January 5, 2015
12 Months of Gathering…for the BEST Gift Giving Ever!
Another Christmas season has come and gone. As I take down the tinsel, box up the ornaments, and pack away my Christmas decorations, I reminisce on this past season of joy and giving. This Christmas was very special because of a crazy thought I had last January. I love Christmas and one of my favorite parts of gift giving and receiving is stuffing stockings. My mom has always filled stockings for us kids and I just love all the little gifts that make up one big gift on Christmas morning!
This concept of little gifts got me thinking, and it led me to a year full of thoughtful gathering that I could share with my family on Christmas. It took some time, commitment and a little bit of luck but I had the most enjoyable Christmas shopping season ever. If you like thrifting, thoughtful gifts, dodging the Christmas shopping hustle, and bargains…this just might be the best idea for you!
Here’s what I did. In early January, I set a budget of how much I wanted to spend on each family member. I decided my budget would be $50 per person. I took that number and divided it by 12. Why 12, you ask? Because there are 12 months in the year and I wanted to spread out my shopping. That gave me around a $4 limit per person, per month. With that in mind, I created a spread sheet with the names of my family members and the months listed out. That way I could keep track of my spending and remind myself what I had purchased. To be honest, by the time you get to December you might forget what gifts you bought in January! Find a spot that you can keep all of your gifts together. Once you have space set aside, you are ready to shop. I recommend setting aside one day a month to thrift. It is my hope that your gifts will find you, like mine found me. As if they were placed on the shelf for me to buy. I found gifts that were practical, funny, wearable and educational. Things that might have never been asked for but have always been wanted! As the year progressed and got closer to Christmas, I reviewed my spread sheet and found that my savings were incredible. With all the money I saved, I purchased cute wrapping paper, tags, ribbon, twine and boxes and still came in under budget. On the night we opened gifts, I wanted to preface the gift opening with the story of what I had worked on all year. In tru Katie Driver fashion, I wrote a poem to read right before they opening the gifts (Ilove writing poems to include with my gifts…just ask my family).
It was a great year of thrifting, gathering and giving. This idea was definitely a winner in my book. It is my hope that you will join me this year and use this idea of “12 Months of Gathering…for the BEST Gift Giving Ever!”.
Join me tomorrow on my blog (link below) where I am sharing with you the ins and outs of thrifting. I have all your questions covered in this blog post that will help you become a better thriftier and make this gift giving more successful. I am also sharing with you a sample spreadsheet and the poem I wrote for this project. Don’t miss it!
Then on January 6th, for my last post of this series, I am sharing with you my favorite thrift stores around the Twin Cities area.
Katie Driver, The Uncommon Creative Studio