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How to get everything on your holiday wish list (and make your gift givers' lives easier)

By using my technique, you can keep your family and friends from stressing out about what to get you, while also making sure you get every thing on your wishlist.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Girl pointing at her Christmas wishlist powerpoint wearing a Santa hat
Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

It's officially the time of year when your family and friends start asking you for your holiday wish list. As amazing and generous as the holiday gift-giving traditions are, we all know how frustrating it can be to nag other people and be nagged about what gifts to exchange.

For that reason, I developed the perfect solution that will make both your life and your family's easier: a Wishlist PowerPoint. 

Buying people gifts and spending money on gifts is already a challenge, but buying gifts that people actually enjoy is even harder. Comments such as "Please don't worry about getting me a Christmas gift," or "Don't get me anything, I have everything I need," are entirely unhelpful. Your loved ones are still going to get you something, and you are just making their lives more difficult. If people are going to buy you presents, you may as well facilitate their shopping experience and ask for something you'd enjoy, right?

That's why, some years ago, I reached the conclusion that I needed to be much more helpful when people asked me what I wanted. I decided to make a wishlist with as much information as possible. 

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The Wishlist PowerPoint is designed to include everything I would like for Christmas, with every single detail a gift giver might need. The slides include a photo of the item, a link to the item, the price and details such as the color and the size I want. The deck is divided into categories, such as "clothing," "kitchen appliances," and "books."

Christmas powerpoint wishlist

A screenshot from one of my very first Christmas PowerPoints. I love reading, so books had their own category. These were my picks for that year. 

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Now, I know you might be thinking that this kind of list ruins the element of surprise, but I have one tip to ensure you'll still be delightfully caught off guard by the gifts you receive – include A LOT of options on your list. The more options you include, the more likely you will be surprised, and the more opportunity people will have to pick something that resonates with them. 


It is also important to include lots of options to be budget-friendly. No two people in this world are exactly the same, and that affects how much a person may be willing or able to spend on a holiday present. I usually include gifts that range anywhere from $3 to an extravagant $500, and I don't ever expect for all of the items to be purchased.

Christmas powerpoint wishlist

The "biggie gift" I included in this Christmas wishlist was the Canon Rebel T7, which I was fortunate enough to get and it's been a great camera that has served me well for years. 

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

As crazy (or high-maintenance) as this idea may sound, the people in my life are genuinely grateful for it. It has become a staple of my holiday routine, and my family and friends already know to ask for my Wishlist PowerPoint during gift-giving season. It has been such a success that I am begging my friends and family to make them, too; it would make life so much easier!


If I have convinced you to give this wishlist format a try, here is how you can get started. 

How to make a PowerPoint holiday wishlist:

Step One: Log in to Google Slides 

Google Slides is my go-to platform for deck or PowerPoint making because of its simplicity. To get started, all you need to do is sign in with your Gmail account, and you are ready to go! Another perk of using Google Slides is that your slides will be saved automatically to your Google Drive account. So as long as you have access to your email address, you will be able to access your wishlists, years from now. However, if you are more familiar with using Microsoft PowerPoint, go ahead and use that; it works great, too. 

Step Two: Select a template on Google Slides or on a third-party website. 

Since I like to get creative with my slides, I use Slidesgo to pick a fun, holiday-themed slide template. The site has so many different themes to pick from, for all different holidays and occasions. If you use one of Slidesgo's themes, you can open it up in Google Slides and easily edit and share your presentation there. 

Slidesgo options
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Step Three: Start decorating the slides however you'd like 

Once you have the template open in Google Slides, you can format it however you'd like. If you want, you can use my format of inserting photos and links underneath certain categories, but you are by no means limited to that. Let your imagination run wild. At the end of the day, it's your friends and family who will see this, so make sure it's representative of who you are! 

Step Four: Share with your friends and family 

Now that you've picked everything your heart desires, it is time for Santa and his elves to do the work. The next time someone asks what you want for the holidays, just say, "Thanks for asking; I will share my list with you right now," and send them a link to your Google Slides presentation, or a PDF or PPT form of it. You will become your family's favorite person for lifting loads of stress off of their shoulders. 

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