One of the activities that I enjoy the most is gift-giving. There is nothing better than seeing someone’s face light up when you give them a thoughtfully chosen gift. What’s even better is giving gifts on unusual anniversaries that most people would forget, birthdays that happen during awkward times of the year, or milestones that people wish other people would remember. 


Given how busy we are nowadays, it’s very easy to lose track of who you’re wanting to give gifts to and when you’re needing to do it. There are a number of ways you can avoid being the person who forgot your mom’s birthday, your boyfriend’s first raise, and your best friend’s milestone anniversary.

Who Do You Want To Give Gifts To?

This is a loaded question. But, seriously, who do you really plan on giving gifts to? It’s very easy to get sucked into an endless round of gift-giving to people that wouldn’t normally be on your list. 

For me, thinking about this question is a very important part of the gift-giving process. Who do I want to give gifts to?

  • Family – It’s not enough to say, I want to give gifts to my family members. You also have to ask yourself, which family members do you plan on giving gifts to? I have a huge extended family. It would be insane for me to give gifts to the majority of my cousins or their families. Instead, I give gifts to the immediate family that I’m really close to. 
  • Work friends and colleagues – There are people that you work with that you may find yourself in the position of giving gifts to, figure out who they are now and stick to that list. 
  • Miscellaneous connections – You may be connected to people via communities that you belong to or there may be people in your life who’ve helped you in some way. Those are people that you may want to give gifts to.

Once you have your list set, you’re ready for the next step in organizing your gift-giving. 

How Often Should You Give Gifts?

Simplicity is always the best approach to take for most things in life and gift-giving is definitely one of those areas. There are some people who alternate the years that they give birthday or holiday gifts. My grandmother does this because she has a ton of grandchildren and giving us gifts every year would be incredibly expensive for her. 

She makes her life easier by alternating years. Since we’re all adults, we are incredibly supportive of this process and she gets spoiled because we give her gifts pretty frequently.

You may want to consider if the holiday season is the best time to give the majority of your gifts. Most people are expecting them during that time and holiday sales make gift giving a lot more affordable. 

How to Keep Gift Giving Organized

If you’re giving gifts to a large number of people, it’s imperative to keep things organized so that you don’t go over your budget and so that you don’t forget important gift-giving dates. 

  • Set aside a day to sit down and take the information that you’ve collected on who you’re giving gifts to, how often you plan on treating them, and any special dates associated with the gift recipient. It’s also important to add any budget limits that you may have for each gift. 
  • Create a simple spreadsheet such as Google Spreadsheets or Excel and add that information onto the spreadsheet. Keep things organized chronologically and make notes about anything that is special or specific to the gift recipient. 
  • Set up alerts that will alert you to upcoming dates that you’re obligated to give gifts on and to whom. 
  • Double-check everything that you’ve set up in your system.
  • At the beginning of each month, quickly glance at your gift-giving list and make changes as needed. 

There are a couple of other organizational steps you can take to keep from forgetting important gift-giving dates.

Save the Date

Pre-purchase gifts that don’t have to be unique to the recipient. These items would include fun mugs, gift cards, or even t-shirts that can be given to colleagues or people that you may not need to give a super expensive gift to. You can keep those gifts in a secured desk or closet at work. 


Make Gift Giving a Priority 

It’s hard to forget giving gifts if gift-giving is a priority. Remember that gift-giving and receiving is a love language for many, to help you prioritize it for those who will really appreciate it. You will take the time to make sure that your gifts are received on time and given with care. Enjoy the art of giving gifts and stay organized so that you never have to worry about missing an important gift-giving a date. 

Author Bio

Anne loves finding the perfect gift idea that’s on budget. She has been writing about gift-giving and personal finance online since 2012, as the owner of

Her favorite beverage is champagne and she loves figure skating, even if it’s harder now that she’s not 20!



  1. My mom makes me and my brothers a calendar every year with everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries. It helps us plan out making cards and giving gifts. Love the idea of using virtual calendars to setup reminders.

  2. Devin Held Reply

    I am terrible with gift giving haha. Thanks for this, it may help me get better!!!

  3. This is a great idea! I’ve been really dropping the ball lately with this kind of thing (even before Covid), so these are helpful tips!

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