'Tis the season for all things holly and jolly. We know that along with decking the halls comes running around, dare I say, like a Basket Case shopping for items on everyone's Christmas list. Providing a one-stop shop for some of your gift-giving needs is our goal at Basket Case. Whether you want to curate your own basket or choose one of our pre-made themed baskets, the choice is up to you. While we hope our selection of delightful artisan and locally-made goods from small businesses in Galena, IL and the surrounding region make their way under your tree, we know we can't satisfy everyone's wishes. That is why this blog is all about helping you remain a calm, cool, and collected Basket Case and not shop 'til you drop this December.
Make a list and check it twice! We've all been there. It's the morning of Christmas Eve and you swear you got everything on your list, until...NO! How could you forget that? Now you're left to run around to every store in the tri-state area to find the last one on the shelf that is likely now way overpriced. To avoid this occurrence at all costs, create a list of everyone you need to buy for and make copies. Personally, the Notes app on my iPhone is my best friend in this case. I like to put family, friends, colleagues, etc. each in their own category and then add to it from there. If you purchase, lets say, gift baskets for your babysitter, mail carrier, and mechanic, you can categorize them by similar gifts as well. (Basket Case Pro Tip #1: Consider checking social media accounts like Pinterest Boards or Amazon Lists for those on your list. It can help take some of the guess work out of shopping)! Come back to your list a few times as you're likely to add to it at the beginning of the month. Make sure everyone you are supposed to include is on it ahead of heading out or online to shop.
Organize your workshop. If you're anything like our family, storage in the house is taken up by bins of seasonal clothes, toys, coats, and whatever else makes its way into the attic or closet space. Extra space is a commodity so planning where you will hide and store Christmas gifts is key. Take this as an opportunity to clean out that crawl space under the stairs you've had on your to-do list since March 2020. If possible, plan to keep your gifts near or in the same area you will be doing your wrapping. This will help you to avoid hauling everything all over the house come the week of Christmas.
Map it out. Do you think Santa just hops in his sleigh and says lets see where the night takes us? Not if he wants all of the presents delivered on time! Which means neither should you. If you work outside the home, try scheduling a couple lunch breaks or put stops to/from the office to tackle some of your holiday shopping. These trips are best for those who you know exactly what you are gifting and can get in and get out of the store quickly. (Basket Case Pro Tip #2: If possible, plan an early or later lunch break to avoid everyone else shopping at Noon too). When you're making a day of shopping, consider where you want to be when it comes time for a coffee break, lunch or dinner (you'll need to fuel up!). Go to the stores near those stops before those breaks. While mapping out online shopping may seem silly, it really is key, especially getting online orders placed ASAP with the current shipping and inventory issues we are experiencing in the world.
Hire an elf or two. Your helper could be a spouse, friend, or assistant. Whoever you trust to help you with your Christmas shopping, don't be afraid to ask. Shopping amidst already hectic schedules and unplanned circumstances is a lot for even the big man in red to handle. Knowing when to pass off some of your list shows you're embracing Basket Case life and avoiding real chaos.
Keep the wrapping. We want you to avoid the feeling of insanity ahead of the holiday AND after. That's why we highly recommend keeping all receipts, not just the gift receipts. Keeping your itemized receipts and the gift receipts ensure a backup when the inevitable happens and one is lost and needed post gifting. If you have an Apple Pay or Square account, when you use your credit card shopping a receipt can be emailed to your address on file. I like to move those email receipts into their own folder in my Inbox for safe keeping. And lastly, but what I believe is most important...
Stock up on eggnog. Not a fan of the stuff? No worries. It was more of a metaphor meaning keep those holiday season, feel-good traditions, and items on-hand. In our family, we truly try to keep the meaning and spirit of Christmas at the forefront of the season. It's not always easy, but we've done a pretty good job so far. My favorite moment just after Thanksgiving is when our daughter, Clara, walks into the front door or wakes up front a nap, to see that I have replaced the orange and yellow fall décor with garland and Santa's. Her eyes light up and she cannot wait to help me finish the process. It's amount the moments this holiday allows us to experience if we slow down and embrace them. Remember, it's okay if an item arrives a day late or is out of stock until Easter (it could happen). What truly matters is that at the end of the month when the wrapping has been torn and bows untied, the people who you cherish most were by your side.
"The manner of giving is worth more than the gift."