I am an Excel Spreadsheet junkie.  My life is broken down on a worksheet into tabs, in a workbook, documented under a file in my Debbie folder.

This Christmas file started when Mark’s Aunt had made a comment about how we must like backpacks because we seem to give the girls backpacks every year.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you from one day to the next what I have done, yet alone, what I bought from one year to another.

So, in 2000, my Christmas lists began.  This totally makes sense if you think about it.  Each year you have basically the same list of people to buy for, send cards to, and to some degree a breakfast and dinner to make.

This here is a snapshot of my “Gift” spreadsheet from 2005.  They go back to 2000 and continue through this year. 

I have broken each year into:

Column A and B

Who I am buying for by what location they live.  An X or Name means done shopping, highlighted state lets me know it has been sent.

Column C and D

Items bought (C) and the list of ideas (D). Gifts are already wrapped.

Christmas Gift Spreadsheet  TOP

The bottom part of this spreadsheet has the shopping lists for each part of the holiday. Items in red are bought or baked.  I even have a box labeled “On Hand” for those items tucked away in the closet that never get used because you don’t remember you have them on hand.  This list dwindles every Christmas, then gets added to throughout the year.

Christmas Gift Spreadsheet BOTTOM

The tabs on the bottom are for the other elements needed for Christmas. 

  • Address has everyone I know, columns labeled Sent/Card/Picture/Letter.  If there is an “X”, I get the stuff ready to send.
  • Thank You has Column A of the addresses of people who regularly send us gifts.  Column B is the list of what they gave us.  Column C marks that a thank you card was sent.
  • Cookies has a list of all the different cookies I bake.  It is broken down into quantities to bake and my grocery list.

Now, I realize this sounds so Dexter-esque, but, keep in mind I have been updating this particular workbook since 2000.  Every time I think “Oh, I need that”, I add it to excel.  For you to start, just key into the computer the list you already have written and build up from there.  Time consuming?  In the beginning, yes.  But once you have a foundation, you’ll be shocked to see how much time you save year after year.