Are you ready for gift giving season?

Like it or not it is gift giving season. Okay, maybe it's not the gift giving season. The one with weeks of preparation, crowded malls, long gift lists and lots of red. But, according to our friends at Hallmark, Mother's Day alone makes May the second biggest gift-giving holiday behind Christmas.

Gift Giving Frenzy, Part 2
And that data point does not even take into account baby showers and graduations that often fill up our calendars this time of year and have us frantically looking for just the right gifts for these celebrations. Toss a few birthdays into the mix (I have five in my extended family in the next four weeks!) and it can start to feel like the December frenzy Spring-edition.

Gift Giving Survival
So how do you make sure everyone gets an appropriate gift for each occasion and you get to keep your sanity? Well many of the tips that help us manage the December holiday season apply here as well.

Get organized. Collect all the invitations in one location so you can easily get everything on your calendar and send your RSVPs in a timely manner.

Make a list. Create a week by week list of the occasions, any gift ideas that you have right now and where you might shop for any of the gifts.

Set a budget. Just like during the holidays, all this concentrated gift giving can start to add up. So decide early on what you want to / can spend on each occasion and stick to it.

Start shopping! The earlier you start the better. Maybe you can buy a couple of gifts online and save on shipping by grouping them together. Or look for gift bundles as ways to save as well. Often items grouped together are available at a savings over buying them individually. If you can't shop for everything online, then be sure to plan your offline shopping trips so you can look for several gifts in one store or shopping area and save on time and energy.

Now sit back and relax because you've got this whole gift giving thing covered!