Be prepared: Stock a gift cabinet

Stock up on gift wrap and small gifts to store so you’ll never be caught in a time and budget bind! Check out these ideas for a great gift cabinet.

Gift giving

Holidays, birthday parties, baby and bridal showers… it seems like there are dozens of occasions every year where we are expected to present a gift, appropriately wrapped and selected to celebrate the special day. With our busy lives and schedules, finding time to search for the right gift isn’t always convenient or possible. A little pre-planning and careful shopping can start you on a system: a stocked gift cabinet with a selection of items that can be grabbed, wrapped and given. You’ll love the no-stress approach to gift-giving it allows!

Paper and cards

Start stockpiling wrapping paper and ribbon, along with a small selection of all-occasion cards. Dollar and discount stores often offer these on sale, so take advantage. Colourful tissue and more generic patterns and colours in wrapping paper give you a multi-purpose base for Christmas, birthdays and baby showers. Get some trims and ribbons and keep them together in a clear plastic container. Satin bows or other small embellishments change your wrapping from plain to pretty. Whenever you purchase greeting cards, grab a few extras. You’ll never be caught short-handed when you suddenly remember a friend’s birthday has rolled around. Keep plain gift tags to attach to all sorts of packages — larger ones that allow space for a sincere personal message eliminate the need to add a greeting card.

Think occasion

Browse off-season sales for great bargains, and start filling your gift cabinet. Small items — pretty hand towels and candles, a pair of wine goblets, a luxurious bottle of bath oil — are appropriate gifts for many occasions. Buying for your kids? Snatch up extra crayon-and-colouring book sets or small toys and games to have ready to give at children’s birthday parties. Baby items ideal for a nursery or layette are frequently on sale at discount outlets. Choose some basics to have on hand for friends with a newborn or to take to the next baby shower you attend. Fragrant bath products are a nice and unique gift for a bridal shower, and picture frames are multi-taskers, welcomed by proud parents with countless photos of the new baby, birthday-celebrating grownups and newlyweds ready to frame up memories of their big day. You can purchase a silver-plated frame for around $10, and a variety of whimsical frames for even less.

Plan ahead

Once you get started, it’s easy to see how buying ahead of time can be budget-friendly. Keep family celebrations and holidays in mind, so that as you shop, you will recognize items that are ideal for upcoming gift needs. Many people use this system throughout the year and can enjoy the Christmas holidays without the emotional and financial burden of having to fill a gift list all at once. You might be so far ahead on your holiday shopping that you find yourself relaxing and completely enjoying the season!

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