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Shopping List Tips

Colleen Dowd
Shopping List Tips
Grab your smartphone and get typing: Here’s everyone you’ll present a present to this holiday season.

Your significant other or spouse: Of course you remember. But put the name on your shopping list anyway.

Your significant other or spouse, again—if he or she is also a parent: If the kids are young, take them to select something for your spouse or partner. If they’re older, remind them to shop and offer to help them brainstorm gift ideas.

Your mom & dad: Unless you’re looking to be reminded about how you forgot until…forever.

Your parents again—if they are also grandparents: Don’t forget grandma and grandpa! Help your kids focus on their grandparents’ hobbies when you’re selecting gifts—e.g., Grandpa likes to fish, golf, and read, and Grandma likes to knit, go to the movies, and play cards—and you’re also helping everyone get to know each other better.

Your own grandparents: Experiences that you can share with elderly relatives are great gifts. Offer a trip to go shopping, or pick up one of their favorite foods or drinks as a gift you can enjoy together.

Your kids: Chances are the kids will tell you exactly what they want, so you won’t need too much inspiration. If you’re buying for more than one child, double check when you’ve finished shopping to make sure the gift distribution is fair.

Extended family: However your family usually handles the holidays—drawing names, buying for everyone, just buying for pre-teens and younger—add those people to your list. If you are buying for a child who is not your own, you may want to get approval on your gift idea from their parents before you purchase.

Teachers: Give your children’s teachers a small token of appreciation during the holidays. Have your children help you pick out a present they think the teacher would like.

Coworkers: Check the company policy, and if it’s allowed and you have a coworker you’re close with, go ahead and get them a small something during this time.

Bosses: Ask around to find out how gifting usually goes at your office, and if it’s okay, you may want to get your boss a present. Keep it modest and avoid getting anything that might be too personal for a business environment.

Friends: Have a group of great friends? Make a quick run through Facebook or your email inbox to prevent anyone from slipping off your gift-giving radar. You could opt to exchange gifts, or simply get together for a low-key holiday celebration instead.

Service People: Don’t forget those people who help you throughout the year, like your babysitter, dog walker, cleaning person, doorman, nail person, mail person, hair person, etc. You can give them anything from larger tip to homemade baked goods.

Ok, Santa—you’ve made your list. Now, check it twice and get shopping!

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