Countdown To The Holidays-How to Minimize Stress Series

November 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

October—It’s all about the lists

This month it is all about the lists and getting answers you need to make the Holidays happen. The foundation of any good Holiday season is an accurate list. I’ve listed what has helped me for 25+ years, things you may want to consider to have your lists rocking and rolling. And yes, you don’t need one more thing to do, but if your lists are clear it’s a lot easier to get extra help and delegate what needs to be done.

Gift Master Database-Assistants Holy Grail

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 4.50.25 PM

What comprises the list categories? The key is to make this a quick reference for years to come. Your list should contain:

  • First and last names
  • Category for relationship (vendor, family, staff)
  • Gift decision (or card only) this year/last year
  • Who is buying the gift (you or your boss)?
  • Gift card message
  • Shipping or hand-delivery?

Remember, you need these answers for every gift you give.

Who’s on the list?

  • Family/Significant Others– (This year–did someone have a baby, get married, die or divorce?) Make all changes before giving the list to your employer
  • Work Related Folks—Make sure you have a crew list or project lists of those who your boss worked with this year and ask, “Who do you want to add from that list?”
  • House Staff—Housekeeper, Butler, Nanny, Driver, Chef, etc, etc…
  • Vendors (home and office) make sure to give your boss a list of those who regularly service their home and office—mail person, water delivery, gardeners, handyman, pond, pool man, newspaper guy, etc. These are people that are not staff, but are outside vendors who service the house/office regularly. Will they get a gift card? A check? A greeting card? What amount? Does your boss lunch at regular restaurants? Does the Maître ‘D get a holiday tip? Your go-to Starbucks employee? You might get a little crazy here but a comprehensive list is best and your boss can always delete them. Hopefully, they will appreciate you bringing people to their attention since this is the time of the year the real ballers show their gratitude for the special service they’ve been getting all year, and want to continue to get.
  • Offices—Don’t forget the office personnel where your boss frequents: Doctors, lawyers, PR firms, accountants, and the assistants you deal with regularly? A group gift sends a message that is appreciated all year long.

Greeting Card Master Database

It is usually safe to assume if they are on your boss’ gift list, they will want to send them a card. My clients usually have two card lists—1) Business holiday card and, 2) Personal holiday card. Make sure you are clear on which one for each person on their list.

But wait, there’s more!

  • Make sure the addresses are correct and current
  • How formal does your boss go? Mr. & Mrs. or just first and last names? (If first names, find out significant other’s proper names now).
  • Determine: card design; greeting sentiment; hand-signing or printing?
  • Who is printing the card? What is their turnaround time? (Card should go out the 1st week of December.)
  • Is it a photo card? Make the appt. for the photos shoot now.
  • Buy the stamps and laser labels and possibly get the envelopes early from the printer so you can start addressing them. Make sure you’re clear on the return address you’re using on the envelopes-home or office?
  • And if you’re using Paperless Post or similar online service, get those emails now.

And stay tuned for November’s blog next week—It’s all about the gifts!

Sign off


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