How to Use The Nice List

The Nice List is my love letter to the Christmas season. Christmas has always been the busiest time of year for me professionally which made it hard to enjoy some of the simple parts of Christmas. So, I developed The Nice List which made all the difference for me and my family. And I know using The Nice List will make your entire Christmas season easier and less stressful! It’s really easy!

Below I have given you step-by-step instructions for using all of the tools in The Nice List. It takes a little planning, but the end result is so much better! So grab your copy of The Nice List and a cup of tea, and let’s begin making this your best Christmas ever!

Note: All photographs show the 2018 edition and will be updated when the 2019 edition is available.

The Nice List 2019
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Lists of parents, kids, grandparents, inlaws, friends, and teachers makes shopping easier and on budget. DIY gift ideas and inexpensive, cheap gift solutions are available, too.

1. Make your list. Check it twice!

Write down all of the people to whom you usually give gifts at the holidays. Just use the lined pages at the back or a scrap piece of paper for this list.

Shopping for Christmas gifts can be stressful. But using a list and a budget helps relieve that stress.

2. Sort YOur List

Open The Nice List to page 81 and begin sorting your list of names into three categories:

  • Family: which, of course, can include close friends -- these are the people on whom you will spend the most money and the most effort finding a meaningful gift

  • Friends: the friends for whom you want to give a personal gift; this may include more distant family, people in gift exchanges, and friends who exchange small, less expensive presents.

  • Work/School: the people to whom you want to give a token of love and appreciation which may include teachers, coworkers, neighbors, carpool members, and the like.

Budget planning worksheets help families stay on track financially for the Christmas season. Don’t overspend!

3. Set your Budget

Be honest with yourself. How much can you actually afford to spend on Christmas gifts? There are great gifts to give in every price range. Seriously! You don’t have to go deep into debt to afford Christmas. Set out what you can actually afford, and then fill out the budgeting worksheet on page 76.

Then write those numbers in the blanks at the top of each giving list. That will help to keep you honest as you are shopping!

Note: If you need help check out Setting Your Christmas Budget & Sticking to It! There I have included detailed instructions on how to do the math to set your category budgets.


4. Family Pages

Grab a cup of tea and sit down to fill out your family pages. Each person on your family list gets a separate page to record ideas, needs and wants, interests, maybe favorite brands or collections.

  • What have you given in the past that they loved?

  • Does he have any new interests or hobbies in the last year?

  • What did you give her for her birthday this year?

All of these pieces of information can help you choose great gifts for these people -- now and in the future!

This is also a great activity to do as a couple or as a family; my husband and I do this together every year. Your children or your spouse may know something you don’t!

Gift ideas for family members, friends, kids, inlaws, teachers, coaches are all found on the giving guide.
Shopping for Christmas presents is easy with inexpensive ideas and DIY projects. Save money and do christmas on the cheap.

5. Shopping!

But as you do so, keep your budget in mind. Remember, thoughtful gifts don’t have to be expensive.

Record what you choose, from where, and how much you spend. There’s also room to track shipping as needed.

As you shop or create, there are some easy ways to make gifts meaningful:

  • Consider grouping people together for gifts

    • Instead of giving each member of your sister’s family separate gifts, is there an experience you can give them all to do together?

  • Make it personalized

    • A simple pencil case or a scarf is even more special when it is monogrammed.

  • Give memories, not stuff

    • An invitation to a coffee date -- your treat -- is far more meaningful than a $10 gift card to your local coffee shop.

For more ideas on thoughtful giving, check out pages 6 and 7 in The Nice List as well as the The Nice List Thoughtful Giving Guide.

Have a stress-free Christmas using a planner with lots of trackers for shopping and finances. The Nice List makes Christmas inexpensive and easy.

There are pages at the back of The Nice List for journaling, list making, taking notes, or scrapbooking. And there’s a handy pocket on the back cover for holding receipts or notes.

And don’t forget to record the gifts you receive on the Thank You Note pages!

I hope using The Nice List will help to make Christmas a more enjoyable and fun season for you and your family! Merry Christmas!

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The Nice List is a Christmas organizer and planner that will help keep you on budget and on time all season long. With a budget planning tool, to do lists, calendars, and checklists as well as an easy method for shopping and gift giving, The Nice List helps moms, dads, grandparents, and families stay organized for the holiday season. Also: gifts for friends, inlaws, home, kids, teachers, stickers.