I’m a list person.
Grocery lists, to-do lists, packing lists - any way I can feel more organized and obtain a sense of accomplishment by crossing something off on a list of things I need to do, I’m all about it. I guess it’s my perfectionist side coming through.
When it comes to Christmas, the lists reign. As someone who already juggles a hectic schedule, a full-time job and a three-ring circus known as my three kids, husband and two dogs - I can’t get through the holidays in one piece without a little digital intervention. That means using an app that not only tracks who I have to buy gifts for and organizes them into groups (husband’s family, my side of the family, neighbors, friends and teachers) but I also use an app that tracks how much I spend, what I buy and where, and whether the gifts have been bought, wrapped or given.
Do you do a lot of charitable, end-of-the-year donations? An app can track that list, too.
As a list person, having this organization at my fingertips makes my heart sing. Want to know how much progress I’ve made on Christmas shopping? It gives me pie charts. Not sure how much time left until Dec. 25? The app tells me, each time I open it, not only how many days are left until the holiday, but how much progress I’ve made or how much I have left to do.
Gone are the days where I hunt through stores on Black Friday looking for deals or scavenge through the hordes of people at the mall later in December. Instead, I started ordering most everything online, keeping track with purchases through my app.
In November, our family members text us Christmas lists of suggested gift items and we respond with our own lists and often shopping can be done within a matter of hours and a few different websites.
How very millennial, I guess.
A friend of mine recently got on a social media soapbox to criticize the use of holiday gift lists among adults. I get that it can seem grabby or greedy. But we don’t go overboard. We don’t buy extravagant gifts. For my kids, we focus on one large toy gift, plus something to read and something to wear.
But when it comes to family, I’d much rather get my mother-in-law or my sister something they’d enjoy or something they needed - and that goes both ways.
Nothing wrong with lists in my book. Now one more thing to mark off my to-do list.
To stay more organized this holiday season, here are a few tips from Organizedmom.net:
• Use a holiday planner, which can help you keep details straight, from upcoming events to holiday shopping. Avoid the stress of trying to keep it all in your head and avoid forgotten gifts or other holiday mishaps.
• Set up an area for gift storage and gift wrapping, and make sure you have plenty of space. Keeping everything in one area will reduce the likelihood that you forget where you’ve hidden your presents.
• Prioritize your time. Don’t overschedule yourself. Instead, choose events that are most meaningful for your family and schedule downtime, if needed.
• Make a plan for holiday cleanup. Cleaning up all the wrapping paper, dirty dishes and other meds can be overwhelming. Make a plan ahead of time to avoid the stress.
Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reach her at email@example.com.
The Mom Stop: Making a list and checking it twice
I’m a list person.