Christmas Countdown Day 5: Start a Master Gift List!

Ready to "Think Christmas"? For most of us, those thoughts are likely turn to gifts and giving!

Who doesn't love the holiday custom of giving and receiving gifts? But holiday gift-giving also comes with a sting in the tail. Much as we love the custom, we also find it stressful!

A recent poll at our site showed that gift-buying topped our list as the "biggest holiday organization challenge". Whether it's anxiety over choosing the right gift, worries about staying within budget, or simple resentment of the time required to find, buy, wrap and deliver holiday gifts, the downside of holiday giving is enough to bring out the Scrooge in any of us.

How to speed the chore--and keep the joy in the giving? Today, we'll begin a Master Gift List: a decision-making platform for holiday gifts and giving.

To Do Today

Begin a Master Gift List

More than a simple “name-to-present” checklist, a Master Gift List is a power-giver’s tool of choice. As today's reading assignment explains, it’s the place to record gift suggestions, track shopping, wrapping and shipping, and track our giving from year to year.

The Master Gift List will be the start point for Gifts and Giving Week, so the time to begin one is now! Use a sheet of lined paper or print a free Master Gift List form to start your Master Gift List today.

Place the Master Gift List directly behind the Gifts divider in your Christmas planner for easy reference. The two of you are going to become very good friends in the weeks to come!

Gather gift-giving data with a Gift Ideas Planner

Making the list and checking it twice (with an eye to the budget!) is a job for the Master Gift List, but where do you go to remember a loved one's favorite color, clothing size, or preferred video game platform? Enter the Gift Ideas Planner!

Partner to the Master Gift List, a Gift Ideas Planner is the secret of those oh-so-marvelous gift-givers. Tracking information about the likes, preferences and clothing sizes of gift recipients, a Gift Ideas Planner captures--and keeps!--the small details that can turn a gift from delightful to dazzling!

Today, begin to list data for gift recipients on a gift ideas planner page. Reminding yourself of favorite colors, sizes and interests will help you cut through the shopping clamor and zero in on the perfect gift ... fast!

To Read Today

Get organized for holiday gifts and giving with a Master Gift List! Learn how--and why--keeping a Master Gift List cuts Christmas stress:

Master Gift List: A Holiday Shopper's Best Friend

Today's Recipe

almond chocolate toffee recipe

My brother John's favorite holiday candy is simple and scrumptious, buttery and crunchy: Almond-Chocolate Toffee.

Even novice candy cooks don't need to be afraid of this recipe! A few basic ingredients are simmered to sweet perfection; chocolate chips sprinkled onto the toffee's hot surface create a simple chocolate coating.

Poured into a disposable foil pan and wrapped whole, this delicious candy ships well; let the recipient break it into bite-sized pieces on arrival.

Almond-Chocolate Toffee

To Print Today

Master Gift List
Gift Ideas Planner

Holiday Plans: