I always start the new year with good intentions. This will be the year that I remember everyone’s birthday ahead of time. This will be the year that I mail gifts out at least a week in advance. This will be the year that I buy my husband an anniversary gift and don’t have to thank God that we still have Amazon Prime, because otherwise it wouldn’t get here in two days.
Maybe you’re like me?
But this year, I have a plan.
This year, I’m going to get birthday cards, anniversary cards, Mother’s Day presents, and maybe even Christmas gifts done ahead of time. Here’s my plan.
1. Figure out what special days are going to happen next month. For me, this means look at my Birthday Board and see who has a birthday or anniversary next month. Also include special holidays like Mother’s Day and Grandparents’ Day and anything else we may want to celebrate.
If you don’t have a fancy birthday board, make a list with everyone’s birthday on it. Family Christmas parties are a good time to gather this information, and you may even have requests from other people to send them a copy! Organize the list by month, and you’re set.
2. Make or buy all cards and gifts the month before. I’m lucky in this regard, because in our family-and-friends circle, the first birthdays don’t happen until the end of March. (This may be why I always start the year convinced I have lots of time and can do this.) If that’s not true for you, you’ll have to pull double duty in January, and take care of the January and February birthdays all at once.
3. Schedule a date each month to look at the dates and figure out the cards, at least. Whether you pick a specific date each month, or a certain day of the week (the first Sunday afternoon), schedule it in your Google calendar or write it in your planner, and keep that appointment! You’ll be able to get all of the cards written out, addressed, and stamped so they’re ready to mail, and you’ll have a list of any gifts you want to purchase.
That’s it! This isn’t rocket science, but I feel like planning it out might give me a better shot at actually mailing those August and September cards out on time, and not skipping the October birthdays altogether.
It also gives me a chance to really put thought into what I want to give to people, and to look for deals, or time to make something extra special. I don’t feel like I’m very good at gifts, and I’m pretty sure part of that is because I don’t give myself enough time. So this year, that changes.
Do me a favor and hold me accountable to this, guys. Ask me how it’s going mid-summer, and see if I’m still keeping up with it. Or better yet, implement this system yourself, and never miss a birthday again!