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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

5 Tips To Simplify Gift Giving

Categories: holidays

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Gift It is said that it’s better to give than to receive, and I find that to be doubly true during the winter holiday season. However, a long list of loved ones worthy of presents, limited funds, and a time crunch can turn a joyous activity into a source of stress. Don’t get overwhelmed by gift giving this year. These tips can help you hold onto your holiday spirit!

1. Give the gift of time.

Kids are so much fun to buy for; adults can be a lot trickier. What do you get for your fellow grown ups who probably have everything they need? Consider offering your time instead of more stuff. Plan a sibling dinner or a date night out with your couple friends.

Of course, adults aren’t the only ones who appreciate connection. Give tickets to a movie or museum to kids who’d love to spend a day with their favorite aunt.

2. Hand make in bulk.

Anyone who has attempted to make Christmas gifts knows that they are rarely less expensive or easier than a trip to the mall - but it’s still a lot of fun to get your hands dirty in the name of generosity. One way to get your homemade fix without getting overwhelmed is to pick a gift that can be made in bulk. For example, you could make a large batch of holiday bath salts and divvy it up for multiple people on your list. Buy one jar of glass etching cream and make several personalized presents.

In addition to saving yourself a little cash on supplies, you’ll probably find your results get better with practice. (So make Mom’s first, because she’ll love it no matter what!) Need some homemade gift ideas? Checkout this pinterest board.

3. Buy someone else’s craftiness.

My favorite thing about homemade gifts is that you can personalize them for the recipient. But maybe you just don’t have the time or… er… talent to pull off something spectacular. Don’t stress! Consider this an opportunity to support the arts and buy something personalized.

Last year I commissioned a local crafter to create a custom planner for my mother-in-law. One of the best things I’ve seen this year is this custom wall print from . Head to your town’s holiday market for some unique ideas, or spend a few hours scouring Etsy.

4. Set limits.

According to minimalists, having fewer choices makes it easier to make decisions and frees up room in your life for what matters most. I find putting limits on gift giving has a similar effect.

Last year, my husband and I decided to give just four gifts to each of our kids: something to wear, something to read, something you want, something you need. I was amazed at how putting these “rules” on our presents allowed us to enjoy the process more. We were no longer overwhelmed by limitless options, and we had a lot of fun choosing the very best gift for each category.

Another way I set limits is with lists and a budget. I figure out ahead of time who I’ll be purchasing for and how much I’ll be spending. This helps me narrow my focus when I’m out shopping and easily track my progress. It also ensures I don’t end up with 10 trinkets for Aunt Suzie and nothing for Uncle Jed.

5. Give family gifts.

I heard this idea from a friend during a recent Google+ hangout . She has a lot of families on her list, and she recently started giving one gift that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. I think this is a great idea, especially if it encourages that family to spend time together!

Some possible family gifts might include:

  • A board game.
  • A family pass to the zoo.
  • Movie night basket complete with Redbox vouchers and popcorn.

Do you have a gift-giving hack that makes the holidays a little easier? Tell me about it in the comments.

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