Have you ever felt the stress of waiting until the hour before the birthday party to pick up the gift? Well, now you can put that old stress to rest when you follow these seven steps to helping you through the Birthday blunders.

1. Make a list of people you buy gifts for every year: Mom, Dad, Siblings, extended family. You get the idea. Do not fret it's not etched in stone. It's just a start. This list is ever changing. This should take you less than five minutes. I know this seems so simple, but most people do not have an annual birthday list.

2. Make a list of people who you will give birthday cards. Generally this list is longer than the first. Do not forget business acquaintances. Virtual cards are a nice gesture especially if you do not have a physical address.

3. Email these friends, family and acquaintances and ask them to confirm their birthdays. Another option is to subscribe to a birthday reminder service online. This taps into your email and sends a generic email to your database. I think a personal message is inviting especially for the average acquaintance. If you have a very large list this service can save you time. It then creates a calendar that will send you a reminder. If not …

4. Enter the birthdays into your personal calendar . If you chose the manual approach this allows you to keep all information in one location, and eliminates the confusion of multiple databases. Most databases have a birthday category.

Step number 5 and 6 will surely relieve your stress.

5. Go to a stationary store and buy a box of assorted birthday cards. Have you ever remembered someone's birthday a week in advance, only to forget the day of? Well this will eliminate that last minute rush to the store for a card; when your day is already jammed packed from sun up to sun down. Important note: grab a few belated birthday cards as well.

6. Advance gift shopping is okay. There are a few general gifts you should keep on hand. For instance, body care (a spa treatment of sorts). Woman, generally speaking, love anything that has to do with pampering and smelling good. Know your friends. If you hang out with writers, maybe a few journals or nice pen sets would be good. If you golf maybe a nice golf cap or a couple of sets of golf balls would be good to keep on hand. Trust yourself. By advance shopping you will be able to find these items when they are on sale. It will cut the cost; Instead of last minute desperate shopping when you will pay anything.

7. Never show up empty handed. If you have ever been invited to a birthday celebration and wondered "Should I take something?" The answer is "Yes." Keep a few bottles of nice wine on hand. Do not worry what kind or if they will like it, because showing up bearing a gift will always be viewed as a nice gesture.

Remember birthdays are a beautiful thing. Keep it stress free by taking just a few minutes to plan.

Source by Natasha Dixon
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