I love to give gifts. I truly love it. If money wasn’t a factor I would shower all of my friends and family with gifts. Not because I think they need another pretty scarf, notebook, gift certificate or toy, but because that’s just one of the ways I show love. I love the hunt of Christmas shopping. I love to plan fun unique gifts for friends and surprising friends with that special something that they’ve had their eye on. Christmas is NOT about gift giving and it’s easy to fall into that trap but we won’t get into that today, today we’re going to get organized and plan for Christmas shopping.
I remember a story of a husband running out one Christmas eve to the mall, with a wad of cash in hand, a last minute gift for his wife. Pearl earrings – For. the. win! He had known what he wanted to buy for months but kept putting it off and all of a sudden, Christmas was here! Shocker (it only comes on December 25th every.single. year!) He may not have planned ahead but his gift was a hit, the gift was bought with consideration and received by one very happy wife.
Let’s start planning so you’re not running out for a last minute gift.
Who are you shopping for?
Does your family exchange gifts? Do you pick names from a hat? Do you have a budget set? All of these things factor into what you’ll buy this year.
We usually buy for the kids, some years small gifts for each other, other years we buy a larger family gift. We like to buy gifts for my in-laws and niece. We don’t have a huge extended family to buy for that helps to keep it simple. My side of the family had done a gift exchange for the last 2 years. We each picked a name and had a $75 budget. It was fun to find the perfect gift for the person you ended up with. This year I think we are all going to just buy for the kids. Every year is different.
Once you have your list created, set a budget. It’s smart to assign an amount to each person on your list so you don’t go overboard.
Don’t need another scarf? Don’t be afraid to say so, ok, maybe don’t say anything but creating a wishlist is a great way to hint. Wishlists are also great if you have family that will be shoping for your children. There are several online wishlists that I love.
Wishpot and Amazon.com are my two favorites. Both allow you to create a list of items from any online shop. Once the item has been purchased for you it will be removed from your list (On Amazon purchased items will appear on your list for 8 weeks but other shoppers will see that it has been purchased already). This helps to avoid duplicate gifts! You can create several different wishlists, I have a family needs wish list, homeschool list, a geeky wishlist, christmas wish list, a list for our children and a gift idea list for things I find that I might want to buy for friends of family.
Shop Early and SAVE!
Once you have a list start shopping. If you add an item to your shopping cart on Amazon.com and “save for later” you will receive a notification every time the price changes. (you may need to set this up in your account settings. This is a great feature! Sites like ShopRunner offer a free shipping membership. You pay once each year and have free shipping to hundreds of online stores. Amazon Prime works the same way but for Amazon.com purchases only.
Start shopping now and spread your Christmas spending over the next 3 months
Hopefully planning ahead and shopping early will save you frustration and time and me the gift giving even more fun this year.
Deal sites we love: