How I Plan for Gift Buying, Budgeting and Shopping

Gift shopping can be super overwhelming and, to be honest with you, we have barely started. I’m pretty sure we’ve crossed 2 people off of our list and I bought myself a stocking stuffer yesterday (because I’m in charge of all stocking stuffers this year and it was on sale!).

Make A List

Or, if you’re crazy like we are, you make a color-coded spreadsheet.

Seriously, that’s what Clint and I did over the weekend and it actually really helped. I did a separate section for each of our kids, a cousin column and a stocking column for Clint and I (which I’m in charge of all of this year). I also kept a column for costs so that we can tell how much we’re spending on each child and on each other 

Make A Deal

With our sisters, we’ve agreed to all spend a certain amount on each child for birthdays and Christmas. This makes it easy for all of us and sets expectations for what everyone will spend, so everyone at least is close to being on the same page with spend. We try to get as close as we can do the allotted budget for each kid with shipping, etc. 

Come Up with Ideas

It’s hard to keep up with what our own kids have, let alone keep up with cousins and friends.  My sisters-in-law could probably say I haven’t been super helpful on this front this year (because I’m seriously lacking for ideas!) it’s helpful to at least give some general ideas as to what the kids want or need. At the very least, I can say that Jackson is into dinosaurs and books, and Dylan is Spider-Man obsessed (as you’ve seen on my Instagram).

Plan Ahead & Be Reasonable

The boys’ birthdays are in February, so we know there is another round of gifting ahead of us, so we try to save some ideas for those. We also have a big trip coming up after Christmas, so we’ve tried to convince ourselves that we can go light on Christmas gifts because they’ll completely forget about them when they find out about this.

My trick for this is also going to be to wrap each and every thing individually. That way it looks like MORE presents when it’s really not. We also try to remember that the kids don’t necessarily care how much we spent or how big of a Christmas it appears to be. They want to celebrate, they want things to open and that’s it. A lot more of it is about the traditions and fun things happening around present time, not just present time itself.

For some more kid gift ideas, check out this year’s Kids Gift Guide! I tried to include not only gifts, but experiences and other ideas too! 

Shop the Post

Amazon Sweater // Good American Jeans // Lisi Lerch Earrings

See my office details in this post.

Photos thanks to Eleven Creative.


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