Two Christmas Shopping Questions

This morning at work, I overheard a coworker discussing his family’s decision to forego the annual gift giving where each family member ends up getting another a gift card because they don’t know what else to buy them. Most of these gifts were for extended family members that don’t know each other all that well anymore, so no one knows what another would like.

Forget extended family, I struggle with my immediate family! I usually spend the two weeks before Christmas furiously texting family asking for gift ideas. How is it we can know people so well, but not know what to buy them? How can I go into big stores and have no idea what to buy?

This year, I’m trying a new strategy of simplifying and, though I know it’s not warm and fuzzy, I’m being methodical about it. I’m asking myself two questions about everyone. One, what do they like? And two, what do they need? Surely, if I start from these two places, I can come up with my lists.

I know what everyone on my list likes. I also know there are things everyone needs. (Yes, Mom, I need socks, just like every year). Instead of trying to come up with the best gift ever, I’m going to come up with the best gifts for this person at this time. Maybe next year I’ll use some handy note taking app throughout the year to write down anytime someone mentions something they’d like to have so I’m prepared for gift buying, but not this year.

This year, I’m all about enjoying the holiday when it arrives. Just like my post last week about being prepared with wrapping, this year I’m going to enjoy the gift buying process more by stressing about it less. This year, I’m actually writing down my list on paper in an intact notebook, not scraps here and there. And yes, because I’m absent minded and forget things, I’m checking it twice. Then I’m marking things off as I get them for each person. One checkmark means ordered, two mean it’s in my possession.

I’ll make these presents beautiful soon with my newly inspired wrapping intentions, but this week, I’m getting busy on buying. And as my guide I’m using those two questions - What do they like? What do they need?

With those two nuggets guiding my Amazon or other search, I’m finding this isn’t as tough as usual. And I’m also enjoying it a lot more.

Try it and let me know if it works for you. Happy shopping!