How to Create a Gift-Giving Battle Plan

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Kalyn at Creative Savings.

How to Create a Gift-Giving Battle Plan at

Why do we make shopping for Christmas gifts such a pain-staking and difficult process? Is it the pressure? The prices? The stress of adding yet one more thing to our already massive to-do lists and jam-packed calendar?

The thing is, gift-giving is not that hard.

Sure, brainstorming, shopping, wrapping, and giving gifts might sound like a complicated process in the beginning, but once you break it down into an organized and simple approach {aka a Gift-Giving Battle Plan}, it will soon become second-nature to you!

Here’s how to take that first step and launch a tried-and-true plan of attack.

1. Make a list and check it twice

Think through family, friends, teachers, and coworkers, and decide who should land on that nice list of yours. I like to separate mine into who I need to buy for, and who I’d like to buy for. Then I can ration my budget among those who are a definite yes, and see what money I have left over for others.

Don’t feel like you have to buy for everyone. Each year, it seems like my list grows by leaps and bounds! Decide now how much you will and won’t do, then stick to your plan without feeling guilty.

2. Create a budget

As you create your “to-buy-for” list, make a small note by each name with how much you are willing to spend. Not everyone can afford a $40-$50 gift, and that’s okay! A lot of creative things can be done with $20 or less.

Do what you feel comfortable with, and don’t let emotions take control when you struggle to stay within your budget. You are going to feel so good come January when you don’t have to pay a massive credit card bill!


3. Brainstorm ideas

This is the fun part! Why? Because you don’t need to put in a ton of effort to find the perfect gift. All it takes is a little creativity, and a desire to really know the person you are buying for. Think back to your previous conversations – what did he/she enjoy talking about? Was there a need involved? Maybe a favorite past-time? Use this knowledge to pick out an awesome gift.

If you still struggle with this part, you can download the 2014 Frugal Gift Guide which has my best gifting picks based on all personality types. You’re sure to find something in there friends and family will love!

4. Decide how you’ll shop

Some people love braving Holiday crowds, while others prefer to shop in the comfort of their own home. I always like to see what I can get online first, before heading out to the store to finish off my list. That way, I’m not wasting time going back and forth. I also don’t get caught ordering something 3 days before Christmas hoping it will arrive on time!

Do what is most convenient and less stressful to you, but if you do go out, remember it’s much easier to shop on a weekday than any weekend leading up to Christmas!


5. Set up a wrapping station

Even though there are tons of pretty pictures on Pinterest, a wrapping station does not have to be pretty or professional — it might even be a guest room, or an out-of-the-way area, such as a den, or hallway closet. You just need a catch-all spot to store all your supplies and bags of gifts.

Make sure you have scissors, tape, and markers at the ready too. I hate sitting down to wrap and realize I don’t have my supplies within grabbing distance. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to buy a separate set to keep at your station all year round.

6. Keep receipts organized

Create a Christmas receipts folder or envelope to collect those slips of paper that can easily get lost during the busy season. This is so you can keep track of your spending, and make it easier for someone to return one of your gifts. Which, if you picked out the perfect gift {see above}, that hopefully won’t be a problem!

Still, you’ll want to stay organized just in case, and it sure beats having them scattered in all sorts of different shopping bags or stuffed in the dark corner of that Mary Poppins-like purse……Ahem.


7. Schedule a wrapping day

My favorite part of the Christmas season is wrapping gifts. I don’t know why I love it so much, I just do!

Look at your calendar and pick out a wrapping day in advance, then put on some Christmas music and work your pretty package magic. I like to choose a different colored wrapping paper for each family to keep things organized, which also makes it much faster to search for specific gifts when we’re getting ready for an exchange.

Ready to conquer Christmas gifting?

Now that you’re armed with this 7 step battle plan, it’s time to start checking off that list. It’s a good thing too…..because Christmas is coming…!

When do you start shopping for Christmas gifts?

How to Create a Gift-Giving Battle Plan


Kalyn Brooke is a full-time writer and blogger at, where she gives a fresh perspective on frugal living, and the kick-in-the-pants you need to create a budget from scratch. She lives in beautiful Southwest Florida with her news-photographer husband and the most adorable bunny you’ve ever seen. She loves making to-do lists, reading good books, eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and pursuing big dreams….all carefully planned out, of course.

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Holidays


2 Responses to How to Create a Gift-Giving Battle Plan

  1. 1
    Emma Jardine says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article. It’s so right. People get very stressed about gifts.
    Personally I do a whole load of shopping in the Christmas sales for the following year. If I find anything that I think is really right for someone, I’ll grab it. Then it can be either a birthday or a christmas gift. I also grab a whole bunch of gift sets for bath stuff. Yes, it’s a bit of a cliche, but if it’s really nice stuff, that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford, it really looks good. And it takes a lot of the pressure off, if you realise that a birthday is closer than you’d realised to have a selection of things you can just go to and pull something out, wrap it up and send it.
    And if you can’t afford to buy presents for everyone this year. Buy 5 or 10 this year, then next year you’ll have a little more money to play with, and maybe you’ll be able to afford 10 or 15 or 20 gifts.

    • 1.1
      Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings says

      That’s a great idea to grab gifts as you see them throughout the year! Because you’re right, you can always use them for SOMEONE! :)


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