Thursday, November 26, 2009

Keeping Track of Gifts from Year to Year

Have you ever wished you knew what you spent last year when gift giving or wondered if you have already given something to someone already?  For Christmas I keep a notebook for all gifts.  I keep track of what the item is, who received it and the cost.  Each occasion gets a page or two.  I don't have one page for all Christmas's.  For example Christmas 2088, then next page is Easter 2008, next page is my daughters 13th birthday, then Summer vacation and so on.  I use it for all parties I give.  I write down everything, food, gifts, decor and the guest list.  I also use this same one for vacations.  I list where we are going, if I'm bringing food-what and how much, list of clothes (shorts and coats, etc).  Everything gets listed.  As I pack it I cross it off the list.  Then I don't forget, plus it makes it easy to look back and see what I should bring if we go again.  As for the party lists.  After the party I write down how many people actually came, how much food I used, what didn't go over so that next time I don't make that same item again.  If it went well then I know to make it again.  If a food item went fast then I know to increase how  much I should make.  I also collect recipes from friends, newspapers etc and stick them in the notebook.  So if I decide to try that recipe I have it right there in my notebook.  I'm on my second notebook.  It's great to look back on all the parties and gifts I gave.  I know exactly what each of my kids got from me for every birthday and every Christmas!  As for keeping track of money gifts I give.  I keep a running list of what I gave for every wedding and birthday.  However I don't keep that list in the notebook.  I keep this list in my greeting card box.  I have a simple large shoe box where I put all new greeting cards.  So when I see a card I like or if there is a sale on cards I stock up.  I put them in a the shoebox and when I have a occasion that I need a  card, I pull out the box.  Find a card and my list is right there.   I know what I have given for each graduation, funeral, wedding, birthday and anniversary.  So I can better decide what is appropriate.  I don't generally give $ according to what they might have given me. 

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