Our family Christmas was a lot of fun this year. It always is, but this year, it was better than normal.
You see, each year, we trade names for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffer duty, so that each of us will get a good gift or two, and it won’t cost each of us $5,000 buying gifts for everyone in the family. We all love each other, but who can afford to buy more than a few people really great gifts year in and year out?
So, we trade names each year, and we set a limit each year for gift purchases. This year it was $75 for the main gift, and $25 for the stocking stuffers. And each person has two people to buy gifts for.
The family is spread all over the country, so it’s a bit tough to trade “wishlists” without letting the person whose name you have know you have their name, so we put the Christmas wishlists on the web this year.
It was a huge help to all gift-givers, because I hyperlinked what I could easily hyperlink, and was as specific as I could be based on the recipient’s instructions… People coule easily buy online. Givers could also just print out the page of gifts and take it into a store to buy what they needed to buy.
But it sucked away some time from my day, and is not how I’d like to manage the long term health of our wishlists… The thought is that someone could easily maintain their wishlist during the year, so that come gift-giving time, the recipients could always have a list of potential gifts that is their real list, not something they came up with in the last-minute “get your lists to me so I can put them online” time-frame that we always seem to fall into at the end of the year.
So, I’m on the lookout for a good multi-user wishlist management system (written in PHP using MySQL for data management, preferrably). It’d be really cool if recipients could a) register, b) put in some basic contact and ‘gift-date’ information, c) enter gifts they want, and d) remove, edit or otherwise change the information they’ve entered at will. It’d also be really useful to have the system display things like a) price from Amazon (if available), b) date item was added to the list, c) sort by “age” of item, and d) allow the sys-admin the ability to add more users and organize them by groupings possibly. I realize that’s not a full-spec, but at this point, I’m just dreaming out-loud.
If you know of one, or see one around, please let me know. I’d even be willing to spend a bit of money for this system, were one available. (I’ve searched the couple of open-source repositories I know of, and none of the currently available systems meet my needs).
The internet made our Christmas better and more enjoyable, and I’d like to turn that into a long-term year-round solution for gift-giving time, whenever that time happens to be.