7 Things You Can Do to Get Organized for the Christmas Rush

We love the Holiday Season. The traditions, the parties, the gifts! But it can be a stressful time of year, too. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of things you can do this week to get organized for the Christmas Rush.

  1. Add New Folks to Christmas Card List

    An easy one to get you started. Who are the new people in your life this year that deserve a greeting card? Brainstorm for a couple of minutes and then make sure you have their addresses. If not, go ahead and email them now.

  2. Order Christmas Cards

    And now you need those cards! We like the ones from the Museum of Modern Art. If you want, order enough of a single card to keep things simple. That way you won’t agonize over who gets which.

  3. Take a Look at Wrapping Paper Stock

    Before you take stock of your blessings, take stock of your gift wrap. Is it time for some new bows or paper? Add it to your normal shopping list. Pick it up at the store on your next trip.

  4. Make Sense of the Calendar

    Between school activities, holiday parties, church services, tree lightings, and more it can be hard to keep track of everything. Take few minutes to make sure your calendar is up to date. If you use Google Calendar, check out our calendar to keep organized.

  5. Charitable Giving List

    It’s a busy time, but it’s also a time to think of others. And beating the end of the calendar year can be good for the taxes and for charities themselves. Are there any charities that need your help again this year? Make those donations now.

  6. Set A Christmas Budget And Stick To ItNow let’s get to a sticky one: Budget. Take a few minutes to figure out what you can afford to spend on gifts this year. Then, write it down. Make sure you can refer back to it when you’re out at the mall. Write it down. And stick to it.
  7. Get Ready for Your Gifting on CheckedTwiceLast but not least, it’s time to figure out that holiday shopping. Invite your family to add their wish lists on CheckedTwice, and your holiday gifting will be a breeze.


My Experience with Offline Shopping

Yesterday I bought my first Tivo in 6 years. My old box with the lifetime subscription died, and I had been suffering without a DVR since. I’m a cord cutter–no cable TV for me–and I used Aereo for a while and services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Tivo just came out with a cheaper box with a focus on cord-cutters like me. The Roamio OTA–“over the air”–just takes in the signal from an antenna. Sounds great, right?

Tivo Roamio OTA

Well, here’s where it went wrong. Tivo is rolling this product out slowly for some reason. It’s not available online, only in person at some Best Buys.

Best Buy Logo

About a week after the products official release date, I went by the Bunker Hill Best Buy in Houston. No dice. They had never received a single unit. I called around and there were no units in Houston. Disappointing. Not sure what went wrong, probably on Tivo’s end.

Fast forward a few weeks, it’s now almost a month after the product was released. On a lark, I call the Bunker Hill Best Buy, and lo and behold! They had 10 boxes!

I made sure it was the right one… “Tivo Roamio OTA at $50, right?” “Yessir. That’s the one.”

I drove for 30 minutes to get out there, and…? No boxes. I got the official Bunker Hill line of that they’ve never gotten any boxes. So when I asked why they told me on the phone that they had 10 boxes, they insisted that I had mistakenly called another store.  I didn’t. I pulled it up on my phone.

ARGH! You make a mistake. Then you blame it on me. Way to make a bad thing worse.

Worst Buy

They tell me there are 3 boxes at a store further out. I drive another 15 minutes west (basically Eastern San Antonio at this point), and at the store, and…?

The staff has no idea what I’m talking about.

My blood pressure is through the roof at this point. They get about half the staff in the store looking for this box. After about 20 minutes, they bring me a beat up box that looked like it had been punted across the store. And perhaps it was, because it was buried under unrelated products in the wrong section.

So Tivo, what’s the deal? Why was the product rolled out so badly? Your customer service has always been top-notch. What went wrong?

And Best Buy. Wow. I used to shop at Best Buy, but now I mostly shop online. Best Buy is around for convenience’s sake. I wouldn’t call my latest experience convenient. So why does Best Buy exist?

Now, I love shopping for unique items at small boutiques. I enjoy supporting local commerce. But why would you go to a Best Buy or other box store for stuff you could order on Amazon and have for you in a day or two?

CheckedTwice makes it easy to shop for everyone online. I’m glad it does. It’ll be a long time before I venture back out to a box store.

For those that like getting out and shopping at the mall, why do you do it?

CheckedTwice Organized Christmas Calendar

Believe it or not, the CheckedTwice team is pretty busy during the holiday season. There’s a lot to get done, and–more importantly–there’s a lot of fun to be had.

At CheckedTwice, we’re also all about using technology in the right way: not too complicated, so you’re free to live your life and get things done.

To that end, we came out with something new for y’all out there that are looking for ways to stay organized.  We’ve created a Google Calendar with weekly tips of little things you can do to stay ahead of the holiday crush.

If you have a Google account, you can click the + Google Calendar button to add it to your own calendar.

It’s also available via XML and ICAL formats.

Let us know what you think in the comments. What did we miss?

LifeHacker HiveFive Winner

LifeHacker had user-nominated poll for Best Gift Registry this week. And CheckedTwice won!

We won LifeHacker's Best Gift Registry
I like our HiveFive gold medal!


We’ve always thought of LifeHacker’s readers as our target audience. LifeHacker is all about using technology and process solutions to make your life better.

So when their own users voted CheckedTwice the Best Gift Registry, we could not have been happier.

Thanks to our users that voted!