6 Tips That Will Get You Organized For Gift Giving This Chanukah
By: Itta Surie Wirtzberger, Lubicom Marketing Staff
The joy of unwrapping a box wrapped gift in shiny paper and ribbon never gets old. Chanukah is a time to give to our friends and loved ones, and we certainly love receiving presents. The prepping, planning, arranging, and decision making that goes into the gifts, however, can be pretty daunting.
With Chanukah just around the corner (gasp!!), here are some helpful tips for making the gift shopping experience less stressful and more enjoyable.
1. Create a budget (and stick to it)
Creating a budget before you start keeps things simpler while you’re shopping. The budget can be a total-cost limit, or you can make it more specific with a set amount per person.
Once in the store, stick to the relevant aisles. If a sales associate is helping you, let them know your budget. A budget will help keep things in check.
If you're purchasing at more than one store, using a Software like Mint can be very helpful. You’ll need to create the account first online before downloading their app. Create a specific budget titled Chanukah gifts and record each purchase individually. It makes checking your remaining balance and ensuring you stay within budget simple.
2. Stick to the List
It may be tempting to go to the store and wait for inspiration to appear from browsing, but it's best to create a list beforehand. Even if the list is for general items, like a personal care item, Playmobil kit, kitchen gadget, or an organizational thingamajig, it will keep you more focused and give you a better sense of direction.
3. Get kids involved in choosing the gifts
Get your kid’s input. Surprises are great, so don't ask them directly. Instead, make a fun Motzei Shabbat or winter night activity out of choosing what gifts your kids may want. Collect catalogs and flyers that have age-appropriate toys and gifts featured. (Think American Girl, Target, Playmobil, etc.) Have your kids circle the items they want - each child with a different color pen or in their catalog. You score a fun activity of keeping them entertained for the evening with dreams of what they will do with each item, and you now know what they want!
4. Spreadsheets shed light
No one wants to repeat a gift. Even with the best of intentions, you may forget from year to year and accidentally give the same gift twice. A spreadsheet can help to avoid this issue and organize your now well-thought-out gifts.
Create a new workbook titled Chanukah Gifts. Title the first sheet with the year - 2019 and create columns based on the information you want to keep.
Some examples include:
• Recipient's name
• What was gifted
• Place of purchase
• Amount Paid
Create an additional sheet titled 'ideas for next year' and record all those gift ideas you hear over Chanukah as people share what they received.
As next Chanukah approaches, you will have the information to compare from previous years and some ideas to give you a jump start on gift planning.
5. Creative gifts are welcome too
Gifting to couples can be a bit more challenging. Especially young couples who just got married and have a home filled with their wedding gifts. A creative idea is offering favors instead. Each couple comes prepared with a favor they will provide and swap at the party via an activity or game. Some ideas include sending dinner on a busy night, watching the kids for an afternoon, taking over their carpool duties for the week, etc.
Favors can be fun for the younger crowd too. Help with homework, being lunch buddies, returning library books in your stead, or just an ice cream treat together.
6. No need to rob the bank
The cost of giving all these gifts can add up pretty quickly. Once you remember to include all teachers, babysitters, and Rebbiem, etc. you’re often left to wonder how you’ll cover the exorbitant costs.
You may end up spending a decent amount, but giving gifts shouldn’t take all of your money. Keep tabs on the items you want to buy and look out for all the excellent sales around this time of year. Think Cyber Monday and holiday deals. Sign up to receive promotional emails from the sites you are most likely to use. Some offer a sign-up bonus with a coupon code, and you'll receive emails when their website or items go on sale.
Whatever you do, don't forget Chanukah time is special family time. Make it memorable. The gift won't be around forever, but the memories created will so make the time spent together magical.
Have a wonderful Chanukah! Happy shopping!