Making Three Lists and Checking Them A lot
List #3: Getting Gifts and Cards to the Right Place at the Right Time
Make a third list of tips or things you can do to make gift giving and card sending manageable. This is the list you want to check a lot! Keep it with you as a reminder that you can't and aren't expected to do it all and that shortcuts are quite all right during the busiest time of the year. This list might include the following. Be sure to add your own ideas, especially the ones you might forget about.
SENDING HOLIDAY CARDS:
- Send e-mail cards. They save on postage and are a lot of fun! Some Web sites are: bluemountain.com, greetings.yahoo.com, greeting-cards.com, egreetings.com, and regards.com. Use e-mail for party invitations too, instead of cards. Great invitations can be found at evite.com and bluemountain.com.
- Enter your holiday card list into a database (or export your Outlook, Palm or other address book) and do a mail merge for labels. Use a festive holiday looking script and colored font. Heck while you are at it, print out two sets of labels, so next year's is already done.
- If you send cards and do them by hand, pare down your recipients. Have cards/invitations, and stamps stored in a bag with handles, so you can grab it to-go. Write cards while waiting for an appointment or riding on the metro.
SHOPPING FOR, WRAPPING, AND SENDING GIFTS:
- Shop on-line or by catalog. Have gifts sent directly to your family and friends. You don't need a web address, just do a search for your favorite store and you are there in seconds with no traffic hassles or slippery roads!
- Hire a personal shopper if you can afford one. Some of the more upscale department stores, such as Macys, and independent sales representatives from companies such as Avon, supply this service.
- Know the favorite store of the person you are shopping for? Get them a store gift card. Since most gift cards can be used on-line, it makes a no-hassle gift to both give and receive. And don't forget teens love cash!
- Gift baskets and flowers are lovely to get and easy to send. Check out one of the following sites: nationwideflorists.com, 1800flowers.com, justflowers.com, emailflowers.com, hallmark.com and flowersonly.com. You can even send free virtual flowers from 800florals.com.
- Use gift bags instead of wrapping.
- Have gifts wrapped at the mall by a non-profit organization and feel good about the donation you make.
- If you insist on wrapping, do a gift wrapping supply inventory (gift-wrap, ribbons, tags, scotch tape, and boxes) early. Store everything in a large, simple cardboard box and keep it easily accessible during the season.
Now, look back on the lists and decide what you really don't like doing. Maybe your children are getting older and you don't really need to drag out the plastic Santa this year and wire it up on the roof. If everybody still wants Mr. Santa up there, then delegate, barter or beg to get it off your list. If no one else wants to do it either, then maybe it is time to change tradition and it is ok to change tradition.
This article comes from the November – December 2003 Issue of ADDitude.