Make a gift list (Day 4 of 31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas)

31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas - large

This post is part of a series – “31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas”. You can read all the posts in the series here.  And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can subscribe to have every post delivered to your inbox, or follow me on facebook.

Day 4 - Make a gift list

So yesterday we talked about setting a budget for Christmas – you can go back and read that post here.  But in order to set a budget, whether you do it for the whole holiday or per person for gifts, you are going to need a gift list.

Here’s some tips on making a gift list.

Make your list EARLY in the season – October or early November.  So that is going to be your homework for today.  Write down every person you need to buy a gift for this Christmas – immediate family, extended family, teachers, hostesses, neighbors, etc.  And I really want you to do it NOW.  Don’t wait until November or Black Friday.

How to organize your list.  I made my gift list this week.  I start with writing down the name of every person I need to give to or want to give a gift to.  Even people like teachers or neighbors and even if I plan on giving them baked goods.  I usually shop throughout the year (more on that later) so if I have already purchased something for someone on my list I write that beside their name.  If I am done with person – I cross through their name or check it off.  Then I can clearly see who I still need to shop for before Christmas.  If I have an idea of what I want to make/buy/bake for a person I make a note of that too.  That is what works for me and how my brain works. 🙂  So you organize and make your list however works best for YOU. 

Paper list vs. Phone/online list.  Where you write this down is up to you.  I have done paper lists and then tucked that card into my purse so I have it with me all the time.  But last year and this year I have saved it on my phone.  I love and use Google Drive/Docs a lot so I save my list in there so I can access it on my phone and my computer.  If you have an iPhone you could also save it in your notes app.

Use an app to manage your list.  I also did a search in iTunes and found some free apps you could even download to save/manage your gift list.  I downloaded “The Christmas Gift List” and “No More Socks” apps and will see if I like them.

Free printable lists.  If you want some cute printable options here’s a few I found (click on the image to print)


Christmas Gift List Planner Red and Blue

Holiday Gift Shopping List - 1


I love this one by Becky at Organizing Made Fun because you can track your budget, gifts and if they are are wrapped/mailed all in one list.


We will talk more about simplifying Christmas by simplifying our gift list and also about ideas about Christmas and kids later in the series.  So your list may change but I want you to work on rough draft now so you can see where you are in your progress.

So tell me did you make your list?  What is your progress?  Still have to shop for everything or have you completed some of your shopping already?  I am about 40% done.  BUT a lot of what I have left to do is baking and making homemade gifts.


  1. Cheryl MacKay says:

    Oh… I have always lacked a christmas list. I just go out and see if something appeals to me. I suppose that is my downfall.

    Today, I will put the list in my phone… and use it! (stick with it too. )

    • I love lists 🙂 I would probably buy two gifts for everyone if I didn’t cause I would forget what I bought 🙂

  2. This will be my 4th year using a gift list for Christmas. I have saved mine as a document in Word, but then I can’t take the list with me while I shop. I’m going to try one of the apps you suggested. Thanks for sharing!
    Emily recently posted..Being Mom is EnoughMy Profile

    • Before the age of smartphones I would save mine in word too or google docs and just print it and tuck it in my purse 🙂

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