How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

Hi, friends!

We are officially at the mid-way point of November! Whether you started embracing the Christmas spirit before Halloween, once Halloween ended, or you’re waiting until after Thanksgiving, one thing is for sure: now is the time to start figuring out your Christmas gift list! Even if you’re a last-minute shopper, now is the perfect time to start thinking of who you need to buy for and brainstorming some gift ideas!

I LOVE gift giving and surprising friends and loved ones with gifts tailored just for them and planning out my list helps me get squared away before the crazy shopping ensues! If you’re not a planner by nature, don’t despair! I’m here to share a few tips and tricks with you to help you kickstart the organization of your gift list to make your holiday shopping painless!

List your people

The first step in organizing your holiday gift list is writing out who you need to buy for! Start by just writing out all the people you can think of that you typically buy for in a season- family, friends, co-workers, significant others, etc. I like to separate my list into categories, so feel free to make your own categories as such if you like to see them separated! And remember, you can always add people to your list or downsize. This is just a preliminary list, no need to be locked into it!

Talk to your friends about gifting

This step is important in your gifting process, especially for younger people i.e. college students, recent grads, etc. I can tell you firsthand that gifting as a young adult is hard! I always feel like I want to shower my friends and family with the best of the best, but my wallet says otherwise! Because you and your friends will more than likely be floating in that boat together, ASK your friends and loved ones 1. If you will be exchanging gifts this year and 2. If so, should we set a spending budget. This is something that I adopted with many of my friends in college that we are still practicing now! Being up front and asking if they would still like to exchange gifts for the holiday opens up a conversation, and setting a spending limit ensures that one person is not spending a ton of money while the other stays within THEIR budget. Make sense? Exchanging gifts or exchanging extravagant gifts DOES NOT define your friendship or relationship. The holidays can be tough, so it is important to work within YOUR means!

Consider your funds, create an overall budget, and individual spending budgets

This step branches off the previous one just a bit! As I said, for most young people, spending around the holidays can be nerve wracking! The best way to combat this feeling to the best of your ability is to consider your funds and your budget before you jump into shopping. Once you’re out and about in stores, it can be easy to veer off course and spend more than you bargained for, which ultimately will just leave you a stressed out place once the shopping is over. We want to avoid that! While we LOVE our friends and loved ones, you don’t want to shell out every penny you’ve got on presents when chances are good you will have expenses to cover! Start by:

  • Talking to with your people and setting your spending limits with one another
  • If you don’t have that discussion with your peeps, try to assign spending budgets for each person on your gift list. Like I said, I know you might want to give your loved ones the world, but we must be realistic with our funds- especially this season!
  • Tally up the maximum amounts you’ve assigned to each person to figure out your maximum budget for your holiday spending. This will be a great framework to start your shopping with! Do keep in mind that you’ve calculated your MAXIMUM budget. Those are the walls in which you should aim to stay, and there is nothing wrong with coming out underbudget! Leave yourself a little bit of wiggle room though, as we all know that one extra person always seems to slip our minds in the craziness of the season!

Do your research, get ideas together!

Now that your gift list is a bit more solid, the fun can begin! Take a look at your list and start brainstorming some gift ideas for your people! Something else you can do that I have done in the past is ask your people to list maybe 5 things they want or need this season. If you’re feeling completely stuck, this will help provide a little insight into how they are thinking! Don’t be afraid to ask if there is anything they want or anything they need. This will help you formulate ideas that are a bit more personal and tailored to the person you’re shopping for!

Google, Instagram, and Pinterest are your friends! SO many bloggers and influencers put together gift idea lists and posts- the resources are endless! Chances are good that if you search it, you’ll find a resource on it! *Don’t forget to keep your receipts and get gift receipts if you can!*

Gather up your gift bags/wrappings so you can clearly separate your gifts and see what you’ve got

As you’re shopping, if you’re interested, gather up your gift bags/boxes/tags too! Sometimes, the wrapping can be TOTALLY part of the present! I love to put gifts in those cute decorative boxes from T.J. Maxx or Michael’s, then they can repurpose them for whatever they’d like later on! Having your wrappings early will also help you separate your gifts so you can clearly see who you already bought for, what you’ve gotten them, and if you are missing anything! Dedicate one box/bag/space in your closet for your present area so that everything can stay in one place and your gifts aren’t all over the place! When the time comes to pull out your goodies, you’ll be so relieved to have it organized and separated all in one place.


If you’re still looking for some overall organizational help for this month and heading into December, my November & December 2-Pack Bullet Journal Templates are available for purchase on my homepage! If you’re looking to purchase a template for ONLY December, click HERE! (P.S. the templates make the perfect, downloadable holiday gift!)

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

I know, all my “Christmas after Thanksgiving” peeps are probably going to cringe at me saying ALL of this, but now you are ready to kick start your holiday shopping! Most of these steps can be completed in the coming weeks, your preliminary work can all happen BEFORE Thanksgiving so the minute you finish your Thanksgiving dinner, you can head out to the store and make holiday shopping your you-know-what!

Next week, we’ve got our November Passions Piece Feature, then our Monthly Minute at the end of the month, then get yourself ready for some more organizational, holiday content!

Lots of love! xo

~ Ang

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