Monday, December 9, 2013

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Holiday Gift Guides, a Free Printable Organizer, and More Tips for Managing the Holiday Madness! #HappyAllTheWay #shop #cbias


I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This Walgreens Holiday Gift Guide shop has been compensated as part of a #HappyAllTheWay social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

The Holidays are my favorite time of the year.  I can say that because (if you take blogging out of the equation) I have learned to keep Holiday stress to a minimum when it comes to organizing my Holiday shopping list and coming up with Christmas present ideas.  No, you cannot snap your fingers and suddenly have an unlimited budget for Holiday gifts, but there are some things that are within your control.  You may already do one or more of these things listed below, but, if you do all four, you can be on your way to having a low-stress Holiday where you can actually enjoy the Holiday season.

1.  Start your gift shopping earlier.  Notice, I did not say to start "early" because that s a relevant term.  I usually start my Holiday shopping during the summertime.  If you usually start 2 days before Christmas, try starting 2 weeks before Christmas instead.  You will be amazed at how much it will reduce your stress with every gift you check off your list.  This will eliminate having to run around to find suitable last minute Christmas gifts.  Also, the earlier you start, the more opportunities you will have to come up with more creative gifts.

2.  Keep your gift shopping list(s) organized.  Everyone should make a list of who they need to buy for and possible gift ideas for each person.  This is especially true if you have children.  Not only do gifts for teachers, bus drivers, babysitters, and others come along with having children, you also need to stuff stockings and buy the gifts from Santa in addition to the ones from yourself.  Every year, I make a special list for my children and it is set up exactly like the one below.  Feel free to print it out to use for your own family's shopping.

TO PRINT:  Make sure your printer is on and ready to print.  Click on the image to enlarge.  Then right-click and select print.  Use your browser's back button to return to this page.

I also make a similar list in my head for my husband because, although Santa does not leave a gift for him under the tree, he does stuff my husband's stocking.  I refuse to write any of it down because I know at least part of him likes to be surprised as much as our children do.

3.  Use Holiday Gift Guides as resources for unique gift ideas.  Starting at the beginning of November, you will be bombarded with gift guides left and right.  If you take the time to stop and actually look at them, you might find some creative gift ideas.  They are all free, so why not take a quick look?  For example, I picked up the Walgreens Holiday gift guide last week and was able to find some great gift ideas for teachers, our neighbors, my husband's co-workers, and for hostess gifts.

The Walgreens Holiday catalog can be found in-stores and online, and is full of unique pairings and other Walgreens Holiday solutions.  Be sure to grab one next time you're in your local Walgreens because there are tons of savings and bonus Balance Rewards Points in there!  That's how I discovered the Good & Delish premium snacks, chocolates, cookies, ice cream, nuts, and gourmet party snack ideas.  I had purchased Good & Delish cookies before, but I had no idea the line spanned multiple aisles across the store.  There are tons of decadent snack ideas that would make wonderful gifts.

4.  Buy one for them, pick up one for yourself.  Another way to keep Holiday stress in check is to reward yourself.  Let's face it, organizing, buying, and wrapping all those Holiday gifts is hard work and you should be rewarded.  I'm not saying this rule should apply to cashmere sweaters and tablet PCs (but if you can afford it, go for it!), however, a few little rewards can go a long way.  For example, I am putting together a gift basket for one of my children's teachers as her gift from the whole class.  I knew I wanted to include a personalized wall calendar with quotes from her students and a gift card.  Everything else was a little fuzzy until I saw the Good & Delish chocolates and other sweet treats in the Walgreens Holiday Guide.  I chose a variety of gourmet treats to include in the gift basket for our child's teacher and picked up an extra box of Raspberry Fruit Creme cookies and a pouch of Brittle Bites for myself.  Thanks to one of the ideas I found in the gift guide, I also picked up a bottle of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for her and one for myself.

What tips do you have for reducing stress during the Holidays?  I would love it if you shared your tips with me and other 3G2S readers!