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Gift Giving Made (A Little) Easier.

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by: Suzanne Davidson

So, you dread the thought of having to buy gifts for Christmas. Friend or family member has a birthday or anniversary coming up, and you still don't have a gift? Well, we?ve all been there and done that. None of us want to do it again. Yet we always seem to be in the same sorry spot each year. As Mark Twain said: ?Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.? That may be great advice for yard work, but it?s terrible advice for gift giving. Waiting too late to buy gifts can cause several problems, including stress, choosing less than stellar gifts and experiencing holiday shopping misery. Let?s look at several ways to avoid those problems.

1: Start thinking of gift giving as a regular part of your day-to-day life. Don't think of it as a rare, necessary evil. You need to adopt a new mindset: one that tells you that any day could be a great day to find that perfect gift for family or friend. Once you get in that frame of mind, there are several things you should do to make gift giving fun for you and great for the recipient:

2: Make a list of the people you exchange gifts with and a calendar of the dates you expect to give them gifts. When you receive an invitation to a wedding or party, mark that date on your gift calendar. This will help you get organized, which is usually the first step in any worthwhile endeavor.

3: Keep that list in a handy, convenient place in your home or carry it with you. That way you can easily access it when you need it.

4: Have an idea? It?s funny how you'll get one right after holidays, birthdays or other gift-giving occasions. Of course, by this time you have spent quite a bit of time thinking about your gift(s). When you have an idea, write it down on the handy list mentioned above, so you'll be one step ahead of the game next year!

5: Listen year-round for that friend or family member to say or do something that tips you off to the perfect gift! When you pick up on it, you'll have a place to write it down. This will help you buy that just-right gift and prevent gift panic, or worse, the dreaded Christmas rush.

6: Buy the great gift you just wrote down! There is absolutely no reason to wait to buy a gift for any occasion if you have an inspirational (or just good) idea, unless you think it may later go on sale. Otherwise, buy that gift as soon as you can! To make gift buying even easier, buy your gifts online and have them shipped to you. In many cases you can even have them wrapped for you by the merchant.

7: Buy a generous gift WITHIN YOUR BUDGET! Two things you want to avoid, in decreasing order of importance: being seen as a cheapskate (or worse, having no gift); or going overboard on a gift, which usually means spending more than you can afford and probably making the recipient uncomfortable. It?s also easy to spend too much on someone (like your spouse or kids) and then find that you have little or nothing for other important people in your life (like your parents, siblings or friends). So set a budget for your gift buying and stick with it.

8: Once you?ve purchased your gift(s), you need to have a place to put it (or them). So, make room in your house, apartment, condo or whatever, and create a gift closet. Keep it stocked with the great gifts that you wrote down on your handy gift list and then purchased (within your budget).

Presto! You will suddenly rise to the occasion with a great gift, or an armful of great gifts, and you and your recipient(s) will be much happier for it.

?Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.? ~ Babatunde Olatunji

About the author:
Suzanne Davidson works in Marketing, Event Planning and Community Relations. She is the author and owner of the www.thegiftgenie.comwebsite.

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