Have an Awesome Christmas: Day Five - That List | Ms. Emily's Home for Full-Grown Nerds

Have an Awesome Christmas: The Lists

Now that you have your Christmas card list all in order, it’s time to tackle that gift list!

Have an Awesome Christmas: Day Five | Ms. Emily's Home for Full-Grown Nerds


The Recipients

Before I get to the gifts themselves, I like to make a list of everyone I’m going to be buying gifts for…with a budget for each person. Our Christmas situation is a little unusual in the fact that we don’t actually buy gifts for many people at all. Years ago, I chatted with several people in my life, and we all decided that exchanging gifts wasn’t a thing we needed to do…instead we would get together for dessert and coffee and enjoy each other’s company. Over the years, that tradition has changed a bit with various people, but we still skip the gift exchanging. This has helped cut down on the number of people I buy gifts for quite a bit! (And increases the time I get to spend with people I love.) 🙂 But there are still people who I do gift buying for, and I like to make a list of all the names as my very step in gift planning.

So, here are some people who you may need to consider when making your list:

  • Family – Of course there are any of those nifty people who live in the same house as you, but don’t forget any gift exchanging you do with other family.
  • Friends
  • Coworkers/members of groups you belong to
  • Teachers
  • Your kids’ friends/classmates
  • Those people who quietly make your life awesome – mail delivery people, piano teachers, guidance counselors at your kid’s school, unicorn wranglers…those sort of fabulous people
  • Charitable gifts – If you select an angel from an angel tree or “adopt” a family or anything of that nature, definitely include them on your list!

The Gifts

Now that you have your list of people, start listing those present ideas for each person…keeping your budget in mind, of course!

When I’m making my list, I sometimes skip the specifics and list a store instead, but only if there’s a store that the person in question adores. For example, I know I can always find things that my husband will adore at the Grand Asia Market in a nearby town, so I’ll just list the store with a budget amount.  This strategy may work for you if you’re having trouble thinking of something specific for someone.

Another alternative to consider for those awesome people who prowl around in the same house as you is having a “stocking only” Christmas. We’ve done this for the past couple of years, and it has worked out really well! All of our gifts fit in our stockings, and we take turns grabbing gifts from our giant socks and oohing and ahhing over them. 😀 (It means we spend zero money or time on gift wrapping for our Christmas morning fun…and the size of the stocking itself keeps us from getting too crazy with buying presents!)

However you choose to handle the gift giving fun, make sure that you have your list all complete and tidy…it helps so much in avoiding weird and uncomfortable situations where people get forgotten. (Because weird and uncomfortable situations are bad…especially if you’re already a pretty socially awkward person such as myself.) 😉

The Fuuuuuture

A nice way to deal with future Christmas gift lists is to start a new list at New Year’s (I suggest a digital style one that’s easy to modify and update) and keep it updated with great gift ideas for each person. When a loved one mentions that they’d love a pair of light-up flamingo slippers, you’ll be ready to make a note of that mess! 😀

That’s it

Making a Christmas list is pretty simple stuff (and possibly not even worthy of it’s very own post), but it is super-important for staying organized and calm and on-budget…and for keeping your Christmas ninja status!


Looking for one spot for all of the Christmas posts from Ms. Emily’s Home for Full-Grown Nerds? I have a page for that!


What about you? Do you keep a list all year for gift ideas or make one right around now or fly by the seat of your pants with gift giving? Have you ever had a horrible experience with forgetting to buy a gift for someone? (If so, I’m ever-so-sorry!) Do you skip gift giving completely? 

11 thoughts on “Have an Awesome Christmas: The Lists

  1. kimicalreaction says:

    I try to send myself emails with gift ideas when they occur to me and then I do a search for subject line “Christmas Presents”…I’m sure there is a much more organized way to do it but it works pretty well.

    Our family has decided to cut back our typically extravagant gifting this year – we drew names for the first time instead of everyone getting presents for everyone. It takes the pressure off of family members who are budgeting and places the emphasis on the occasion and spending time together. Of course, we’re mostly all grown – only two littles and they are exempt from the one gift rule. 🙂

    Loving your new series – very helpful advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fullgrownnerd says:

      Oh, the email thing is a great idea! I sometimes text myself, but email would be much easier to search later.

      I’ve always been a fan of the drawing names concept…based on the things you’ve shared of your family get togethers, y’all will have an amazing time even if there isn’t a single gift! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. carolaadamsrnbc says:

    Gift giving is a thing of the past. I used to give everyone my special chocolate covered peanut butter balls. But with time being precious that has become a thing of the past also.

    I really like your idea of spending time with those you care about. And I love this series. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. larva225 says:

    This year is different for me. I think it was all the chaos from the August flooding, but typically by October I’ll be 60-70% done shopping. I squirrel things away during the year that I think people would like. This year I’m behind and stressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kaycreate says:

    With December being a madhouse for us, I aim to get all my Christmas shopping done by the end of November (excluding stocking stuffers). So far it’s been a great system! It’s nice to have that one less thing to worry about. And I am DEFINITELY a lister – I make out lists for all my gift shopping needs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • fullgrownnerd says:

      Woot for lists! 😀 If I had two birthdays in my house right around Christmas, I think I would be papering the walls with lists to keep from going crazy. 😉

      I like to have all of my shopping done pretty early, too…other than an online purchase I haven’t made yet, I’m all finished up with gift purchases. 🙂


  5. laurascrochetedgifts says:

    I love to bake. I go crazy at Christmas. I bake 20 dozen cookies or so, plus make fudge and Chex Mix. I make up boxes for my hubby’s clients and co-workers. This year I get to make boxes for my daughter’s enrichment teachers, too. I also pass out cookies to the neighbors, “mail guy” (as my son calls him), and anyone else to whom I wish to spread holiday cheer. I am actually ahead of the game, present-wise, this year, due to a couple kid-free shopping trips before Thanksgiving. For the first time in years, I am not feeling panicked yet over my lack of Christmas preparation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fullgrownnerd says:

      I’m suddenly wishing I lived a lot closer to the 20 dozen cookies! 😀 That is seriously a lot of cookies. Wow! (I made 5 dozen cookies a couple of weeks ago, and I was really, really done with cookie baking after just that amount.) 😉 I love the idea of giving boxes of baked goods. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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