"Red Clock for the Holidays to Stay Focused"It is so easy to get caught-up in all the additional demands around the holidays, especially when we women are already often over committed. I know so many women, and I was one of them, that were overwhelmed by the holidays. This was until; I learned to leverage these early tips and tricks.

As a mother of two and an IT executive, I have learned to start early and find ways to make my purchases impactful. For example, I have bought many kids on my list gifts through our local school and community fundraisers. These catalogs often have hard to find toys and gifts that are age appropriate. Plus, these fundraisers often benefit the organization or school.

I have also been known to pick up gifts throughout the year and buy most of my gifts in October when retailers have great sales. Since I rarely make it to the shopping mall, I do this all from my desk. Often, it takes a few visits to each website but I benefit from great deals and it is done well before Thanksgiving. Since retailers are looking to increase October’s sales, shipping is often free. Extra bonus, if you take a few extra minutes online, you can search for online coupons before you start shopping.

I also tag-teamed gifts when I can with other people. We split up the shopping and the price. This helps minimize my to-dos and we can often get a beautiful gift.

One of my most favorite things to give is an online donation. Most organizations now send you gift cards to share and align the donation in the recipient’s name. As a woman always aspiring to support other women, I love http://www.heifer.org which has a commitment to empower women for sustainable development. I donate all types of livestock around the world to aid development and address the hunger and poverty.

Starting early and being purposeful by adding a few extra to-dos each week to my list. Most years, by Dec 10th most of my shopping is done and I can enjoy gatherings and participate in events that I have grown to love. I now look forward to the holidays as I have learned ways to minimize my stress and the demands for my time while making a positive impact.

JJ DiGeronimo, a technology executive, author, wife & mother proves you can have Your ALL. Founder of Tech Savvy Women, Purposeful Woman, Journey Charms & Author of The Working Woman’s GPS


This an other seasonal articles can be found in the 2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide  (PDF). You can also read the Flip Version .