The One Christmas Shopping Spreadsheet You Need This Year

Once in a while, people ask me how I stay so super organized. I do love a good spreadsheet! They stare in wonder when I tell them my Christmas shopping is done before December 15th. In fact, I start my Christmas shopping around September 10th each year.

I would like to share with you my method of organizing my holiday shopping. Maybe we can start an army of super organized elfs!


See below for explanation

First and foremost, I keep this spreadsheet in Google Drive so I have access to it anywhere. This is immensely helpful when I am in a store looking for something and want to look at my ideas in the second column. I update this sheet each time I make a purchase or have an idea for a gift.

Columns — How to set up the spreadsheet

NAME: In the first column, I type the person’s name. I find it helpful to group names. Family members at the top, friends next, and then others (co-workers, secret Santa gifts, etc.).

What I Got Them: In the second column, titled What I Got Them, I initially type in my ideas. Since I set this spreadsheet up after Christmas each year, I can instantly add ideas to it throughout the following year. Once I actually buy the gift, I type in a description of the actual present.

Status: The third column has is where I can quickly glance at the status of each gift. I type in (or you can create drop down options) a quick status. These options usually include: Idea, Purchased, Done. I love seeing this column full of DONEs!

What They Got Me: What did your mother get you for Christmas last year? What about the year before?Have you ever worried that you bought the same thing for your sister last year? With this spreadsheet, you can quickly find the answers.

Christmas Cards (optional): I also like to keep a list of who I will be sending cards to each year.

Setting Up For Next Year

At some point on Christmas morning after all of the presents have been opened, my family tends to spread out and nap. I use this opportunity to fill in this spreadsheet with the gifts I received and then I set up next year’s sheet.

I keep the list of names in the first column and in the Christmas Cards column along with the header. I might also add a couple of ideas next to some names if I think of anything that one of them might like.

For example, I learned last Christmas that my sister has recently gotten into watches. I made a note next to her name and this year, I will at least look for a watch for her, or maybe a display box or other accessory.

Customization and Other Uses

This is a fairly simple spreadsheet and there are a number of ways to modify it to fit your needs. In fact, you might find other uses for it for different occasions. With a couple of adjustments, it could be used to capture the names and list of gifts received at a birthday party or bridal shower.


I hope you find this spreadsheet helpful. If you use it this year, let me know how it goes!