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Christmas List Spreadsheet Craziness

Today I am going to tell you a fun story from last year’s Christmas.

This is a story of using Google Sheets and the power of sharing to set up a Christmas list system for my family to use. It made it super easy for everyone in the family to create their own list, share it with everyone, and it really helped everyone decide just want to get for one another.

Here is how it happened.

Setting Up the Spreadsheets

The first thing to do was to create a spreadsheet for each member of the family. This meant that there had to be a spreadsheet for:

  • Me and my wife
  • My mom and dad
  • Her mom and dad
  • Both of our sisters

That made eight spreadsheets in total.

The basic layout for each spreadsheet looked something like this.

Christmas List Craziness - List Layout

Once the spreadsheets were created for each person, we put them all in a Google Drive folder and shared the folder with everyone in the family.

Now each person had access to their own spreadsheet and could start filling it out with everything they wanted for Christmas. We gave everyone until the end of Thanksgiving to have their spreadsheets filled out.

Hiding the Spreadsheets

Now that everyone had their spreadsheets filled out, we took away privileges from everyone to access their own spreadsheet. In other words, each person could no longer see or edit their own spreadsheet.

This meant that everyone could now see everyone else’s Christmas list spreadsheet except for their own.

This was important because it now allowed everyone to collaborate and communicate about who was getting what for whom.

For example, if I had been planning to get the first item on my mother’s list, I could have made a note in her spreadsheet and everyone else would have been able to see it.

This way, no gifts ended up being bought twice for the same person.

Did This Actually Work?

Although this was a great system in theory, you are probably wondering if it actually worked.

Well after trying it out for the first time this past year, I can honestly tell you that it was a massive success!

Everyone had such a fun time putting their Christmas lists together and an even better time buying all of the gifts for one another.

Christmas shopping in the family had never been easier than it was this past year.

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