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Are you in the process of shopping for Christmas gifts? Are you ready to buy something for that special someone as well as everybody else on your list? If so, you are not alone. This is the time of the year when people begin to shop around.

Tip: the sooner you begin to shop for Christmas gifts the less stress you will put on yourself.

Some people keep a Christmas gift list “in their head.” While this may work if you only have one or two people on your list, most people find that they need to be more organized. For this reason, they make a hard copy list that stays with them through the holidays.
It is one thing to say that you are going to make a list. It is another thing entirely to include all the appropriate information on the list.

Here are five details that you should focus on:

1. People to buy for. A list is not a list unless you write down who you are buying for. This should include everybody in your life, from your friends to your family to your coworkers. If you need to buy a gift for somebody, make sure his or her name appears on your master list.

2. Overall budget. How much can you afford to spend in total on Christmas gifts this year? This number should be written somewhere on your list, preferably in a prominent location.

3. Individual budget. Let’s face it: you are not going to spend as much money on a coworker as you would your spouse. You should list out a basic idea of how much money you want to spend on each individual. This will keep you in line as you shop for the perfect gift. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself running out of money as you reach the bottom of your list.

4. Gift ideas. For some people, you may know exactly what you want to buy. For others, you may only have a basic idea. And of course, there are those for which you don’t know where to start. If possible, write down a gift idea for everybody on your list. This may not be simple, but it will give you a jumping off point.

5. Timeline. Some people may say that this is going overboard, but it can definitely help you stay on track. Do you really want to find yourself shopping for gifts the day before Christmas? Of course not. When you set a timeline, you have a much better chance of completing all your shopping well in advance of the holiday itself.

Many people enjoy shopping for Christmas gifts. In fact, they would rather give than receive. When the time comes for you to start shopping, make sure you have a detailed list in hand. This will make the entire process more enjoyable while helping you avoid unnecessary stress. Not to mention the fact that it will allow you to buy the best possible gifts.