I use a variation on the packing tips that I have collected through the winning Tips & Tricks submissions to create my Christmas shopping each year.
First, I created a list entitled "Christmas". Within this list I have a task for each gift that I need to purchase. Some people will receive multiple gifts, and that number is placed in parentheses - e.g. Mom, Dad, Son (4). As new family members are added (by birth, marriage, etc), I can add them to this master list.
I don't ever check anyone off from this master list. Instead, each year, I create a new list for that year - i.e. "Christmas 2012". I duplicate all of the tasks in the master Christmas list and move them to the current year's list. I only work from the current year's list by checking off people for which I've already purchased a gift, adding notes about gift ideas for a particular person, or even what I bought for each person. The current year's list is easily customizable because I could add new people to the current shopping list if I get invited to an unexpected party OR if my family suddenly decides to do a Secret Santa gift exchange (instead of purchasing everyone a gift), I can delete individual family members that I no longer need to buy presents for.
At the end of the shopping season, I archive (rather than delete) the current year's shopping list. I don’t want old lists to clutter up my RTM list tabs, but I want to save my shopping lists for reference for several years to come. I can look back on who I actually ended up buying gifts for, how many gifts I bought for my kids that year, what I bought for an individual person (so I don't duplicate a gift), and what type of special gift exchanges we did with friends and family members - e.g. White Elephant or Secret Santa.
It is a perfect way to minimize my shopping frustrations during the hectic holiday season!
Posted at 2:06pm on November 26, 2012