I am not a very good gift giver. It is agonizingly difficult for me to come up with good gifts for people. You can imagine that Christmas can be somewhat stressful for me. . .
In order to combat this and in order to keep from spending a fortune when December rolls around, I begin a list in Google Docs (how did anyone LIVE before Google Docs? I have no idea) of all the people I will be buying Christmas gifts for.
Then, as I think of brilliant gift ideas or see something that might make a good gift, I list them under the person (or family's name).
With that list in place, I'm now ready to not spend a fortune because I can take advantage of sales or coupons for six months beforehand. If I discover the perfect book for my father-in-law, I can wait until Borders or Barnes & Noble sends me a great coupon. I can pay for the very cheapest shipping because I'm not in a hurry.
It's a delightful system that made last year a far better Christmas, both for my own peace of mind and for my wallet.
What do you do to keep Christmas gift costs manageable?