Holiday Organization

I use a spreadsheet to keep holiday shopping for my ever-expanding family simple and efficient. I add a new tab for each year, and keep the old ones so that I never repeat a gift – and so that we can track how much we spend on holiday gifts each year.

Only the yellow areas of the spreadsheet are fillable; the green fields are auto-calculated.  I’ve set this up in the way that works for me: I give myself a total anticipated budget for everything, and then assign an individual budget for each person or couple on the list. Then, as I’m shopping, I put everything I find into the spreadsheet, adding rows as necessary. Once I’ve found potential gifts for everyone, I go over the list and decide on a final gift(s) for each person. The ones I don’t choose are deleted (although sometimes I take notes on what they were, in case I want to get them for next year or a birthday), and then I go ahead and buy the things I’ve picked.

To keep track of my many purchases and the multitude of boxes arriving at my door daily, I have columns for purchase date and date the item was received; because I’m a bit of a control freak, I also have a column for the date the item was wrapped.

Obviously, you can take this spreadsheet and make it your own in many ways – don’t feel burdened by my method! But it’s a pretty great starting point if you want to start getting organized about your holiday shopping. You can see what it looks like below, and click the button below the image to download the template for yourself in XLS format! Happy shopping, spreadsheet nerds!