’s real fun to see them; kids and teens crossing the street with armful of gifts. If one of them is unable to come and collect on Christmas day, the gift will remain there under our tree until the owner is able to come for it.
This is my way of preparing a gift list but how do others go about with this? Let’s take a look.
Display a Christmas guide
Usually you will find lists of gifts that are appropriate for different age groups.
Catalog of Christmas gifts
This also provides numerous gifts ideas for you to browse through.
These are great for broad ideas. It usually requires lots of research on your part which is time-consuming at the last minute.
My way is more target specific, since you are addressing individual teen or child. It’s great also for classification so that when you do your shopping it will be easier to determine the categories of your gifts.
Tips: If you don’t have some reliable sources to know what the teen wants, the gift guide and catalog will provide you of ample of ideas.
My final thoughts
This is one great way to tackle Christmas gift list so that you don’t get overwhelmed at the very last minute. You get to cross this one off your Christmas to-do-list early.
Gone will be the feeling that it is not enough or that you could have done better gift wise. This gift lift preparation is how you can overcome such feeling.
Remember this is only to help you find another way to organize your gift issues. You don’t have to stick to every letter written here but you do need to take action to see results.
We should not let us get engulf with stress of gift giving specially to a teen. Preparation is the key here. It may have certain hiccups along the way but it will work far better than being unprepared.
It is never too late to start building a list. Whatever you jot down and could not be used this year, you can still make use of it next year.
Believe me it won’t be a waste of your time. So start building your Christmas list now. Now is the perfect time to start jotting down some great ideas before you lose track of them.
Thanking you for reading and feel free to chime in with your ideas below.