Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday (in)sanity...

"Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts."
-Lenora Mattingly Weber

The #1 thing that keeps me sane throughout the Christmas season... the Better Christmas List app on my iPhone. 

I've used it for three years straight, and I love it. I'm a total believer in picking up gifts throughout the year. (Come December, I'm always thrilled to discover that I can avoid the crowds at the mall and still stick to my budget.) But once a gift is hidden away in my secret gift stash, it's easy to forget that it's there. However, with a quick tap of my fingers, this app keeps track of my ever-growing gift list.

While I'm pretty sure that this app has some functions that I still haven't utilized the fullest, I love the fact that I can
  • Archive the data from each year, so that I can see what gifts I gave last year and prevent any repeats.
  • Attach a photo of the gift after I buy it, so that I can match something else to it later, and I don't have to dig in the secret stash to remember exactly what it is.
  • Organize the list both by recipient and by what step I'm on (need to purchase, bought, wrapped, or delivered)-- the latter comes in handy especially during the month of December when I'm trying to pull it all together.
  • Add notes about each gift, so that I can compare prices and/or continue brainstorming.
  • Keep track of my budget, although I have to admit, I'm not very good at setting initial budget limits, so I always set them so that I'm way under-budget!
  • Match each recipient with their address and other contact info through my phonebook, so that I don't get stuck at the post office without my address book.
  • Be confident that I always have the list with me, so I don't have to keep up with a physical notebook (I'm always leaving those at home or even in the car anyway)!


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