Whew! How is it already October? This year has just flown by!
Of course, October means a lot of different things to different people. Most people are probably making Halloween plans, enjoying our pumpkin spice lattes in peace, and snuggling into the comfiest sweaters of the season.
But what does October signal for artisans like me? It’s time to start preparing for the Holiday rush!
You savvy shoppers out there are probably making your own preparations, too. After all, the holiday season takes a lot of organization and planning to make it work. You might be working on travel plans, figuring out where visiting relatives are going to sleep, or working on holiday gift lists.
Those holiday gift lists are one of the trickiest bits, but also one of the most important if you want a successful holiday season. Here at Earth Song Jewelry I am pleased to announce that I’ve added a new feature to the site to make shopping even easier!
Earth Song Jewelry officially has a wishlist!
Now you can start shopping early, and come back later to browse your wishlisted items to complete your holiday shopping list. This tool also makes it easier to shop for different people, since you can wishlist any handmade jewelry you think someone might like, and them come back later to make sure you still think they’ll like it when you’re ready to order.
Just remember that any handmade jewelry or artisan goods you’re planning to order for the holidays need to be ordered early! After all, the artisans need time to put together your order and ship it.
Alright, I think I’ve stalled long enough, let's talk tips and tricks for staying organized this Holiday season!
Top Tips and Tricks For Staying Organized During The Holidays
Everyone's a little different, so please feel free to listen to the things that feel helpful to you, and ignore the ones that don’t seem as helpful.
Alright, here are my tips for breezing through the holiday season stress-free!
Make A List Of Holiday Gifting Occasions This Year
The first step to figuring out what gifts you need to get this year is to figure out what social engagements, work parties, and family gatherings you’re going to be attending.
Most people are pretty on top of visiting family members and know who they are buying for in their immediate family, but it can be harder to keep track of friend gatherings with gift exchanges, or office gifts.
One trick, if you’re at a new workplace this year, is to start asking coworkers about any holiday traditions in the new office or workplace. A lot of places do secret Santa, white elephant, or other gift exchanges, usually with a price limit to make sure everyone gets something of similar value.
Planning for those exchanges in advance helps make sure you don’t accidentally forget to grab a gift. You don’t want to be the person who shows up with a few dollars in gas station candy bars after all!
Don’t forget about the option to give handmade gifts, artisan jewelry, or more personalized gifts on these occasions either! Natural stone jewelry can be a great gift for these occasions because it’s usually within the price limit, but also a little off the beaten path, a little more unique than most casual gifting.
Make A List Of All The Gifts For Each Occasion
Once you know all the occasions that need gifts this holiday season, the next step is to make a list of everyone you’re going to be buying for.
It’s okay if you don’t have a complete list of everyone yet. In the case of secret Santa gifts you can just list an unknown person. The main goal is to get a sense of how many gifts you need to plan on getting.
Being specific about who you’re buying for can help with shopping and really tailoring your gifts to the recipient, but you can do that later on as well.
Once you know who you’re buying for, and when you’ll be exchanging gifts, you can also prioritize your shopping. Making sure you have gifts well in advance of early holiday engagements can help you start the season stress-free.
Make A Budget For Each Gifting Occasion/Recipient
Let’s face it. It’s easy to overbuy when you’re giving gifts to loved ones, hoping to win the goodwill of coworkers and higher ups at work, or planning a gift exchange with friends.
Having a concrete budget for each of your gifts helps keep things a bit more in control. It’s okay if you give yourself a couple of dollars worth of wiggle room on those budgets, but having a budgeted plan for holiday gifting makes it easier to manage your finances.
Note Special Interests And Known Favorites
Keeping everyone straight during the holidays can be difficult, especially when you’re potentially shopping for a white elephant where anyone could receive your gift, or when you’re shopping for people you’re still getting to know.
One trick, once you have a list of gift recipients, is to make a list of their known interests and favorites.
For instance, if you’re thinking about buying handmade natural stone jewelry for someone this year, knowing their favorite color or birth month can make it easy to get them the perfect jewelry gift.
It's okay if you don’t have a ton of information about everyone on your list, but this cheat sheet of favorites and interests can still help you customize your gifts. It’s especially important if giving good holiday gifts is important to you.
Plus, if you save your holiday gifting cheat sheet, you’ll have a head start on your gifts next year as well!
Start Buying Now!
Last but certainly not least, all the organization in the world won’t save you if you’re still buying all of your gifts at the last minute. Especially these days, when so much of our shopping happens online and involves ordering things for shipping, it’s important to make sure you start shopping early.
Especially when it comes to holiday shipping, you never know when postal delays will make gifts arrive late or not at all.
And, if you’re shopping handmade artisan goods, or from small companies in your area, remember that they don’t have any control over shipping, shipping delays, or any of the other problems that can happen in transit. Most artisans will work hard to make sure your gifts arrive in time, but you can help a lot by ordering early.
Even if you only get a portion of your shopping done in advance, it will still make your holiday season easier and more organized.
Plus, you’ll avoid the last minute shopping crowds!
Savings Tip! Plan Your Black Friday And Cyber Monday Shopping, Now!
Speaking of shopping early, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the best opportunities to get good prices on the things you’re buying this holiday season. Everyone likes it when their dollars go further, and these big sales are one of the easiest and most effective ways to make that happen.
So, start getting your wish lists ready, your shopping plans set, and keep an eye out for sale announcements from your favorite retailers and artisans - including Earth Song Jewelry!
Handmade Natural Stone Jewelry Is An Excellent Holiday Gift
I might be a little biased, but natural stone jewelry is a fantastic holiday gift. It’s beautiful, can have a lot of special meanings and symbolism, and is a safe gift for almost anyone on your gift list.
A lot of people worry about giving jewelry to anyone who isn’t their romantic partner, but natural stone jewelry is naturally more casual than fine jewelry. It’s a fantastic gift for parents, children, siblings, friends, and even coworkers who enjoy jewelry.
Not sure where to get started shopping for natural stone jewelry holiday gifts? Here are some of my Artisan picks, the best natural stone jewelry designs coming out of my workshop right now.
Bonus: Has Someone Come Out To You This Year?
Alright, one more holiday planning tip. Right now LGBTQIA+ people are experiencing a resurgence in bias and hate directed at them, especially trans people. If someone in your life trusted you enough to come out to you this year, you should be proud. It’s an incredible amount of trust to give another person, and acknowledging their trust is a great idea.
One way to acknowledge someone growing into their identity with pride is to give them some Pride jewelry. You can even give yourself a matching piece to show solidarity with them.
I have an entire natural stone Pride collection for just this kind of thing. Just, if they aren’t publicly out, try to find a private moment to give them your gift without other witnesses.