In all the hustle and bustle it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Here are five ideas for simplifying the gift-giving process.

Pick a theme.

When you’re buying for a bunch, whether the girls in your Bible study or a slew of cousins, think theme. Each year my sister gives our eight teenage/young adult cousins (all boys) a variation of the same gift: scarves, gloves, ski-masks, etc. Once she figures out what she’s giving, she sticks with it for all—only changing patterns and sizes to fit each fella.

Make it and take it.

Homemade and handmade always win! From mason jars of soup mix to sweet treats, one day in the kitchen can knock out a multitude of gifts!

The Scent of Christmas

Our friend, Sarah, made these simmering potpourri packages for her neighbors! Check out the link for instructions!

Get specific.

The classic want-need-wear-read method keeps the list from snowballing. By choosing an item or two for each category, the guesswork is gone.

Stop playing fair. 

It’s tempting to spend the exact same amount of money on children when you’re buying for family—you have to be fair, right?

Last year I sprang for Taylor Swift tickets. Confession: It was a semi-selfish purchase. I wanted to go badly. I could think of no one who would enjoy it more than my 9-year-old friend, Lainey. Since I celebrate Christmas with her family each year, I decided to give her a ticket. Her 12-year-old brother would have absolutely nothing to do with T-Swift. What 12-year-old boy would? But movies are his love-language. A gift card and the promise to accompany him to the movie of his choice at any point throughout the year was worth more than the price tag of any concert. Bottom line: Lainey’s gift was more expensive but the experiences were of similar value. You can let yourself off the hook about being fair.

Shop at one stop.

Look at your list, check it twice and get to the retailer who can cover the bulk of it. Amazon and Target are my go-to one-stop options.

Amy Jacobs is a marketing strategist for the magazine and young adult ministries of LifeWay. In her spare time, she blogs at Gather and Build. 

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