“An igloo. Doll bunk beds for my cats. A cheese bead necklace,” my mom said, reading off my niece’s Christmas list.
“And where am I supposed to buy a cheese bead necklace?” I asked, laughing. Luckily, in addition to the adorable hand-written letter, my mom had also helped my niece set up a wish list online, filled with toys I could actually purchase.
When you’re dealing with small kids or a big family, juggling all your shopping lists can be a struggle. If I write up a big list, chances are I’ll lose it by the time I actually get to the store. That’s where online wish lists come in handy. I can pull them up on my phone at the store or use them when shopping from my laptop (I mean, who doesn’t love being able to Christmas shop in their PJ’s?).
This year, streamline your holiday shopping by having the family use a free Christmas online wish list. These options make it easier than ever to find the perfect gifts so you can spend less time at the mall and more time hanging your stockings, rolling out gingerbread cookies, and snuggling by the fire.
Use Pinterest For Your Christmas Online Wish List
“You know, the hook-doody! That…thing-a-majig” my dad said, gesticulating wildly. My mom and I stared at him, trying to figure out what he was asking us to get him for Christmas. My family does have our own special language (if my mom says “pass me the thing” or “I was thinking about that thing,” I usually know which thing she’s talking about), but my dad sometimes took it to the next level. And that could make buying Christmas presents for him pretty difficult.
Eventually, my dad found a picture of what he wanted—it was an electric boot-warmer, which in his defense doesn’t really have its own name—and we added it to the list. But imagine how much easier deciphering his wish would have been if we had used a visual medium, like Pinterest, to begin with!
Because of this visual nature, Pinterest is a great tool for creating wish lists, and it’s easy for internet users both young and old to use. Just one glance at someone’s wish list board and you can get an idea of the types of presents they’re interested in. And, if you add the “Pinterest Save” button to your browser, it’s even simpler to add products to your board. Here’s how to start using Pinterest to organize your Christmas wish lists:
- Have each person create a “[Name] Christmas Wish List [Year]” board. For kids under 14-years-old, have a parent create the board on the parent’s profile, and monitor the child as they add items.
- Make sure each family member has the link to each other’s Christmas wish list boards so they’re easy to reference when shopping.
- Add gifts to boards by searching for items on Pinterest or using the “Pinterest Save” button to add products from around the web.
- You can get creative, too—Pinterest has a lot of DIY tutorials, so if you want a homemade gift, you can post relevant tutorials to your board.
With this method, it’s easy to scan the boards to see what your family members want, and you can keep track of what you have or haven’t added to your own list as well.
Create a Wish List Using an Online Retailer
I grew up on a small island off the coast of Massachusetts, so Christmas shopping every year was a big adventure. My mom and aunt would go off-island together, coming back the next day exhausted and with bags of toys. My sister and I would be left to our own devices, picking out small gifts from the local drugstore and lugging home art projects to pass off as Christmas presents.
When I was 14, we moved to rural Maine. The nearest mall was an hour away, and in those pre-online shopping days, holiday shopping was still challenging. Most of the time, we’d plan on buying Christmas presents throughout the year when we made our rare trips to “the city.”
These days? Everything has changed, thanks to online shopping sites like Amazon. You can create wish lists on these sites and share them with your friends and family, then they can purchase items directly from the list. When you live somewhere without many stores in town, being able to choose from anything under the sun is an exciting prospect. And with so many great deals on shipping, it’s easier than ever for me to get gifts from California to my family in Maine. I may not always make it home for the holidays, but I always make sure my gifts get there on time.
Make a Christmas Online Wishlist With Elfster
What do you get a cousin-in-law you’ve only met twice for Christmas? I found myself wondering this a few years back. I was part of a huge Secret Santa gift exchange organized by my husband’s aunt, and just as I had no idea what to get a motorcycle-riding firefighter in Iowa, I’m sure my cousin-in-law had no idea what to get me, a writer and amateur vegan cook in Southern California.
Thankfully, Aunt Shelly had used Elfster to organize the Secret Santa exchange. She registered with the site, then entered the spending limit, our names and emails, and Elfster’s magical techie elves did the rest. It randomly matched us up, which led to some interesting pairings, but luckily, there’s also a wish list function. While in years past I was constantly freaking out about what to get my random family members for Secret Santa, this year I just chose something from my cousin-in-law’s wish list. Good thing, too—I never would have picked out a camouflage hunting cap on my own!
At the end of the day, we both ended up getting a gift we really wanted, and the whole process was way less stressful than it had been previously. And Aunt Shelly, who always puts in so much work to connect the extended family every year, swears she’s never doing it any other way because she actually got to enjoy the process instead of worrying about coordinating everything!
Christmas Online Wish Lists Take the Stress Out of the Holidays
Christmas shouldn’t be about frantic shopping or worrying whether you’ve picked the best White Elephant gift. Instead, it’s about spending time with your family and friends, soaking up the warm atmosphere, and eating as many cookies as you can—not about the actual presents. Free Christmas online wish lists make it easier to get your Christmas shopping done early so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy this special time of year.
Whether you’re living across the country from your family, live in a small town, or just want to take the stress out of your Christmas shopping, opt for online wish lists this year. Because even though Christmas isn’t about the material side of things, it sure is nice to get someone a present they’ll truly love.
Need help figuring out what to add to your wish list? Check out Elfster’s Christmas Gift Guides for inspiration. Share your favorite finds with us on Elfster’s Facebook page, on Instagram @Elfstergram, or on Twitter @Elfster.