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4 Practical & Fun Reasons to Make a Holiday Wishlist

Updated on October 27, 2015

When I was a kid, I hated it when my mother asked for a wish list every October. She still does it, and I'm thirty-six years old this year (2015)! I could never decide what I should put on my wish list, and I felt like she ought to know what I wanted. My husband still feels similarly: That if he gives me a list, that means I don't know what he wants, and that I should know what makes him happy without the list.

The list is troublesome: Why make a list? It's a tedious project that requires time and forethought and the results of the time and forethought may not be the desired output (that is to say, the gifts that you wanted to receive in the first place).

Among all the things I loved about Christmas growing up, the list is the one thing I well and truly dreaded. What if my parents laughed at the things I included on it? What if the items were too expensive? What if I didn't get anything on the list and it turned out to be a total waste of time.

Why should you create a holiday wishlist for your friends and family this year?
Why should you create a holiday wishlist for your friends and family this year? | Source

What is "The List?"

Around the holidays, most of us (the adults) think of "the list" as the list of people we need to shop for, or even the list of gifts we plan to purchase for our loved ones. I have to shop for my husband, my daughter, parents, best friend, sister, and niece for example. That's my "list."

Most adults have one of these at the holidays, a list of people whose names we cross off as we find the "perfect" gift for that person. Surely some of the fun of shopping at this time of year is choosing the right item from the shoppes. Anyone who enjoys shopping may prefer to do it free-range, without a wishlist to work from.

This is easy for some people, but as I've said in the past, I've always struggled with this. Maybe it's because my mother made me write a list every year, or maybe it's just that I've grown tired of giving "flop" gifts to people I love and seeing the disappointment on their faces when it's not the right thing, the very thing they wanted.

So, for the purposes of this article, "The List" is a list of items that you would like to receive for this year's special occasions. You can read all about how to create a holiday wishlist here.

You might not get everything on your wishlist, but here are four reasons you should make one anyway!
You might not get everything on your wishlist, but here are four reasons you should make one anyway! | Source

Do you make an annual holiday wishlist?

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So Why Should I Make One?

Year after year I've told my mother "just get me whatever." Since the time she started to simply give us money, that's been the easiest response to give to her, but every year it's been a cop out. This year, after giving serious thought to my own wish list on Amazon, I've come to the conclusion that it's not only helpful to the person who requested the list, but also to me.

I want you to keep a wish list, not because you're on my list this year (or maybe you are!), but because I want you to get the same joy out of creating one and thinking about yourself and who you are this year as I've gotten out of creating my wish list.

Read on for four reasons that you should make a holiday wishlist this year!

How to avoid the "default" holiday gift this season: Create a holiday wishlist!
How to avoid the "default" holiday gift this season: Create a holiday wishlist! | Source

#1 You Don't Want "Default" Gifts

Maybe you like fruitcake -- there's no shame in that! -- but most of us loathe the default holiday gift that says "I didn't have time to think about what to get you, so have this instead!"

Sometimes people don't want to make a wishlist because they believe that their friends and family should know them well enough to know what they'd like -- and maybe to find something quirky and fun. But the list doesn't eliminate the possibility that one of your friends will get you a quirky gift! It does, however, reduce the potential for receiving the "default" gift (such as a fruit cake, a generic gift card, or the last book on the bestseller list).

I can only speak for myself, but I find that receiving a "default" Christmas gift is almost as embarrassing as giving one. What do you say to Grandma when you unwrap the same stale fruitcake she gave you last year?

Everybody wants to give a gift that will "wow" their recipient, and when you make a wishlist, you reduce the risk that you'll receive the default -- not only making yourself happier, but the giver happier as well!

Holiday shopping is stressful enough: Relieve the pressure on your loved ones by making a wishlist.
Holiday shopping is stressful enough: Relieve the pressure on your loved ones by making a wishlist. | Source

#2 It Relieves Stress for Your Loved Ones

If you're anything like me, every late October or early November, you begin to inventory who you're shopping for and what you want to buy for each of the people on your Holiday shopping list. Shortly after Halloween, the stores are going to begin to inundate you with ads announcing which gifts are best for Sally or Joe, and the pressure is on.

Every year, my husband challenges me to help him find the best gift for his kids (from his first marriage) and every year I tear my hair out trying to help him decide what's right. Many years we've mutually drawn a blank because the kids won't tell us what they want.

It's so much easier when there's a list.

Imagine setting out to do your Christmas shopping with an itemized list in hand. The best wishlists include gifts of varying prices ranges (some things under $20, all the way to the upper end of "this is my fantasy holiday gift) and provide a number of choices for the giver, regardless of the budget.

When you create a wishlist, you relieve the stress of holiday shopping for your loved ones and provide them with a sampling of things that you'd enjoy. Maybe something on the list will inspire them to surprise you with something unexpected!

#3 It May Inspire Quirky Gifts

Everybody loves a gift that shows just how well the giver knows the recipient, right? This is my husband's bread and butter. He enjoys giving and receiving gifts that are highly personal, but these types of gifts are difficult to get "just right." What if you think you know someone well, but you get them the wrong thing? It can be downright disheartening!

When you give someone a wishlist, it tells them something about you. For example, my current Amazon Wishlist includes a Double Alto C ocarina from Focalink. This tells friends and family that I'm interested in the ocarina and am capable of playing a double-chambered instrument -- or that I'm interested in learning.

Spinoff gifts might include sheet music in the appropriate key(s), music stands, MusicNotes gift cards, an ocarina case, or even another (preferably high quality!) ocarina. Maybe someone would be inspired by ocarina-related jewelry, or consider Zelda games or products as a result of my interest in the ocarina.

(Likewise, my interest in the Legend of Zelda could lead someone to purchase me another ocarina, which would always be nice!)

If you make a holiday wishlist, you might just get what you want this holiday season!
If you make a holiday wishlist, you might just get what you want this holiday season! | Source

#4 You May Get Something from Your List

Maybe I should be prouder, but I believe that the only way you're going to get the things that you want is to ask for it. How would anyone know that I want a SLR camera if I don't ask for it? Nobody's going to buy me a gift they don't know that I want -- It's too risky. So unless I want a long list of off-beat gifts for the holidays this year, it's better for me to ask for the things that I want.

If you don't ask for what you want, you're nearly guaranteed not to get it, but if you do ask for what you want, there's a chance that you will!


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