My family thinks that I’m crazy with all of my Christmas talk, Hallmark movie watching, and peppermint mocha drinking. It’s not that I don’t love Thanksgiving. I really do. However, it takes me a long time to get ready for Christmas and I’m a busy woman! My kids keep me busy right up till Christmas Eve. I don’t have a minute to waste during the season, so I start early to get some more snuggle time with the kids when December arrives. I strive each year to get all of the work of Christmas done as quickly as possible so that I can spend my time enjoying my family and focusing on the “reason for the season”. That is why I have decided to share my 10 Tips For Getting Christmas Shopping Done Now with you. Let’s get this shopping out of the way and really enjoy the season with those we love the most.
10 Tips For Getting Christmas Shopping Done Now
1. Make a List (Check it Twice): Of course you want to list your family and friends, but make sure to include everyone on your Christmas gift-giving list. That includes any Secret Santa gifts, school bus drivers, teachers, coaches, favorite insurance agent. Yes, that last one is a wink to my day job. Have a quick family meeting at dinner one night and go over the list with your family. Make sure you are aware of everyone that needs a gift. If you keep a list throughout the year, it gets easier when it comes to actually shopping for the items. Keep notes in your phone of favorite colors, sizes, interests, and stores. These notes will be a valuable resource for you.
2. Write the Number of Presents on the List: Write down the number of presents you need to purchase next to each name. This is especially important for your children if you want each child to have the same number of presents. I divide my list into what goes into the stocking and what is their “big gift”. I also purchase for cousins, aunts, uncles, two sets of parents and I want to make sure everyone has their equal share of my loving gifts. I also find that writing a number helps me to reduce my impulse-shopping and stick to my budget.
3. Set a Budget: Speaking of budget………write that budget number down. I know. I know. It’s no fun, but it is important. You can’t spend all of your money on Christmas and have nothing left for the bills. That is NOT what Christmas is all about. I have noticed that even children can understand a budget. I recently gave my daughter a budget for her Halloween costume. She put pieces together and made sure to stick to her budget. There was no whining or asking for anything outside of that budget. Providing your children a budget ahead of time is a really good plan to follow when allowing children to pick out their own gifts for siblings and friends. It helps reduce the stress for you and avoids blowing up the budget.
4. Brainstorm Gift Ideas Before Hitting the Stores: Don’t just wander the stores looking for nice things. That takes forever! I prefer to give a thoughtful gift that I have chosen for my loved ones rather than buying featured sale items that they may or may not even want. When you brainstorm for gifts ahead of time, you are betting able to stick to your shopping plan.
5. Pick the Stores Ahead of Time: Figure out which stores have the best prices and availability for the gifts you plan to purchase. Again, you want to avoid wandering around and wasting time. Making store specific shopping lists saves tons of time.
6. Map Your Trip: Avoid wasting time and gas money by running all over town. If Target is next to Kohl’s plan to go to one and then the other rather than jumping to the other side of town for the mall and then back to Kohl’s. Seems like common sense, but I can’t tell you how often I have wasted tons of time running all over the place. A plan is so helpful.
7. Shop Early in the Morning or Late at Night: You may save more time in the long-run by not dealing with larger crowds. You may not be able to completely avoid the crowds, but if you shop at less busy times, you are more likely to save your sanity. I often take a day off from work so that I can shop during a weekday rather than the busier weekends.
8. Shop in Your PJs. Online shopping can save tons of time and can be done in the comfort of your own home or office.
9. Shop by Yourself: If you shop alone, you’ll likely move quicker and get more done. Shopping friends can distract you from your plan and convince you to buy something you didn’t plan for and don’t need. It’s very easy for someone else to spend your money and help you pick out gifts. However, I have found time and time again that I pick out better gifts for my loved ones than friends who may not know them like I do. I have also been frustrated plenty of times when I find the perfect gift for my spouse or child and they are standing right there next to me. That means I have to find another time to go to the store without them. Remember, we’re trying to finish our shopping quickly so we can have more time to spend with our loved ones. Going to the stores multiple times doesn’t help accomplish that.
10. Don’t Buy For Yourself: Tis the season to give, not buy. Uggh! I so rarely get to the store and always find cute things that I want when I go shopping. I love buying myself things I want, when I want them. It’s also the sure way to make sure I get what I want. Ok……let’s put that thought on pause. Remind yourself how good it feels to give gifts to your loved ones and especially how good it feels when you are done shopping for your family.
Alright, don’t let me keep you any longer. Time to get that shopping done now and really enjoy the holiday season with your family. Leave me a comment below sharing your favorite Christmas shopping tips with us. Happy shopping this holiday season!
Make sure you also check out the Juggling house’s 6 Fun Christmas Traditions to Try This Year.