How To Be Prepared for Any Special Occaision
Are you always forgetting Birthdays and Anniversaries? Do you regularly have visitors over, then realise that their Birthday is approaching? Or even worse, that it has passed? Are you always the friend who is forever sending "belated" cards?
It may sound unbelievable, but it is possible to be prepared for such "unexpected" events in advance. You can easily be turned into the great mate who never forgets- with very little effort!
Do you always remember all of your friends and families special days?
The first thing I recommend getting is a birthday/ occasions book. You don't even need to spend much- use a notebook and write each month at the top of a new page! Personally, I prefer an all in one Birthday & Address book- it keeps everything in one place.
Now, I know what you're asking- Why not use a calendar, or facebook prompts, or put a reminder on my phone? Feel free, but- a calendar changes each year, facebook sometimes doesn't update, and phones need updated now and then, which usually wipes data. Plus, if you lose your phone, you lose your information. Paper is simple. Simple is good.
You should include all repetitive dates- i.e Birthdays, Anniversaries etc on the respective month. I also use a sticky note to add events which are only one-offs , such as weddings, when I am notified of them and then just discard the sticky notes once the events are over- it saves confusion.
Now that you have a note of all the important dates, you can begin to plan ahead. But believe me, you wont always remember, plus some unexpected events crop up now and then. You don't need to be stuck, though!
Greetings Cards Box
The next thing you need is a greetings cards box. I use a nice, patterned storage box, about the size of a big shoe box, and i pick up cards that I find on offer in poundshops or discount card shops.
Don't go overboard when buying cards- and don't feel guilty about buying cheap cards- these are intended to be used on those occasions you have forgot about, or had no notice of! That's not to say they shouldn't be nice, though.
As a rule for my cards, I have at least 10 different Birthday cards, because they get used up quickly. I have a mix of funnies, male, female, kid male, kid female, and a generic version.
I also have a selection of occasions, such as new baby, sympathy, good luck, well done, new job, exam pass, and a few thank you cards, too. I have built quite a collection, as I like to be prepared.
Essentially, the cards box is your get-out-of-jail-free card. Worst case scenario, you can stuff some cash inside the card, but that doesn't seem to be a thoughtful gift, and it can, surprisingly, insult some people!
If you like to hand- make your cards, you can always do these in advance and store them in your card box, it saves the rushing around as the day looms!
The next step in preparation is... A gifts box! Again, nothing too fancy, a plastic underbed storage box works well. You can pick up bargain gifts at your leisure- I always stumble across little things while I'm out shopping.
Watches can go for £5 and make an impressive gift. Fashion jewelry box sets can cost as little as £3, and if you choose a simple design, it can be given to almost anyone! Other small gift ideas are socks, slippers, toiletries, alcohol, chocolates (these can go out of date) and books (try to remain generic- not everyone likes romance or sci-fi!)
Pick up gifts during sales or offer periods. Pop in any freebies that you get, some stores give away gift cards if you spend X amount at Christmas. Remember 2 or 3 small gifts can be just as good as a large one!
Contemplate gift recycling- but remember who gave you the unwanted gift in the first place! Perhaps write a sticky note reminder, and place on the item before you pop it in the box?
Finally, a gift-wrapping station completes the preparation. Whether you have a specified table or small area that stores your rolls of gift wrap, ensure that you have at least one plain roll, one of each gender, and a nice metallic roll, as this comes in handy for anniversaries and other events. This station will come in handy for those "oops moments." You can pick up curling ribbon and bows cheaply at Christmas- just go for the plain metallic designs, and no-one will know!
I keep all of my wrapping supplies in a long, flat underbed storage box. The box protects them from going tatty and getting crushed, plus gift bags can be piled neatly beside them. Remember to recycle gift bags that you receive, they usually only need a new tag!
So now you have your Birthday Book, Greeting Cards Box, Gifts Box and Wrapping Station there really is no stopping you! Little and often is the key to keeping everything well stocked. Planning for close friends and family in advance also saves the stock from being lowered and ensures that all the effort goes towards the right people. It also ensures that theres no more "oops moments" when you realize you have forgotten someone's special day. You can simply sneak upstairs and retrieve their gift :)
© 2012 Lynsey Harte