Christmas Simplified

Like it or not, the Christmas season is upon us. That means the next four weeks are going to filled with Christmas parties, Christmas candy, Christmas decorations, and of course, the dreaded Christmas shopping. Commercialization of the season aside, most of us will be spending a good deal of our hard-earned dollars on frivolous gifts for our friends and family. If you’re anything like me, then you’ve sat in the store or mall contemplating on what the perfect gift for that special someone might be. Here’s a brilliant idea: give them something they want!

Sure, the element of surprise is always fun when someone is tearing through the wrapping paper waiting to see what’s inside. But chances are that gift is going to be either re-gifted or returned, and your time spent pondering at the store might end up wasted.

I would like to introduce all of you to a site that me and my family have been using for the past several years to make Christmas shopping much more manageable. “What To Give” (www.whattogive.com) is a FREE web site developed my a gentleman in England who wanted to make Christmas wish lists as simple as possible. But this isn’t any normal wish list site; this one does so much more.

First off, the fun part. Make your Christmas list. After a simple registration (which won’t cause you to receive any spam, by the way), you simply start adding items to your list that you would like people to consider when purchasing a gift for you. It’s as simple as finding the item on any web page, and pasting the link into the application. The site automatically pulls a picture of the item, the price of the item and even a brief description.

All anyone has to do now to view your list is to go to the web site and enter your e-mail address. They will then see all the items you have listed and have a much better idea of what you would like for Christmas. The giver even has the option to mark an item as “promised”, so that when others come to view your list, they don’t buy something that someone else is already planning to pick up. This information is available to be viewed by you only if you choose to do so, but come on…where’s the fun in that, people?

I’ll admit that this works best for large families, as it seems kind of weird to tell your friends what to get your for Christmas. But if you have a large family (like my wife does), then this makes it very easy to find something that your niece or cousin really wants instead of buying them a chore, like a gift card or returnable item. The best part is that you can view all of your family members as “friends”, which means you can switch between each list simply by clicking on the tab that has their name on it. This also works great for Secret Santa gift exchanges, which we have also done this year.

So do yourself a favor this Christmas and simply your holiday shopping while making those family members happy with their gifts. Check out “What To Give” and share it with your family. I can tell you from experience, that it’s made things a lot easier for me and my family. It even comes in handy around birthday’s.

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~ by Scott L. Clark on November 29, 2010.

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