If you have trouble remembering all the details of everything you’ve bought for Christmas – how much you spent, where it is, whether it’s been wrapped yet, etc. – download my free Christmas gift tracker printable.
It’s a shopping planner that includes columns for EVERYTHING you need to track when you’re organizing your Christmas shopping, including gifts in transit from online orders.
How I Keep Track of Christmas Shopping
For me, the hardest part of holiday gift-giving (well, other than coming up with the cash) used to be tracking all the shopping and gift purchases.
Especially the presents I purchased online.
There’re just so many steps between finding that Bob Ross chia pet and getting it into Uncle Joe’s hands where the gift can completely fall off the rails.
Leaving Uncle Joe chia-less on Christmas morning…
Online shopping was the hardest to track because it took more than just a quick trip to my gift closet to check which gifts were still in-transit from online orders.
So I came up with a holiday gift tracker to print out and keep in my planner. I’ve included it as a free printable tracker .pdf here in this post, so you can also use it to track your own holiday presents.
Printing out a fresh holiday shopping gift tracker every year helps me remember what’s up with each Christmas present I’ve bought or need to buy.
You can download your gift tracker directly here – no strings attached. No need to even share your email address – the link is directly to the Google Drive file.
If you do want to sign up for my mailing list, just fill out the subscribe form below.
This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here. As an Amazon Associate (and from other affiliates) I earn from qualifying purchases. This doesn’t cost you anything extra and means this blog may break even someday. Who knows? It could happen…
How To Start Using the Gift Tracker
So here’s how I use my Christmas gift tracker.
First, obviously, I print out a blank copy of the tracker early in the season.
Then every week up until Mid-December, I update the tracking sheet with whatever’s going on with each gift that week.
When the Christmas gifts really start flying and coming at me every which way, usually around December 15th, I bump up my tracking to every other day. That way I know for sure everything I ordered is coming in on schedule.
Filling in the Columns
Since I need to remember what I’m spending on each gift, I include a “Cost” column to keep track of the budget. That way, my Christmas shopping checklist does double-duty as an expense tracker.
The rest of the columns allow me to follow each Christmas present, all the way from its inception in my head until it’s in the hands of a hopefully happy recipient.
The First Step in Tracking Each Gift Purchase
I start by noting where I’m going to be buying each gift, either in person or online. That info goes in the “Source” column.
Once I actually pull the trigger and buy the gift, either in-person or when I place the order, I like to keep an eye on it.
It seems like every year there’s at least one, usually more than one, gift that I need to follow up on.
Like that Ravens flag I bought for my son’s Man Cave. Once I noticed it’d been 3 weeks since I placed the order, I followed up with the shop owner. Turns out he wasn’t planning to ship it because he was too busy with other stuff! So I was able to cancel and get another gift here in time.
Being aware of missing online orders gives me enough time to cancel the order and still buy something else online without paying exorbitant last-minute shipping charges.
Or, God forbid, going out into the hordes of other shoppers…
Continuing to Track Online Purchases to Avoid Last-Minute Problems
For online purchases, I watch them through the whole process. To make it clear what’s going on with each gift, I have columns in my gift tracker to note when I order the gift, whether I’ve received a “shipped” email, and whether I’ve received the actual order.
Each week (or more frequently), I go through that week’s emails that pertain to any and all Christmas gifts. They’re easy to find since I try to “Star” them in Gmail as they arrive.
But even if I forget to mark one with a star, I have the gift tracker to remind me to search my Gmail and check to see if there’s any pertinent info I need to update on the tracking spreadsheet.
It’s always a huge relief to check off the “Received” column.
By the way, you can use dates or check marks in the smaller columns.
I try to fill in dates under the Bought, Shipped, and Received columns, but I really don’t care enough to keep it up.
By about the second or third time I update the gift tracker, I end up just checking off each column.
That works just fine, though. The gift tracker’s main purpose is to alert me if there is a problem with any gift. I can find the details elsewhere whenever a problem crops up in the tracker. I just dig into my email records to take care of it.
After all, getting over-complicated with the tracker is a recipe for ignoring!
How to Track Each Gift Once It Comes Through the Door
Once I bring home a gift purchase or receive the present in the mail, I hide it.
I usually put all gifts in my gift closet, but if a gift is too big or needs to go elsewhere, I have a column where I write down where it’s hidden.
Then I mark off the Wrapped and Delivered columns as I finish off the gift-giving process.
Noting Anything Unusual
I included a Notes column where I write down anything unusual I need to remember.
- Is the gift a stocking stuffer?
- Is someone else giving the gift (like if Santa asked me to help him out and buy the gift for him to give)? Or is it a joint gift?
- Is there a coupon I want to use when I order it? Or did the purchase itself magically spawn a 20% off coupon for future use that I need to put on my calendar (or ignore to avoid temptation)?
- If the gift is handmade or if I’m going to customize it, is there anything else I need to do to finish it?
- Is this a gift that’s going to be given really early, like a teacher’s gift or at a mid-December party?
My Favorite Column of the Tracker – “Complete”
And the final column is actually the first column – “Complete?”
By checking off the “Complete?” column, I know I can now safely ignore that entire row other than to use the Cost column in my ongoing tallies.
Mission accomplished – one gift down, 50,000 more to go!
How to Download your free Christmas gift tracker printable .pdf
If you want to keep track of your own gift purchases and expenses for peace of mind, you’re welcome to download my free printable Christmas gift tracker here (no strings attached!).
Or click on the image below.
You can also use the tracker as a model to set up a Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheet. That way you’ll have a running total column to make it even more useful as a Christmas expense tracker.
Let me know below if you have your own way of tracking Christmas purchases. I’m always looking for ways to tweak Christmas and make it as stress-free as possible!